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Wrong Impressions - Emily Dudley

Wrong Impressions - Emily Dudley
October 31, 2013 - 

Summer in Colorado is an amazing time. The alpine climbing areas are teeming with motivated people projecting old and new climbs alike. The trails are packed with outdoor enthusiasts enjoying the breathtaking vistas that are the Rocky Mountains. This summer season was cut short. There were devastating floods closing most climbing areas. This was merely an inconvenience when compared to the devastation the flood caused to homes, roads, and businesses. But for every story of destruction there was another story of the generosity, heroism, and kindness of people in the climbing community. It made me thankful to be a part of this incredible close-knit family of fellow rock-climbers. 


Before the end of the season I was able to make it to Lincoln Lake, where, I decided to finally get on Chalk on Rock. This is a problem that I always avoided. A few seasons ago I touched some of the holds and thought “Nope, too sharp” Since then, I would do the warm-up on the arête and move to other boulders.

After much convincing by my boyfriend and promises that “It’s cleaned up nicely” I decided to give it a try. Surprisingly, I really enjoyed it! The movement was fun and varied. There are tension-y crimp moves to a dynamic jump move to a technical top-out.  And the rock actually had cleaned up nicely.

Just like my experience on The Idiot at Lincoln Lake, I was wrong. I had judged the line and my ability to do it too quickly. It is easy to forget how mental climbing is. If we get it into our heads that we can't or don't want to do a climb, we rarely put forth the effort needed to complete it. 

My experience with Chalk on Rock was another reminder that first impressions can be incorrect. And that I need to keep an open mind and have confidence in what I can accomplish when I try.

Photo credit: Paul Dusatko

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