A few days ago (FINALLY, and when I say finally, I mean 4 years FINALLY) I sent a long-time sport climbing proj. I believe, but am not 100% positive, it was a first time for a woman to climb this route (rated 13a/d depending on who you ask! My favorite quote about Aesthetics—named for the beauty of the rock and setting, not, in my opinion, the climbing which is unconventional and thuggy!—from 8a is "harder than Realization?!" ;-)) For a long time, nothing I was doing worked, so I said "f-it!" and threw all caution, planning and plotting to the wind and decided to just have fun during this fabulous fall weather that officially ended today.
Lisa Hathaway - Doing it All Wrong to Get it Done
'lll probably go on (and on and on) about what it means to have a truly epic proj at some point, but until then I thought I'd share my - er - unconventional approach to sending a big one. ;-) Hey, what ever works, works! I can think of countless times when I've done everything "right" and been kicked to the curb by a proj, so why not do everything wrong?! But any one who has spent much time climbing at Mill Creek and Big Bend can appreciate how dubious this approach of climbing 9 of 11 days was!
Lisa's tactic for sending the epic power-sucking proj:
Wed & Th: climb at MC. try proj each day.get kicked to curb (soundly.) Do pull-ups and flys and one-arm (assisted) lowers Th night as punishment/training … while eating pizza & drinking beer … ok, not as bad as it sounds.
Fr: rest. Big saturday ahead of bouldering, wedding-ing and Halloween gigging!
Sat: boulder hard on another ego crushing proj @ Big Bend (The Grim Reacher—i'm "only" 5/6 on-off seasons on this one) with the old gang (yah Noah, Kris, Eric, Jen, Luke, Theo and Robin!), watch all the boys re-send the proj with my new beta (to compensate for a critical hold that broke) while I get dusted. HARUMPH! go to BEAUTIFUL wedding (congrats Tait and Koel!), then play Halloween disco gig til 3 am.
Su & Mo: climb hard at MC, try proj both days and fail on new "low" high point. WTF.
Tue: REST … sort of … yard work … mountain ride bike … find new boulders!!!
Wed: Partner-less for perfect conditions Mill Creek, I boulder at Big Bend. 17 problems, "Big Bend v1-v5"
Th & F: Drag non-climbing BF to MC. 55º in the shade and not a single other body in the canyon. Warm up on proj Friday (who has time for warming up when you only have a belayer for an hour?!), try it twice, re-establish old high point. Climb another 13 on Th afternoon=warm up/project/warm down on r.p. limit.
Sat: 4th day on! Go to crag w fun friend @ 330 pm. Do 1 warm up. Fall on proj at SAME high point. Have temper tantrum. try sonnie's and stan-ley's alternative beta. nothing works. try "approved" beta. fall again. 2nd temper tantrum. Get wild hair … stick middle finger like a hook into "unclimbable" part of crack. do one arm-on said crook, and almost stick high-point move … try again, stick it but hamburger both hands' knuckles. Lower. Tell awesome partner "if I send this now w new "satan beta" I am going to be pissed!" she says "why not just send and be happy and drink a send beer?!" hmmmmm …
tape, tie in… stick THE move … freeze in confusion from actually sticking move … thrash up remaining 5.11 by skin of teeth … clip chains … cry just a little … ;-) Drink bottle of wine.
Sunday: Bask in glory? HECK NO! Climb at MC!!!???!!! 6 5.11s in perfect conditions ;-) had to be my friend's bitch! Pay it forward, yo!