Author Topic: short trip in many words  (Read 468 times)

Offline bag11s

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short trip in many words
« on: December 05, 2008, 05:51:54 pm »
Standing back a ways from the base of the climb it looks crazy like some dangerous gathering of axe heads pointing at all angles, none of which seem from the ground like they will be useful. It,s sort of an obvious line yet has an illogical look, partly because it arches over drunkenly and partly because of its crashing wave texture. The rock architecture is composed of sets of parallel curving striations in black and white and grey. They sweep out in bundles, the bundles all broken off at their ends. Everything is arching over and out and the bundle ends are Hokusai explosions, spiny with roughness.

The first clip is reached right off a stone cube in the talus that,s oriented at forty five degrees yaw and forty five degrees tilt so that I can stand on its thin arête. This bolt is located out of sight at around head height but is under and away from me. Knowing it,s there, I can lean on a projecting rock bulkhead that is the first wave and reach out and up and feel around and clip it. I clip the rope into the draw.

Then I stand down and wave my arms around, breathing and trash talking to myself. I,m going through a weird ritual of getting psyched and calming down at the same time. I want the psyche to approach psychotic levels. I want the calmness to be Shaolin. I,m confidant that I,m fully warmed up, having been doing a mix of climbing easy pitches and belaying for a couple of hours. After this bit of prep, (which, of course, doesn,t seem enough) I fancy myself ready.

I get on that weird edge and put both hands on the rock. I get horizontal. The feet are specifically placed on another tilted block that,s further in and higher than the first. Getting any body weight on the feet is difficult right off. I reach up and across with the left hand to a four finger textured but sloping mail slot. The fingers feel all scrunchy on this hold even though it,s the first move. I dead hang the mail slot and reach right. Caressing this hold, I grip it with the pinky side of the right hand like you would hold a trumpet. With much care I switch feet to another weak position composed of a right knee bent at ninety degrees and a left foot fully extended in a straight deep in flag. My body now describes a dead level line from the left toe to the head. I focus my eyes directly right at a right trending crack way off and out. I compress my too-weak abs, and suck it up. I burst out and hit the crack with the right hand facing outward in a full tension thrutch. Bump it higher to the sweet spot. The distance being enough, my feet must peal out and as my weight comes fully onto the right hand in an arcing swing the left hand sweeps up to match. It,s a strong hang, strong in the sense that the hold is beefy in size with both hands facing one another about five inches apart. I set the left foot on a spot four feet from my face and in and under. I clip the second bolt.

Right here I,m obliged to keep moving. I crank in on the right, and my left hand snags an under-cling out left on the bottom of the second wave. I switch feet, placing my right one deep below. I,ve got to bring the left toe up to a ramp located just below and outside the left hand. As the ball of the foot contacts this smear, the left knee points straight right and with difficulty and a few attempts I sneak it in under the wave. I plunge the knee way back in then swing it left and lock it into a knee bar. If it,s not placed just exactly so I won,t be able to do the next stuff, and could even fall out of this position. I extend the right leg to describe a full straight line. I coax myself into a secure position by moving towards the left but facing slightly right. I reach way up and across with the right hand to a pathetic pinch: thumb below and fingers glommed with as much skin contact as possible onto the upper near vertical sloped surface on the next wave. With the left hand, I very carefully clip the draw into the bolt. I,m breathing. It seems very quiet all of a sudden. I seem to be aware of this special coordination of all my limbs at this specific moment. I very carefully get a bight of rope up and clip. I breathe and shake out, switching hands on equally useless pinches.

I chalk the left hand and blow on it with a staccato breath. I whisper c,mon. c,mon, c,mon to myself. Standing tall as I can I reach a long way around the next wave stub-end and glom onto its upper left outside slope. I move the right hand up to the next ridiculous pinch. The wavy arête is now like a giant bear, which is right up in your grill, and your hands are holding his ears with your thumbs facing your own eyes, and his nose is at your throat, and your body and feet are under him like he,s charging through the woods. Now comes the defining moment, extricating the knee bar. I suck into the rock, arcing my back and working the legs. With the max full-on core compression I can muster I get the knee bar disengaged. Now I am working it and working it to get the feet adjusted. Locking off the right outer hand as deep as I can, I,m busting a gasket to reach up left for a jug. Statically, I just get on it. I explore it and find its best spot. I reach across with the right hand to a 2 x 4 hold just above the left. I pinch it like Man Mountain Mike. I carefully place the left foot at chest height in a tiny horizontal flare and dynamically swing up and out, placing the right toe delicately on to the top of the bear,s nose. I let out a low long animal sound as I rock up onto the toe. I set another knee bar under the next wave and know for sure that I have it in the bag. After a couple more gratuitous excruciating pumpy moves thrown in for good measure, I clip the chains.

It,s short but has a lot going for it. It,s brutal but delicate, and pumpy but mental.