Be Prepared

I am an Eagle Scout. It’s not the most diverse group of blokes one could join but it did introduce me to some good stuff. My passion for climbing, for one, was spawned during my Boy Scout days.

“Look wide, and even when you think you are looking wide – look wider still.”
— Robert Baden-Powell, Founder of Scouting

The motto of the Boy Scouts is “Be Prepared”. That’s really good advice for a climber, and not in an altogether obvious way. Obviously one needs to be at the peak of their fitness to climb their hardest. But is that really when a climber sends their project? It might not be. Envirionmental conditions also need to be right. The confluence of factors that could allow an ascent all need to line up relatively well for the opportunity to present itself. In practice this could mean I surprise myself with a redpoint on an uncharacteristically cold, dry day during a fitness lull. Conversely, an ascent could materialize when there is a little humidty or it is a little too hot but my fitness is just then peaking. Ideally I’m ready physically and psychologically when the universe tosses me a bone. I need to be prepared.

“A Scout smiles and whistles under all circumstances.”
— Robert Baden-Powell