Monday, 28 February 2011

Orchestral Crack

I pull on. It’s a lay back start sustained committing hard. Its 4 or 5 moves later I manage to pull on the ledge I am now sweating the start was harder than I was expecting I am on a ledge now its big enough to be comfortable not too big to make me feel set. I place two runners one on each of my ropes. The rest of the route looks steep and awkward. I grab a good hold place my foot on a small edge and jam my other foot in the crack I feel around and I can’t work out the move. I reverse to the ledge.
Slight nervous I give my runners a tug. They seem solid. I try and relax. I am now sweating more profusely. I wipe the sweat from my forehead with the back of my arm. Feeling slightly nervous I dip my hands in my chalk bag. I grab the big hold again. I step on the small edge and get the foot jam again. Pressing down on the hold I stand on the foot jam. Feeling solid I search for a good hold. I find a little edge good enough to pull on I lower my weight onto it and then place my left foot on the big hold where my hand was. I ease my right foot out of the jam and rock on to my left foot now feeling committed even though my gear is just below my feet I search for gear. I place a cam feels okay but the crack is slightly flared. I find a little a slopey spike. I have fully stood on my left I feel the steepness of the route in my arms. The pump is building. I decide I need to keep moving and manage to move a few feet higher easily. I have a good hold for my right hand a solid foot jam. I have two good points of contact. Feeling slightly bewildered I place a poor nut and clip my right rope.
The sweat is now pouring from my head and running into my eyes. My eyes are stinging from the salty sweat. I am feeling tired and pumped. I see a good hold but it is out of reach. I am nervous my leg is feeling the strain its only 12 metres of grit but it feels like I have been climbing for hundreds of metres. I am tired the heat is getting to me. I am pushing myself to what feels my limit. It’s not the hardest route I had ever done but it was not my style, I fumble in a cam and clip my left rope. I commit thinking this mus be the last hard move I manage to find another foot jam I weight it and manage to get my right foot high. The gear is now in sight. The cam is poor the nut is not bomber it my hold. I commit. I stretch at full reach I get it I feels solid. I pull on it. Its solid I work my feet up and grab a good hold I am now set. I find a good piece of gear and clip my might rope.
My eyes are burning I cant think. I see where I need to go. But I can’t workout how to get there. I am moving from an overhanging wall onto a long angle slab. My arms aching with pump. I see a crack about 3mm wide I try to dig my fingers in and crimp but the angle is all wrong. I look for foot holds I cant see anything. I then see a possible edge but again it is out of reach. Again I look for a foot hold my arms now feel ready to give up. Again I can’t see anything. Suddenly I remember a ledge which is now out of site about knee height. I guess where the edge is I feel my toe pressing on something but the position feels wrong and smaller that what I was expecting. I try pressing on the foothold. I think its moving. Not able to see what I am stood on I move my foot around desperate to find some thing bigger. Now starting to panic and breath heavy I find the previous edge. Psyched out I think its smaller this time but knowing I need to move I press hard on my foot and reach up for the previously out of reach hold. My fingers get over the lip of the hold at full extension. I strain and pull on the edge begging my foot to stay put. I pull hard on the hold and bring my right foot high and place it on another out of sight foot hold. I put my weight on the foothold. I match the hold now leaning over the slab the hold feels bigger but unable to see my feet I pull with my belly on the slab. I just need to get my feet on my previous hand hold I will of completed the route. I bring my left foot up feeling round for an edge.
Desperate for any edge I feel panicked again. I find something I stand on it I think I have done it its over. I get my right foot on the slab. I stand up. I see the fixed hanger I grab a screw gate and clip my self in with a sling. I let out a joyous shout of ‘SAFE’. My belayer reply’s off belay. I am relieved I am excited I forget the tired I forget the pump. I forget that my eyes are stinging. The ecstasy and relief leaves my with a massive smile on my face. I feel even better when my belayer tops out on the route and says great route glad I dint lead it.

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