CHOOSE LIFE ( 5.13+), SEAL ROCK

Climbing - - FROZEN IN TIME -

Climber: Chris Tay­lor

First as­cent: Matt Samet, Ted Lan­zano; 2012

The mega-pop­u­lar Choose Life was sussed out on toprope for its lead po­ten­tial dur­ing the ban but then aban­doned as be­ing to­tal death as a gear lead—hence the name. Open­ing the south face of Seal Rock, one of Boul­der’s premier walls, to bolt­ing in­volved seven years of ne­go­ti­a­tions with OSMP, but the wait was worth it. The wall now has eight sport climbs from 5.11b to 5.14b. Best of all, OSMP and the FCC teamed up to build an amaz­ing trail up the fi­nal, steep ap­proach grade.

Choose Life fol­lows wa­ter-fused stone up a wide black streak on ribs, flanges, mini-pock­ets, and peb­bles, with an airy crux pass­ing the next-to-last bolt. “Choose life. Choose a job. Choose a ca­reer. Choose a fam­ily. Choose a fuck­ing, big tele­vi­sion. Choose wash­ing ma­chines, cars, com­pact disc play­ers, and elec­tri­cal tin can open­ers….” Irvine Welsh wrote in

Trainspot­ting. Or you could choose to hang on for dear life, avoid­ing the in­fa­mous crux whip­per.

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