The Road to Céüse is the story of one man’s challenge to himself. The challenge? To climb Realization within 5 years.

Climbers will know what I mean. Non-climbers might not know. So let me try to explain.

I am a rock climber. Not a very good one, but I try my best. And I think it is the most rewarding activity I can participate in. You might even say I am passionate about climbing. Hence the 5 year plan.

It is difficult to explain all of this without getting overly climbnical, so I will just briefly explain the scope of what I am trying to do.

Climbing routes are graded on their difficulty. My current level is 5.8. The route I will attempt to climb at the end of the 5 years (2014) is graded 5.15. Not a huge difference, just a few decimals, eh? Well, Realization, and other 5.15 routes are basically the most difficult climbs in the world at present. It represents the ultimate in climbing acheivements thus far. Granted, Realization is no longer the most difficult route in the world, but it is very, very, very difficult. And I say this with complete confidence, in spite of no first hand experience with the route. But it is a beautiful line, on a gorgeous piece of rock called Montagne de Céüse.

In comparison Chris Sharma (considered by many to be the greatest climber of all time) started climbing when he was 12, and climbed realization when he was 19. I think.

Back to the here and now. I am 5′10, and I weigh 205 pounds. Not exactly a climbers body, at least not the body of a very good climber. I am not very strong, I can’t do a single pull-up, and I get winded fairly easily when engaging in vigorous activity. Did I mention I am 32 years old? Lots of work to do.

So I made a plan. A 5 year plan. It is not complete as of yet, I basically just set a goal for each year. I will update my plan with more stuff as I figure things out.

2010: Climb routes of grade 5.12

2011: Climb routes of grade 5.13

2012: Climb routes of grade 5.14

2013: Project Realization

2014: Send Realization at 5.15

I mentioned my current level is 5.8 so 2010 will be the year I tackle the most improvement in terms of grades. But I expect it to be much easier then the next year. And so on and so forth. I predict year 4 and 5 will be incredibly frustrating, absurdly intense in terms of training and very, very painful, but ultimately worth it. I will it so.

Most likely I will be required to climb and train full time for the last 2 years, and therefore I will probably be poverty stricken, unless I find a sugar mama who looks favourably upon my ventures in the vertical.


7 Responses to “The 5 year plan”

  1. 1 Lindsey @ Foodie on the Rocks June 22, 2010 at 16:25

    That is a serious plan, man! I seriously hope I’m still kickin’ around your blog in five years to see if you can do this!! Wow.

  2. 3 joytripproject July 5, 2010 at 14:54

    Thanks for the link to my interview with Sharma. Glad you liked it. Please don’t be disappointed if you goals take longer than 5 years. You’ll have plenty of years ahead of you after that deadline and hopefully decades to affirm your passion for climbing. Good luck.

    • 4 Paul July 5, 2010 at 16:50

      Thanks for dropping by. The 5 year plan is a big hairy goal. And even if I never climb Realization, I will always have my love for climbing. So no worries there.

  3. 5 Sam July 20, 2010 at 19:10

    Hi Paul

    Enjoying following your blog, awesome challenge. Let us know if you ever fancy climbing some Alpine limestone near Geneva, we’re also not so far from Ceuse! (although only one visit ever myself!)


    5.10c (ish) climber

    • 6 Paul July 22, 2010 at 18:54

      Alpine Limestone sounds awesome, so I just might take you up on that offer! Thanks for reading, and thanks for the offer. I hope to climb as many different places as I can, and limestone is definetely something I want to pull. I’ll get back to you if I am down that way.

      • 7 Sam August 9, 2010 at 14:02

        Cool, look me up !! I can always offer a place to crash for a night or 2 to a fellow climber on a mission !!

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