So Friday evening, off we went with our friends Jay and Marcy. We stayed two nights this time, and the whole weekend was a lot of firsts for me. First two-night camping trip. First route over 60 feet tall. (Two of them, actually.) First 5.10a-rated route (usually I stick to the 5.6s and 5.7s). And first time lead climbing on an outdoor route, which is waaaaay harder than top rope climbing. All of those were pretty terrifying, to be honest. There were a lot of moments where I just stood/hung/clung there and thought, I can't do this. I'll fall too far, it's too high, I'm not strong enough physically. But then I told myself, you chased a criminal this week while you were wearing flip flops and a dress. You can do anything. And then I did it. I did it all.
Sadly, none of the photos below are of me. They're shots of Matt, Jay and Marcy that I took on my phone. Marcy has a bunch of really great shots of me (and everyone else) on her camera, so once she gets them uploaded I'll post a few :)
First row: Jay on Kentucky Pinstripe (80 ft, 5.10a) at the Lady Slipper/Global Village wall (the arrow is pointing him out waaaay at the top) | Matt on the same | Marcy on Eureka (85 ft, 5.6) on the same wall
Second row: Matt on Eureka | Jay on Creature Feature (60 ft, 5.9) at the Phantasia wall | Matt on the same
Third row: Matt on Methane Rising (60 ft, 5.11a--the one he didn't finish last time) at the Bruise Brothers wall | Insta of Marcy on The Offering (45 ft, 5.7) at the same wall (aka my favorite route at the Red so far) | Jay on the same | Matt on the same
Fourth row: first two are Matt on The Offering | view from our tent on Saturday at Miguel's
I tried Creature Feature but could barely get six feet up--it was the end of the day, and the start was really difficult. We also climbed a newer 5.7 route (about 60 feet, maybe?) at Bruise Brothers, but I can't remember what it's called and it's not in our guidebook. And we went swimming, played around on the slack line I got Matt for his birthday, and just generally had a good time. It was exactly what I needed. When I climb, I get really in the zone. It's like meditation, or a trance, and all I can think about is where I'll put my foot next, what hold I can reach after that. It's a kind of focus that I just don't get from anything else in my life. And it's perfect for helping me forget about things that bum me out. It didn't hurt that the weather was absolutely gorgeous and I was getting a ton of endorphins from hiking and the climbing itself. Overall, it was a pretty amazing weekend.