There is no distinct trail to follow out to Wiz Dome, more it’s a path that meanders through the trees and boulders, riddled with tiny frogs of gold and green and marked with the impressions of bear, coyote and deer. Over the summer I took that path to Wiz Dome about a half dozen times. At first uncertain of my steps but eventually learning the way and getting acquainted with the natural landmarks and the old trees who wear their bark of ages, showing their wisdom of the world. My trips out there were to climb this incredibly beautiful line so aptly named,”Sacred Fire.” Over the time period of some weeks there I was familiarizing myself with route, learning the moves, unlocking sequences and finding my rhythm.
The day I redpointed we went out in the morning. The air was still crisp and the moon still out. The coyotes were yipping in the distance creating a wild feeling that circulated through the air and gave the perspective that everything was alive. The place vibrated with the energy of life that morning and I was excited to be part of the landscape, to be one with the movement of the rock.
I started up the climb, clipping as I went, breathing heavy and hard and feeling uneasy about what to expect and how it would feel. I was getting ahead of myself, my mind racing towards the future while my body struggled in the moment. I became pumped and I fell, a nice big clean fall. Coming to rest, feeling a bit of surprise but feeling great relief I realized that I had been racing too fast ahead in my thoughts and that I wasn’t fully engaging myself with each move and step, I was caught up in expectation and fear and because of that I lost my power and strength and focus. I lowered down, rested and centered my thoughts on what I had just done, where I had gotten, and what I needed to do to finish the route. I saw myself at the anchor clipping in and then I concentrated on my breathing. I lay at the base of the climb letting my breath relax and connect me with the place, with the coyotes in the distance, the frogs along the trail and the sweet smell of the pines and cedars. I was ready to try again, this time feeling completely free of any fear and expectation. I started up the route, very sure of my movements and completely present in each moment. Feeling incredibly relaxed I advanced up the rock to the anchors. I had learned how to harmonize myself with the route, following it’s lead. It had shown me where to go and what I would find as I got there. Clipping into the anchors and preparing to lower I realized that “Sacred Fire” has shown me my innate and intimate connection to the living world.