A storm was a’brewin.’ I felt it in my trick knee well that, and I was with Dave Graham in Calgary, Canada, where it had rained for three days, which translates to no climbing. It might get ugly. Dave is a fiery ball of motivation and determination, and if he doesn’t have an outlet, and fast, there’s gonna be trouble.
Day one began as pretty mellow. Dave justified Mother Nature’s cruel precipitation by acknowledging that he could use a rest day. He’s a nomad, roaming the earth in search of the hardest, best routes. Staying put, with no climbing, runs strongly against his grain. Dave is notorious for climbing every day until his body gives out. In 2006 he tried razor-sharp Terremer (V15), in Hueco Tanks, every day for two weeks before he finally ripped a flapper off his finger tip. The Injury, as he called it, drove him crazy.
Day two of rain started getting grim. Dave was full of energy after resting. He couldn’t stop pacing, and oh shit, then came the badgering: You’re all pigs! You need to start cleaning up after yourselves! Look at this filth over here! He was right. Our pad was a mess, so on day two, Dave went cleaning.
By the third day, Dave faced a serious problem. He was completely rested, there was nothing left to clean and he was ready to climb. But outside, it was like the Amazon. By the afternoon, Dave was cursing and gesturing at the window, unwilling to accept the wet weather. From his whip-thin frame he discharged a litany of unfounded accusations: that so and so is a punter, and that everything else sucks.
Day four: Dave’s complaints had reached the heavens and the rain disappeared. He was glowing, psyched and motivated. We hustled to the crag, where he destroyed his seeping 5.14c project second go. What a relief.