Latching the ear, my body listed dangerously to the left, my foot miraculously finding its berth on the long, thin edge. With a split grip that was far from ideal, I struggled to readjust and salvage the attempt. It crossed my mind to abandon this go, but this was my first time sticking the crux move from the start and I was not going to give up without a fight. Swapping feet and latching the next crimp, then transitioning into the beginning sequence of Better Eat Your Wheaties, the send was anything but a given. It would be a struggle, both physically and mentally. With my body reeling from the tension depleted in the imperfect crux move, I was fading fast. I had rehearsed the top almost obsessively, determined to punch through if I linked to that point. Like so many of those dry runs, I hit crimp after crimp, each bringing me one step closer to bagging my first V13. Finally crossing into the second to last hold, a full hand jug, I could let out a breath of relief and pull over the lip. I had sent my project, Crown of Aragorn, my hardest to date. Standing on the top of the boulder, breathless and exhausted, I felt the elation of taking down my nemesis.
This summer came together much like most of the best things do, completely...