Friday, April 17, 2015

Bye bye Kentucky (Get humled by the warmup)

I was not aware of the trad climbing potential of the Red until I went through the North guide book. Max and I decided to use one rest day for trad. I picked two classic, easy routes at the Long wall: Autumn (5.9+) and Rock Warrior (10a).

I got terrified leading the 5.9+ warmup.

Everyone gets scared, yes, but this was the irrational kind of fear, which had nothing to do with any actual risk or my ability to climb. I was a little nervous about placing gear again but, honestly, I was expecting to fly up these things since the grades were well below my limit.

It had been six months since I last placed trad gear so in retrospect I blame the transition. Transitions are challenging for me. Being able to go from indoor bolt ladders to placing gear smoothly is a skill I don't yet possess. I can't even make the transition between sport and trad very smoothly yet. It probably has to do with the lack of climbing years - lack of experience. I have not made this transition very many times and I assume to pick up from where I left off.

I had a talk about this with some girlfriends of mine at the gym the other day. As it turns out, they just experienced similar fears in Bohuslän. If you live in an area like the Southern Finland you have two options. Either you travel to keep the flow going or you accept the seasonal nature of climbing and get used to the transitions.

Max cleaning Rock wars (5.10a). Max had to tell me: "Emma, 
you have a piece at your waist. How about making another move?"
Classic! :D
The white birch looking tree had beautiful red flowers.

Sports clipping is not scary at all!

Max pre hanging the first four draws
for  a 12c in the Solarium.

Then Max sent 12c 3rd go.

Similar rest but no send. Sad day for Emma on Manifest Destiny (12a).

On our last day in the Muir Valley I had really only one climb I wanted to do: Air Ride Equipped (5.11a). It looks scary because it is crazy steep. I had just one hung the 5.12a next to Air ride, so (once again :D) I assumed to fly up this easy 11a. Only one thing can happen after having thoughts like that.

Get humbled by an 11a!

The first move of Air ride equipped is harder than any move on the 12a next door. I fell about five times trying the first move. Max asked me if I would like to stick clip the first draw. "Stick clip? Noooo, I'm fine."

There is a fine line between being persistent and being stupid.

I fell another three times, but now from the sloping jug higher up.

"I might want to stick clip."

Then I fell another three times. Finally I got it after about 15 minutes of falling all over the place.

A huge group of college kids were following me the whole time. I felt bad for cutting in. Did I mention I cut in? YES. I actually cut in, because I wanted to climb it before we leave. I was glad the rest was fun heel hooking and pulling roofs on jugs.

Corn tortilla goes burrito. Delicious unprepared, dry corn tortilla! Authentic!

I bet you'd rather have this one.

All in all the grades at the Red felt very inconsistent, which was a little surprising to me since the walls we climbed at see a lot of traffic. Maybe I am an inconsistent climber? On the other hand, not letting grades scare me and climbing routes that looked fun was, well, more fun. The bolting was very friendly.

Out of the 40 something routes I climbed, here are the ones I enjoyed the most. For your convenience, they are not in any particular order.

Glory and consequence (5.7+) The first move is tricky for the grade but very, very fun. 
Bitter ray of sunshine (10a) Climb the cool water groove!
EGBG (10a) This route is tall and has it all! Pull a roof, stem, rest, climb jugs, pull mini-roofs, clip the chains and enjoy the view at the top of the cliff.
Air ride equipped (11a) I wonder if the name has to do with the perma draws. Figure out the first 11a(++++++) move. Heel/toe-hook and thigh-jam your way up the steepest 11a you have ever been on.
Manifest Destiny (12a) Thin steep climbing to a no hands rest to big moves pulling a roof. No send but a lot of fun.
Banchee (11c) One of the best climbs I've done anywhere. My favorite climb of the trip.
Rock Wars (10a trad) This is one of the most beautiful lines I have climbed. Thin flake to a no hands rest to a pumpy traverse to the anchor.
Psyberpunk (11c) is one of the few vertical/slab climbs.
Immaculate Deception (12a) This route is beautifully positioned on the arete on the right side of the Sanctuary. An aesthetic climb! Figuring out the short person beta for the bouldery moves in the beginning was very satisfying. On my first go I fell from the 11easy jugs at the top. Great success!
Oompa (10a) and Loompa (10b a proud bolt to bolt go) were both super fun!
Return of the Manimal (10d) and Hey there Fancy Pants (10c) are the best routes in the Bruise Brothers wall. It is a great warmup and beginner wall.

On our last day in Lexington Jamaica took me shopping.

Re-hydrating with TJ's tiny cucumbers. Shopping is exhausting!

Bye bye Merkka!

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