The Tom Egan






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The Bugaboos season has come to an end and I’m already back in Boulder preparing for my next adventure. No send for season #2 on Snowpatch Spire.

I keep going to bed at night rehearsing the moves of the “Drunken Dawn Wall” (crux pitch) as if I was climbing on it the following day. I remember every move and could still practically feel the terrible crimps on my bruised fingertips.

I’m not sure where we went wrong, or if we went wrong at all. Will and I gave it our all and in the end it just wasn’t enough. I could come up with legitimate excuses, like “the weather deteriated the second half of our trip”, or “I had terrible skin”, but that would be pointless, and in fact it would de-legitimize the route altogether; Rome wasn’t built in a day (and if it was we probably wouldn’t have even heard about it in the first place), and Tommy Caldwell didn’t send the Dawn Wall in a season (and if he hadn’t put so much of his life into this continuing 6-year effort, it likely wouldn’t be a fraction as monumental for climbing as it is, still unsent to date).

When the chips were down this season we were trying everything to keep the psyche high. We’d hike up beers and fancy food to Applebee Campground for morale boost at the end of a hard day, but mostly we sought inspirations from friends and heroes. We’d ask ourselves “What would Tommy do?” (which seems to be becoming a household slogan in the climbing community). We’d also ask the more unconventional question of “What would Leo Houlding do?” (which normally would result in unspeakable things or a slightly larger whipper…no offence, Uncle Leo). And we’d say we need to “Diggle the shit” out of that hold, which essentially meant you need to grab that hold as if you were Daniel Woods sending a gnarly V15.

The Tom Eagon Memorial Route is one of the hardest routes either of us has ever tried (yes, this also includes sport climbing and bouldering), and it’s going to take some time and serious motivation, dedication, perseverance…aggravation, humiliation maybe, reflection…just about everything one has, I think.

I guess I haven’t prefaced this well, but to me this season was a positive experience; we fought hard up there and learned a lot about the route. And we are both still psyched to return for season #3. And, even after 2 months in the Bugaboos together, Will and I are still friends…we are even planning our next adventure this fall with Sweet Candy, the portaledge that kept our asses comfortable and warm this summer.