I had my yearly "I'm too freaked out, and I'm getting down now" day yesterday at Cathedral.
We went up with intentions of climbing the Mordor Wall.
Now really, my aid climbing experience is very limited. That being said if I can keep my head straight, I really enjoy me some hook moves. What I hate is cleaning traverses. I let them throw me off, and everything I touch becomes a shit show. Aiders and daisies twisted around the rope, and everything else. Jugs jamming in biners as I try to pass them by gear. No idea how all this happens, so fixxing it takes twice as long, but I get everything worked out and get feeling better. Too little too late, the damage is done to my head.
I really believe my first mistake was leaving my flask at home. The second would be not getting beer on the way up North. Nick lead the first pitch very nicely. No cursing or struggling, just calm, quiet and steady. So after struggling and flailing for I dont know how long, I manage to get to the belay. I take, I don't know, five or six minutes to get clipped in. I know Nick is relieved I am up there, but pretty sure he's not liking how long it took me. I start looking at the second pitch, which an hour or so ago I was all gung ho on leading. Not so much anymore... I said "I'm done, it's time to get down". I hate that felling of defeat when I resolve to go back to the ground. Little did I know it was most likely a blessing in disguise.
We got some beverages of a refreshing nature and checked the guide for something else to do. We decided on Standard Route, the Toe Crack variation, which is a great pitch. I lead the first, up the dike next to the chiminey, to the slabs underneath the belay ledge. Was in my hiking boots till I slipped and caught by a red zero. First time I fell on gear. Was very comforting to see it held. Quickly changed into my climbing shoes and made some progress. Head still a little screwy I built an anchor UNDER the belay ledge until I was asked, "wouldn't it be easier to belay from ON the ledge", which turned out to in fact be the case. Nick lead the crack with great cool and confidence. If he ever gets freaked out he doesn't show it. Got to the cave with a lot of dark clouds moving in. Nick thought we should consider retreat in case of lightning. I said "eh I think we can get this in the bag before the weather gets bad". And then we heard the thunder and Nick said "we're getting out of here", to which I replied "Yeah, I'm good with that".
Back on the ground I was coiling the rope when the rain started, and by the time we got to the car it was coming down pretty good. Cracked a beer, looked to see if anyone was still on the wall, and hung out under the kiosk for a few. I think if we continued up Mordor at my pace we would have been too far, and probably mid-pitch, to retreat before the lightning.
So there it is. We bailed off Cathedral twice in one day.
Anyone want to go climbing?