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Dr. Regina E. Schulte-Ladbeck

Rock Climbing Poetry A book of poetry and images for rock climbers and their friends. Published and distributed by


From darkness to light 2012

Rock Climbing Poetry Dr. Regina E. Schulte-Ladbeck 2012

Rock Climbing Poetry Dr. Regina E. Schulte-Ladbeck 2012

Copyright 2012 by Dr. Regina E. Schulte-Ladbeck The photography, dreamscape photomontages, and poetry are the original work of Dr. Regina E. Schulte-Ladbeck. The space overlays are credited to the digital photo editors Picnik and Pixlr.

Published by RESLscience. Please visit us at and like RESLscience on Facebook!



Pamela Vaull Starr

"Reach high, for stars lie hidden in your soul. Dream deep, for every dream precedes the goal."

Climbers & Locations Cover Page: Felipe Trevizan, Mt. Hood, Oregon P. 2: John Hughes, Seneca Rocks, West Virginia P. 5: Felipe Trevizan, Smith Rock, Oregon P. 6: Robert "Dr. Bob" Coblentz, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania P. 7: Seneca Rocks, West Virginia P. 9: Matthew Wikswo, Seneca Rocks, West Virginia P. 11: Paige Chicklo, Manchester Wall, Virginia P. 12: Mitch Hyman, Seneca Rocks, West Virginia P. 13: John Hughes, Seneca Rocks, West Virginia P. 15: Judith Scanlon, Teewinot, Wyoming P. 17: Jim Schuring, Joshua Tree, California P. 18: Felipe Trevizan, Tennessee Wall, Tennessee P. 19: Robert "Dr. Bob" Coblentz, Irishtown, Pennsylvania P. 20: Harini Aiyer, Red River Gorge, Kentucky P. 21: Judith Scanlon, Shawangunks, New York P. 23 & 24: Teton Range, Wyoming P. 25: Robert "Dr. Bob" Coblentz, Secret Cliffs II, Pennsylvania P. 27: Climbers on the Monkey Face, Smith Rock, Oregon P. 28: Tara Powers, Seneca Rocks, West Virginia P. 29: Felipe Trevizan, Foster Falls, Tennessee P. 31: Judith Scanlon, Worshipper, Wyoming P. 17: The author & John Hughes, Seneca Rocks, West Virginia P. 35: Toni Price, Seneca Rocks, West Virginia


Bonfire The stars over my head as I breathe in. Peace. End of season 2008 at Seneca Rocks. Peace was hard to find that year. I was looking into the end-of-season bonfire in front of Tom Cecil's place thinking about Dr. Amy Stine, who fell to her death on October 11, 2008. She was leading a climb called Streptococcus, rated 5.9 G, on the North Peak East Face at Seneca Rocks in West Virginia. 8

Snowflakes Falling into the rock passing the spirits of the lost climbers

On my mind

End of Season 2009 at Seneca Rocks. In memory of Dr. Ian Shevill, who fell to his death on July 11, 2009, when his rope cut over an edge while leading La Bella Vista (5.10a, PG) at the South End of the South Peak, Seneca Rocks, West Virginia.

Falling Snowflakes


Objective Hazards Baby baby beckoning bolt Beckoning bolt there is no hold Baby baby beckoning bolt Clipped the bolt , feeling old

Dedicated to Liz and Rick Weber who have shared with all of us the treasure of Muir Valley in Kentucky.

Why do I not want to die Want to die when I climb high Why can I not trust the pro Trust the pro, experience flow Fate can slice the rope in two Objective hazards that is true When the 'biner is worn through On a project puppies do Immortality's for the young While to life old climbers clung Falling, falling never good But when you lived you understood Baby baby beckoning bolt Good as gold? Oversold Probabilities you should fear And when you die we split your gear.


The day we met Renny Where is your rope, your rope my friend? If you fall, this is the end! Why are you on Cube Point's peak without a rope to safe you keep? Well, good sir, you think we gambled, when turned right and up we scrambled? In the Tetons we free solo, fifth class roped we hear's a no-no. Plus it wasn't all that hard. And now we're here, it's our reward.

The down climb looks quite hard, so true, without a rope. What a snafu. I'm scared to pieces, it's so exposed! How, Jude, how, can I stay composed?

Back down the couloir and still alive! Jude and I are going to survive! The big adventure of our year. We climbed a mountain with lots of fear.

We found it, climbed it, got back down, and we met the world renown Renny Jackson, who's co-written, the Teton guidebook. We were smitten!

Renny, Renny, climbers' friend, made our big day's happy end. My partner kicks ass! Just say when, Jude, you and I will climb again. Dedicated to Renny Jackson, whom Judith Scanlon and I met climbing on Cube Point, WY, in fall 2011. He showed us a better way down.


Go you! Sometimes you get into something and you can't get out. Not that that has ever happened while I climbed about. Other people get on routes on which they then get stuck. This is why those other people really really succeed climbing so much harder than I do. Go you!


Shooting Star Living without reason Climbing every season Adding knowledge to the tomes Photons dancing on my screen Galaxies from another time On my mind But then Outside, sunlight, trees and rocks, Leading, focus, inner peace, Skills no higher purpose served, Friendship and companionship Climbing every season Living is the reason.

End of season 2010 at Seneca Rocks. 22

Front Tooth There is sunshine in the sky of my mouth. Where the adze of my ice tool hit me, my tooth fell out. It did not hurt. Well, not at first. I just don’t want you to see me. I’m staying in my house. The fake tooth flips, back and forth, in an out. I will find solace in my city.

For Felipe Trevizan


Pinnacle Rhymes Cockscomb, Monkey Face, Humphrey's Head. Idol, Worshipper, Mount Margaret. Cube Point, Elephant Rock, Devil's Bedstead. If you can think of more rhymes you're a smart biped.


After Dark

Descent humbling Partner grumbling “Why are we so late?” Sun was downing I was frowning Traffic Jam delayed Nature calling Darkness falling And we’re tempting fate Headlamp missing Moonlight kissing That’s a climber date!


The Sharp End Why is it easier to trust someone with our lives than our love? I said good-bye to my fear of leading. But what of my fear of loving? And to be loved?

End of season 2011 at Seneca Rocks. This was a good season with a good partner! Dedicated to John Hughes.

Trad Love/LoveTrad Trad is trust. Trust is hard. Hard is good. Good is love. Love is good. Love is life. Trad is living it.


Thank you! To my climbing partners

You have enriched my life beyond my wildest imagination.

Climb on! Regina.


About the Author

Regina is an astronomer, professor, space scientist, rock climber, editor, publisher, photographer, and writer. She has co-authored more than 200 scientific publications with topics in astronomy and space science and taught astronomy to thousands of college students. She is the author of the climbing book "Fun Adventure Climbs at Seneca Rocks -- a ticklist for beginning trad leaders." Her small business RESLscience uses print-on-demand technology to publish content in space and adventure sciences. You may see Regina climbing at Seneca Rocks on weekends.


Rock Climbing Poetry  

Photography of rock climbers is mashed up with outer space images to accompany poems of suffering and joy on the rocks. To buy this book a...

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