Friday, January 21, 2011

Suck it up Princess

2011-01 Red Rocks 2

[by Shelley]
I’m pretty sure Andrew was thinking “Suck it up, Princess!” But he didn’t say it out loud.

After yesterday’s longer multi-pitch route we were back to harder one-pitch sport climbs. It was my turn to lead. The first bolt hanger was a long way off the ground! The book said the crack to the left of the climb could be protected with a cam. We’re sport climbing you stupid book! All the trad gear is in the car.

“It’s an awfully long way to the first bolt,” I said.

“It looks pretty easy though,” said Andrew. “Besides, if you fall you’ll just slide down this smooth slab.”

Uh-huh. And lose a whole bunch of skin in the process. Not to mention the landing. That rock isn’t exactly padded you know. And did you happen to notice the ledge we’re standing on? It’s only a couple feet wide? And it’s sloping? And it’s another 10 feet or so to the next level of unpadded rock?

“Well, I don’t plan on falling,” I said. Suck it up, Princess.

Andrew was right though, the part to the first bolt was easy. Nice positive hand holds and good foot holds.

I clip the first bolt and look waaaay up to the second one. Ground fall potential, I think to myself and say so to Andrew. “No, I don’t think so. You’ll be fine.” Easy for him to say, safe on the ground. Who’s he trying to kid anyway?

I keep going. The first half of the 140 foot route isn’t overly difficult, just not very well protected. As I go higher though, the foot and handholds become more and more sparse until there aren’t any at all. “Trust your feet!” was the mantra with each move. Not . . . going . . . to . . . fall.

Although it was a bit unnerving, I didn’t fall! You gotta love gritty sandstone. Especially once you get used to it. That’s the joy of going to a variety of places to climb. They’re all different and all have a different feel and characteristic to the rock.

The rest of the day was a bit tamer, even the ridiculously hard climb we top roped. Andrew managed to get to the top of it, I only got about ¾ of the way. The last climb of the day was lots of fun – a layback crack with good holds and big pumpy moves.

Tomorrow is a “rest day” so we’ll do some hiking and then visit the REI store – and Andrew’s wondering if there’s an Apple store in Vegas :-)

1 comment:

  1. Well, it was -37C with the wind chill here, but I think I would rather brave that then what you did :o)