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- 10 days ago
A funny thing happened this spring while I was on Mount Everest. My son Matt, 17, picked up my book, The Impossible Climb, entirely of his own volition. “I had no idea you did all that stuff,” he texted me, when I was still on the mountain. He must have been inspired by Alex Honnold and some of the others whose stories I tell in the book because when I got home I was shocked to discover that Matt had been climbing virtually every day since I had left.
I have always had a soft touch with climbing when it comes to my children. After everything I’ve experienced during my 34 years as a climber, I have a profound respect for the sport’s inherent danger, and I would never want someone I love to get into it because they thought I wanted them to. I figured it went without saying that if anyone ever decided they wanted to try climbing, all they had to do was ask.
For 18 years, no one asked. Then, two years ago, my daughter Lilla said, “Hey, so what’s up with climbing?” And then this spring, it was Matt’s turn. Since I’ve been home, Matt has become my main climbing partner, which is both awesome and terrifying.
We made a goal to climb Recompense, a classic, multi-pitch 5.9 on Cathedral Ledge, by the end of the season. It took us a couple tries to get on it because of crowds, but we finally completed the ascent a few days ago, and I’m proud to say that Matt got it done with no falls. I probably shouldn’t say this, because I know he and Lilla will see this post, and I am kind of breaking my own rule, but I hope they will both stick with climbing. I have always believed that caring deeply about things is what gives orientation and purpose to our lives. We all need something, so why not climbing? @matthewsynnott @lilla_synnott @thenorthface_climb @revo @sterlingrope @hamptonkew @willsynnott