Damn it feels good to be a gangsta

Yesterday, Saturday August 18th was a rest day. But on this rest day, I decided to build a platform bed in my apartment. This involved hauling a bunch of wood up a steep set of stairs by myself. Not fun! Then the chore of actually building the damned thing. It took twice as long and twice as much energy than I had anticipated. Needless to say, a nap was in order afterward. But it went from nap to just sleeping, and I awoke about 4 hours or so later, roughly 8pm.

Normally this wouldn’t be a big deal, but I had to be in clear creek by 9am to meet up with my buddy frank. we were going to shoot some video with his buddies for a trailer for an upcoming documentary we’re going to shoot (more on that at a later date). So I HAD to be there.

Due to my mis-timed nap, I didn’t end up actually falling asleep until about 4 in the morning. My alarm went off at 7 and I felt like absolute dog shit! I ate breakfast and drank my coffee, and I still felt terrible. But I had made a commitment, and had to see it through.

I made it to the pullout at the new river wall in clear creek just after 9; nothing short of a miracle! We hiked down there in the blazing hot sun. Seemingly a mistake…it was not getting me fired up to climb. But we got down there, warmed up, and waited for the film crew to arrive. They got some footage of us warming up, but soon it was time for some try-hard. Cameras were all set up, and I was tying in with a lot of nervous energy. the only thing on my side was the lack of any semblance of expectations, that’s how bad I felt.  But I cruised through the bottom part of ‘sonic youth’ flawlessly and was staring at and anticipating the crux traverse. I launched out into the opening moves feeling good. The next clip is weird, as I am not tall enough to easily clip the draw. I have to tap it and get it swinging first, then wait for it to get close enough to throw the rope in. I completely botched it! I stabbed at it and missed 4 or 5 times, had to get it swinging again, missed 1 more time, then got it clipped. All the while, I was just hanging on my left arm and slowly starting to panic. I composed myself as best I could, and punched straight into the crux. 

I surprisingly hit all the moves with precision: right hand pocket, cut feet and swing right foot to bad drop-knee foot, cross left hand under to full-pad crimp, drop knee crazy hard and hit shitty Gaston sloper, build feet up to stand in small 2-finger pocket, hit full-pad incut crimp, let feet go and swing left hand into bad sloper, find garbage right foot (very slopey) and dive wildly into a giant jug. Whew, that’s a lot of beta for a small section of wall. All went well except I didn’t exactly hold onto the last jug. I got a few pads on there with my left hand but was too pumped to hold on. Shit. But it was a highpoint!

After resting, belaying, and eating (roughly 30 to 45 minutes of resting), it was time to have another go. Sitting in the sun had drained me, but I had to start climbing.  This time, success! I stuck the jug, continued through the rest of the traverse and fired the final boulder problem with no wasted motions or energy; a flawless victory! icing on the cake, it was all captured on film! I’m looking forward to seeing the send from am outside perspective!

This climb, ‘sweet inspirations’, clocks in at 13c. I think it is just as difficult as ‘public enemy’, which I sent earlier this season. This brings me to the bittersweet part: I am downgrading my previous hardest ascent one letter grade from 13d to 13c. It sucks, but it’s the correct thing to do. If I’m not honest with myself and these personal grades, I’m doing myself a disservice.

All that said, I’m psyched on this one! The moves initially felt crazy hard, and I actually walked away from it after one attempt. I’m glad I went back to it. I spent maybe 10 times total on the route, and it took 4 or 5 legit redpoint goes to seal the deal. On to the next one, I guess.

P.s. As soon as I am made aware of the existence of the video footage of the send I will post it.  And as details of our trip and filming in Mexico starts fully gelling, I will update as well. Time to renew my passport!

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