The Last Lead: Aging Out of Climbing


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Dick Dorworth Rock Climbing Old Climber Retire

Author Dick Dorworth, ~10 years ago, topping out the Mountaineer’s Route on the Elephant’s Perch in Idaho's Sawtooth Range for the last time. Photo by Dave Hart

It had to happen. The signs leading up to the last lead had been clear and chronic for several years, but with a mind fueled by denial that was stronger than an aging body trapped in reality, I had been able to ignore one of life’s more stubborn realities so poetically expressed by Robert Frost: “The afternoon knows what the morning never suspected.”