Sunday, November 22, 2009


So I had a pleasant surprise yesterday. I redpointed the first pitch which is a tough 12c for the first time. Then I started out on the second pitch. It was definitely a bit colder and there were some clouds which shaded the wall at times. Conditions felt better, but still not perfect. I was planning to try to link into the crux dyno to see how it felt from the start. I wasn't really serious about redpointing the pitch because I knew there was a move past the crux that I hadn't remembered how to do on my previous attempt. I did the first two cruxes and then pulled the last crux that leads to a good pod before the dyno. I rested at the pod for a while and then set up into the small crimps and bad feet that you jump from. Everything felt pretty good so I lunged to the left and to my surprise, stuck the hold. All of a sudden, I realized that I could redpoint the pitch right then. I was worried and nervous about the moves ahead which were still a bit unfamiliar. I took my time though, milked the rests, and somehow made it to the better slopey holds at the end of the pitch. At this point, I wanted to get to the end so badly that all technique went out the window and I grovelled my way to the jugs at the top of the pitch. I was so surprised that it was hard to believe that I had just done it. I really wasn't expecting this. I thought maybe I would have a chance in the morning shade when conditions were better, but in the afternoon sun? I guess things just came together well and I got a little lucky.

After a little rest, I went up on the third pitch (12d) to refresh the sequence. I came back down and prepared for a redpoint. I made it through the first half of the pitch just as dusk rolled in and as I rested at a good stance in the middle, everything became dark. I switched on my headlamp and gave a go at the crux section of the pitch. Only a few moves in, I was doing a technical foot move and couldn't see or feel the foot hold I was supposed to use. My other foot slipped and I was off. I gave up for the evening and came down to the valley floor to collect all the gear for spending a bunch of days on the wall.

I'm heading up there today soon and will haul all my gear up and spend tonight on the wall. Tomorrow morning, I'll give the third pitch another go and hopefully send first go. Then I'll try to climb the next three pitches (12a, 12b, 12c) and set up bivy before pitch 7 -- the next major 13+ crux. From there it all depends on how I feel and whether or not luck favors me. Hopefully I can sneak out a redpoint of pitch 7 on the next morning and then cruise up to the final cruxes on the route. I'll have enough gear to spend about 5 days up there so hopefully I can get it done. It'll definitely be tough though.

Here's the video of me climbing Midnight Lightning V8 a few days ago. It's not the best quality and is a bit squat for some reason, but no time to fix it now, got to get on the wall. Psyched!

Midnight Lightning from Matt Wilder on Vimeo.

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