Monday, June 4, 2012

Finally- outside!

A gorgeous forecast and a short closing shift in the evening on Saturday meant a whole bunch of outside time and climbing for me!  After a couple weeks of nothing but rain, a full weekend of beautiful weather- a weekend off, nonetheless- was like a cup of pure happiness for my soul!
S and I biked from our apartment to one of our small outdoor crags called the Whoopie Wall, and did some trad leading for the first time this year.

I love to Trad Lead.  You place gear in the rock as you go up, and you have to climb above each piece with a larger potential fall.  If your gear isn't placed well, it could also pop out when force is put on it, making your fall even farther.  It requires the climber to be in a completely different state of mind (or at least it does for me), trusting that they can climb something and not fall, and also trusting their gear and gear placements.
We started with some easier stuff, easing ourselves back into the mindset needed for trad climbing.  We have a lot of trad climbing we'll be doing on our month-long trip to Wyoming in July, so we want to get as much practice as possible!
Yesterday we drove up to my favorite haunt, Palisade Head along Lake Superior for a full day of climbing.  I worked a couple of my projects, both Mr. Lean (5.11d) and Oz (5.12b).  Not going to lie- both felt pretty rough.  I fell only once on Mr. Lean, though the whole route felt pretty desperate, and the cracks tore the backs of my hands apart. I pulled through the crux on the last part screaming, and stood on the ledge panting with a gigantic grin, beaming up at S and saying "THAT WAS AMAZING!" between gasps for breath.

I didn't get any pictures climbing since it was just the two of us, but I did get a picture of my friend Mat leading The Poseidon Adventure, the 5.11d that I named my big beautiful shawl after and the same climb that I pulled a chunk of rock off the size of my torso when I was climbing (scaring the daylights out of both myself and my belayer).
Going outside really motivated me to train harder, so I'm completely ready to climb hard on my trip.  One more week of dance before my nights are free to climb outside a TON! :)

PS- I started and got pretty far on a baby hat for my friend, which I'll hopefully finish in the next day or so, and I'll post pictures then. ;)

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