20th Annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest People
The First Pitch.

Putting your hand on rock over and over and over, does something very strange to the human body and brain. I like to compare Rock Climbing to a vertical Twister Game where you need to be able to do at least 10 half pull ups and single leg squats to in order to make it to the first pitch. Sure this is definitely not 100% of the climbs, some are as simple as stairs, but I like showing this comparison because many people don't think they are capable of doing a pull up until they touch rock and poof they are basically a machine. The crazy thing is that rock climbing is a high percentage of believing you can do something, and proving to yourself that you can. I don't climb a ton of multi-pitches, but I would do it any day with a group of friends especially the ones in this photograph. Rock climbing had (prior to the debut of climbing in the Olympics- as some bits of climbing has seemed to change) often been a form of confidence building for myself and my friends, and it felt as full filling as drinking water in the desert. It felt you could live off it. With Multi-ing it allows for your brain to break down survival and pleasure of climbing, where by the first pitch completion, you are questioning how the climb was and if you can continue, and in some cases you have to keep going as you cannot descend the same are you climbed. It pushes you to show yourself what you can do, and things you never thought you could.

Photo Detail
Date Taken: 11.2020
Date Uploaded: 09.2022
Photo Location: West Virginia, United States of America
Copyright: © Danielle Boutte