Aaron trying to crush my skull
Oh man, what a good day Saturday was!!! So psyched about it right now. I was vibrating with energy and excitement on Saturday night! I felt like Remo!
We had a nice sized group come together for Saturday with Me, Katie, Ellen, Aaron and Chris Esser. We had a bunch of pads, tons of energy and shit got done!
Aaron met us at Boulders with pastries in hand and we went up to the North shore to warm up and wait for Chris and Ellen to meet us. We ended up spending close to an hour and a half warming up on the great moderates there. It's funny but I used to hate that spot for some reason. Now it's easily one of the best places to get nice and warm. The problems are tall with fairly good landings and the holds are absolutely huge on the V0's. It's great.
Aaron on a cool slabby warmup. Note his extra fast shoes!
The other Chris E. on one of the best warmups at the lake
Aaron being all 'Gentleman-y' n stuff
Chris having to try a bit on the slabby crimps
After watching Aaron try the worst eliminate at the lake, Welcome to the Lake, we moved on and drove over to the cottages. A quick hike found us at the base of Beautiful Soup. I pointed out beta for everyone and got the pads set.
On Friday Nic was nice enough to send me a little pep talk. In short he told me to sack the hell up and get rid of this mental punt that I've had going on for so long. I think I idolize so many of these problems that I just expect to fail on them. I've seen them for so long and in many cases I first saw them when I was climbing V3 or so. I never actually thought I'd be able to do any of them back then and I've just grown to expect failure.
Beautiful Soup has been just that for me. A mental punt. I've been there so many times and I first saw the problem back in 2004. It was so far out of my league at the time that I never even tried it. Since 2005 I've tried the second move over and over with sporatic efforts and have never come close to latching the rail. It wasn't until this year that it seemed at all possible.
I stepped up to the start holds and the first try went perfect. I latched the rail and just as my feet came into the wall I came off of the crimp. I swore a bit and then, after I calmed down, realized I'd do that move today. A couple of bad goes went by and I got a bit nervous. Then on my 4th or 5th attempt I stepped up and latched the rail with confidence.
It felt easy. Piss.
I matched the holds and felt something I hadn't felt before. I couldn't believe it, I was stunned. I'd tried that move so many times and up until now I'd never seen the top of that hold. It felt foreign and unique. I was so happy! For a second or two I stayed there and relished that moment. I heard the pads moving below me as I wiped my sweaty hands on my pants. I couldn't help but smile a bit.
I took a quick look up to the small crimp on Keymaker and wondered if I should just try and go up instead of right. It just seemed more natural!
I put that thought behind me for the day and started moving right. The holds were greasy and unchalked. I did my best to fix that but it came to no avail. I grabbed the high sidepull but didn't have my right foot on the rail way out to the side. I tried to kick it out but came off in an excited flurry of chalk and pads.
So psyched!!! I've never been that psyched to NOT finish a problem!! Deep down I knew that I could start working Keymaker soon...
Everyone cycled through their own efforts on the problem with Chris ending up very close to the rail. I gave it another three goes before my tips could handle no more. Each time I stuck the move with greater ease and felt more comfortable on the upper holds. I got closer and closer to the finish rail but in the end couldn't quite get enough distance on the huge reach.
Soon. It will go. I'm planning on coming back with a rope to try that move and to also try the upper moves on Keymaker. I've can't remember the last time I was this focused on something. I want Keymaker so bad.
Not wanting to take anymore time at the problem and seeing that my right index finger was starting to bruise rather than split, we packed up and walked to Moj and Jenga.
Both Aaron and Chris put some great burns in on Moj and Chris basically stuck the crux move. Aaron had something happening to his left hand where it'd just slide down the sloper on Moj. It was kind of funny actually. I put on my shoes to try and show everyone "how this thing gets done!". I was a bit more tired than I thought and I only had one good try on it. Kind of sad actually.
Aaron feeling the crux move on Moj
Ellen trying out the move
And Off!! And Aaron treating me like the Pillsbury Dough Boy.
I called it quits after my right hand fired off of the start hold and I fell into a pile of self misery and horrible pain. My skin wasn't too happy with me.
At about 4 we walked to Jenga and everyone tried that while I took pictures and spotted. We had an almost perfect landing with all of our pads and everyone was very excited about the problem. Katie had a couple of good efforts between her "all points off dyno" attempts. Aaron and Chris kept on getting closer and closer. Chris took a quick break and then tried hard on his absolute last go and went to the top! Very cool!
Aaron stepped up a minute after that and, in one of the most adrenalized situations I've ever been in, sent the problem to bring up the send train kaboose! So sick!!!
Katie on her first go before realizing that pinching the start hold helps
And again 10 minutes later trying the elusive 'All points off dyno to a sidepull sloper arete pinch'. It did not work so well.
Aaron sticking the move in isolation a few minutes before the send
Chris also sticking the move in isolation before his send
We hiked out in increasing darkness and Aaron joined us at the Weary for a fantastic dinner. So yummy. I also wiped the floor with Aaron and Katie in scrabble. A rare feat for me as I've only beaten Katie once before.
Katie toying with Aaron up at Moj