I had a very odd experience this winter, where a stranger told me one of my own stories. It sourced from this blog; although he did not know that. Briefly:
I was out ice climbing in Rocky Mountain National Park with a new partner. It was our second time out together, and we were still getting a feel for one another, as humans and as climbers. This involves a lot of discussion of life, philosophy, and (mostly) previous climbs. My partner asked if I had climbed the Diamond, Colorado’s most famous alpine wall, to which I answered: yes, I had.
It’s not too bad but you’ll need to move fast, I said to him. Yeah I’ve heard, he says. My favorite story of the Diamond is some guy is up there, pitching it out, going all slow, when suddenly Alex Honnold and Tommy Caldwell just simulclimb by! Leaving them in the dust.
That event happened to me and my partner Beth, the first time we climbed the Casual Route. I mentioned it in the trip report I published here on Medium, and on my personal blog. Thanks to SEO, and because lots of people are interested in climbing the Diamond, those posts see a good amount of traffic (and they will see more this summer, as we enjoy Diamond season). Somewhere along the way, this person had read that post, or discussed it with someone else who had. My own story was getting away from me; taking on a life of its own in my community.
This was a thoughtful a moment for me.
I’ve published all sorts of stuff on the internet over the years. Some of it gets me into trouble, some of it earns me money, some of it succeeds and most of it falls into obscurity. I write when I feel like, trying my best not to be dominated by the desire to drive up stats. But the more content is published, the more visitors come.
For the past two years, I’ve been mostly climbing, and thus, mostly writing about climbing. Not all of those climbs have been written about, but the ones that I have posted, have been finding an audience.