July 14, 2016
By: Mush Puppy Ken

Slavin' for Mr. Lizard

No shit, there I was…​ Slavin' for Mr. Lizard. Team Husky downrange on deep patrol. Status check, roger that. Wiley providing add hoc perimeter security. Mr. Lizard was tied into the sharp end of yet another FA attempt. And as lizards are wont, hangin' by a couple nails. Midnight Oil was keeping meter on the deck when Mr. Lizard blew on out of that thin face high step. Yet again.

Shake it on out and take a rest bro. Give the guns some recovery, eh? How’re the nails? Well, maybe in need of some super glue, eh? May be not.

The Lizard liberates his feet from the too snug Fire’s and makes prep to lay down some fresh rythms on the bongos. I grab a shoe. Ya' know, all this fine dust embedded into your rubber has to be not good, mon! /me whips out a liter water bottle, cleans and rinses the sticky rubber best I can before turning 'em sole up to dry in the desert sun. In the future I would bring an old tooth brush and an entire spare liter for these attempts. But not today.

Mr. Lizard is doubtful. Especially since the rubber is new, special splurge for this route. Done with the bongos he’s antsy to go. Jams into the Fire’s. This new rubber is good as it gets! Geronimo, it’s time to go, mon! Some poking at the deck and the Midnight Oil ritual is cued. Double tap play and it’s "On belay". Sigh! This was not to be the day Mr. Lizard sent this route. It had, howsomever, become the day it became apparent to the both of us that there was something to this sole cleansing thang…​.

Did I say somethin' about the future? In the future we aslo started bringing sections of carpet to use as the route’s doormat. Initially raided from Tean Husky crateage. Further into the future carpet store remnants would replace these.

Thusly began the cycle. Thusly the groove dance seeking the elusive alpha whereupon the stars lined up just right. For many dances. Maybe today? Nope. Not today. Always the same blow out on that ridiculous high step move off of that incredibly thin friction foot delicately ballasted by only the most tenuous bit of an abused middle finger’s nail caressing the remberance of an ever so small crystal. If that. Depending on the the rest time and the super glue. The lizard’s was going to loose a nail on this rig. Until one day…​. He got it. Yippie yi yo kayah!!

Yep, I was there. Slavin'…​. I was the only one there. And thus humbly offer the authoritative accounting. It’s good to finally spit it so others won’t miss it. Lord have mercy; "Can I get a witness?!" Yeesss! This ended up bringing on some unanticipated personal integrity obligations later, howsomever, when I durn' near had to knuckle up fer' a whoopin' in response to some euro’s too pointed challenges asserting I was lying. The route being too impossibly thin to have gone. But that drama is a story for maybe another bitd day. Not today.

I heard tell later that some contend the Lizard had chopped these Euro’s bolts. I do not recall any chopped bolts. And I spent a lot of slavin' time scoping that line. I recall the Lizard doing some clippage. Yep. I don’t recall exactly but I don’t recollect him having a Bosch yet. As best I can remember, I was eyeballing 5/16ths rawl rigs put in with a hammer.. For whatever that may be worth.

The hunk of rock? Yet another boulder outcropping in Joshua Tree National Monument. This little patch being called Future Games Rock. We’d headed out there initially because of some sweet 5.8/9 crack routes that I had not climbed in a while and it was my day for a belay. Bored, Mr. Lizard spied that line. As he was wont to. He’d be back. As he was wont to. He’d send that line and name it "Games Without Frontiers". Yep. No shit. There I was. Midnight Oil was jammin' on the deck and the bongos blazing. Living an awesome life.

Rest in peace, Paul.

Tags: jtree bitd in memoriam rock climbing