New Generation

 Photo:  Logan Barber
Just to add a bit of perspective I belayed a young (18?) American guy named Sean Bailey on a route I had a quick go at called Gods own stone (5.14a/32). It was his hardest onsight ever and he followed it up with Omaha Beach a few days later. He has also done three or so 5.14c (34) routes all in a week and a half here and all taking only a few shots. The new generation of climbers around the world are crushing and making a mockery of what used to be considered difficult. It is humbling and a little bit frustrating leaving me wondering what I could have done to be anywhere near that good. I love the struggle of trying hard though and embracing the successes and failures. It feels good to focus on performance/numbers for a while and not worry about run outs or forced bivvy’s.

My good friend Logan sums it all up in great words.

It also brings back fond memories of the Red River Gorge. I'm getting enthusiastic for another trip.

Neal McQuaid