I have often experienced my best climbing when there was an invitation.  Many years ago Brian Spear, Keith Haberl and myself drove into the Waiparous to climb a route called Concorde. As Keith's Black Nissan truck brought us into view of the route it was clear that the climb was not going to happen. It was streaming wet so we deemed it unclimbable. The route faces north so it was also not likely to dry off by the time we got to the base.

Without skipping a beat we turned our attention to the Prow, which is east facing and was dry but as yet the entire face was unclimbed. All we had to go by was an inviting line up the centre of the face, which we quickly cast the binoculars upon. After dumping out the Rubbermaid bin from the back of the truck and assessing its contents, we realized that we had enough gear to climb the route. There was a solid selection of pitons and enough self-drive bolts for anchors. We climbed seven new pitches that day, onsight and ironically through three rainstorms. Climbing over wet rock, and into thunder and lightning, all the while feeling invited. We profoundly eclipsed the reason for not climbing Concorde. But Concorde was not inviting us. We named our new route "The Ardent Heart" because we were following our hearts into a process of creativity.

With a firm invitation that underpins, challenges that happen along the way feel supported from a foundational place. Adversity is fun when the right energy underpins and solving problems is easier with a sense of belonging. There is less fear because I know I am supposed to be there. This is intuition and the mountains have been trying to teach me how to use it. I can and have rationalized myself into undesirable situations, and have been invited into the grandest adventures. Inside I have a fantastic system for knowing the difference between the two. All I have to do is ask is this question, "Am I being invited right now?"


In what ways have I "Shoulded" my way into an epic? I should be able to climb this! I should do this because there concrete no reason not too! What was the result?

How do I rationalize my way into making choices that don't serve me?

Has waiting for an invitation to do something worked better?


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