I created this blog a while ago and haven’t done any thing with it so I thought I would just start today. The reality is I should really be working but what fun is that?
Fall is here! Climbing in the north east is at its prime right now and I’ve been taking some time to put some unfinished business to rest at my local crag. I’m gonna admit it, I’m a number chaser. If I’m not pushing myself physically or mentally I probably wouldn’t climb or ski. That being said I went after some “easier ” climbs I haven’t done yet.
Let me tell you something about grades; THERE FUCKING BULLSHIT!!!
Just because you on-sight a grade or red-point a grade doesn’t mean shit. Climbing is so subjective and in your mind you will walk up to a climb and send it. I knew that some of the climbs I wanted to do were and still are gonna fight back. There were some that i surprised myself and walked first burn or within 3 attempts, then there were the others…
one of those routes was “Fresh Squeezed”
This route Kicked me in the teeth, granted it took only 3 burns but they weren’t pretty to say the least. Every thing about this route was bad; the belay was on the edge of a pile of boulders, the first 12ft of the route involved more rattly holds then a bag of marbles, rope management was annoying, and at the top drag was a biotch.
On my first burn I couldn’t even figure out how to do the crux and was so covered in spiders I handed in my man card and aided to the top.
The next day I got on the fucker I was determined not to fail. Not wanting to die or in the least drop a rock on my lovely wife belaying me I aided to clip the 3rd bolt. I set up a good stance for her but could tell she wasn’t happy with me in the least. (side note ; I just had spent an hour and a half sending another not so pleasant route) I got on the route for a second burn and quickly dispatched the chossy boulder problem only to be stumped for 45 min trying to climb 5 ft of rock. That’s right 45 fucking minutes doing the same god damn move. Id hang there knowing my wife was being incredibly patient, wondering WTF!! I could hear it in her voice she was done, fuck it I was done! The rock didn’t make sense, there was no flow. The puzzle wasn’t coming together. I finally landed on a sequence that worked, as I climbed to the chains I yelled down “bebe are you ok with me doing this again”. I could tell she desperately wanted to say NO, and if she had I gladly would of walked away from this POS. But she knew me all to well, not putting this climb to rest today would mean coming back again, “ya go ahead”.
An hour later I’m setting up the rope and tying my shoes. I start to climb picking my way through the choss to the first hard move. My hands clutch a loose block I swear I could rip off if I tried, my feet are smearing on shit to avoid breaking a rock and sending me and it spitting off. I place my feet, drop knee, and pop for the lip. Blasphemies ensue as the rock cut into my hand and my feet go swinging. The wife yells up ” hey! leave the whores out of it ! they didn’t do anything to you!” I grunt let out a WHOOP! I climb to the crux, I really don’t want to fail. I climb it effortlessly, its precise, it has flow, hands grasp the nothing holds, and feet stick the magical toe hook. I send the route and am glad I don’t ever have to climb it again.
For me I wont brag about this climb, but I will try to sucker my friends into trying it. Since then I’ve run laps on some of the classics to help my bruised ego heal, but I’m not going to forget this one. It took patients of a different sort to send, the type that says strength and skill doesn’t matter. The type that says grade doesn’t matter.
Its the type that looks you straight in the face and asks:
“Are you good enough?”