First of all, I would like to apologize for the gapping hole in my blog posts. I started writing a couple of times but was quickly distracted by guidebooks, hammocks, snack food, making delicious breakfasts and the TV show “Curb your enthusiasm”. Now that I have watched the first 4 seasons of that show, I can move on to more productive things.
|One of my delicious breakfasts|
For those of you who haven’t been to the Red…I’m sorry. This place is a dream world (for climbers that is). So many beautiful lines, amazing features, and perfect holds. We’ve been climbing 2 days on, one day off. By the end of the second climbing day, a rest day is much needed. The Red doesn’t so much strain muscles the way climbing in the Bow Valley does; it’s more akin to running with your arms. You get to a point where no matter how big the next hold is, or how long you stay in the no hands rest, your arms just can’t recover. It’s a unique combination of steep angles, massive holds, and indefinite cruxes that makes the climbing so enjoyable.
After having climbed 11 days here, I am finally starting to feel as though I’m getting some fitness for this place. Those who know my climbing style, know that generally speaking I tend to crimp more than the average climber (crimping is when you are holding on to a small edge and bring your thumb onto your forefinger for some added leverage). Somehow, this has changed here. Whenever I bring my thumb up to crimp, I can almost instantaneously feel the lactic acid rushing into my forearms. It’s all about relaxing on the holds and keeping your arms straight. Bringing it back to the basics.
I don’t mean to boast; however, a couple days ago I achieved a career-climbing goal of mine. I flashed/onsighted a 5.13a. To flash a route means that you climb it first try with prior knowledge of the climb. To onsight means that you climb it first try without prior knowledge. I had belayed Marshal on the route, and therefore knew that the top gets pumpy…as does every other route in the Red. In fact by reading the guidebook description you learn more about the route than may be considered acceptable for “flash” status. I can’t really decide whether to call this a flash or an onsight. But, whatever, it’s all just semantics. What I do know is that I felt great climbing the route. As soon as I got through the crux I knew I had it. I knew that I could rely on the fitness that I had gained through the previous 10 days of climbing to get me to the top, and I knew as long as I kept my composure, that I would clip the chains. That’s the funny thing about the climbing here. The hardest moves on the routes are never really the hardest moves. Sure, they require a heightened level of attention, and physical ability, but it’s the moves afterward that are always the kicker. The inconspicuous “good” holds that catch you when you’re already pumped; those are the most trying moves on the route.
|Home sweet home|
That's all for now.