Sunday, March 24, 2013

New River Update

Well, today was a rest day and the next few will be too given this forecast:

Fortunately the past two days were solid climbing days and I'm quite sore so the rest will be appreciated.

So far the weather has been pretty hit or miss---and mostly cold---but I've still managed to get in frequent climbing days. I'm four days of work into my Rapunzel project and at the verge of cracking it. two days ago I did the crux boulder problem in two overlapping sections. Hopefully I'll be able to piece the whole 8 move sequence my next day on the route. I have the 5.13 opening section fairly well dialed in and I climbed the pumpy but relatively juggy finish the other day without too much difficulty.

If the crux goes down on my next day, it may be game on in terms of switching from TR to the sharp end. That switch is always a bit difficult for me. Not because of the fear or danger associated with lead climbing. Rather, it's the switch from non-commitally working moves to the pressures of actually going for a send. Before every attempt it weighs on me whether I'll succeed or fail. This is a natural part of climbing and overcoming it can be rewarding. Nevertheless, the butterflies in the stomach are never welcome. I'm excited though for this transition and looking forward to giving burns and taking some good whippers. Usually I can overcome the butterflies by just telling myself that I'll go up and have fun on the route because the stone is beautiful, the moves are rad and being above gear is exciting. I try to fully accept the possibility of failure. Sometimes I worry that this attitude might hold me back because "I don't want it bad enough." That said, I go into every section with the attitude that I'm going to try my hardest so hopefully that is enough to make me perform at my limit without the extra baggage of the fear of failure.

This attitude worked for me yesterday on a sport route I was trying out at Beauty Mountain. Several days earlier, I was out there with the guidebook writer, Mike Williams, trying his route Picket Fence 14b. Mike hooked me up with a ton of beta for the cryptic sequences and I was able to figure them all out on my first go. I gave a redpoint burn at the end of that day for the hell of it and got pretty far into the crux sequence before I bungled a move (probably because of a mental mishap). Yesterday I got back on the route unsure of whether I was going to rework the moves or just go for a link. I pretty much just took it one move at a time and gauged how my body felt after each move. Things went well through the first boulder problem and then I found myself midway through the second boulder problem realizing that I had a chance at sending. I kept climbing one move at a time and was a bit shocked to soon be clipping the anchors. It was definitely a cool experience on a cool route. It was also nice to get some exposure to other 5.14s in the area to gauge the difficulty of the Rapunzel project. Check out this awesome video that LT11 put together of some sport routes in the new that includes Mike climbing Picket Fence.

Here's a photo I took of the bridge today with the bad weather closing in. Not really a great shot, but it shows the magnitude of the bridge here which never ceases to amaze me. This bridge is perhaps the most impressive feat of engineering I've ever witnessed. Truly inspiring that we can create things like this.

Hopefully the weather will clear soon and I'll have some good news to report when I post next. Until then, I'll be spending a lot of time huddling indoors, working on my computer, reading, and constantly watching my almost 2-year old who is beginning to earn the nickname "the destroyer." I'll also try to get some more photos of my project to better portray it visually.


  1. Excited to hear that you're on the East Coast trying some hard stuff! The Rapunzel thing sounds nasty, can't wait to see it go down.

  2. Thanks Lee. Glad to hear your rooting for me on Rapunzel.

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