Two things first.
1 - Quick note. I climbed 9 days total in the 4 weeks prior to this trip. On the trip I climbed 8 our of 10 days. Not the best way to prep your skin. My skin gave me the big ol middle finger all trip long.
2 - Katie is crushing right now.
I'll start off the trip recap with Redneck. Somehow I'd never gotten on this wonderful boulder climb until this trip. I don't actually know how that happened.
Redneck, for those of you that don't know, climbs up the steep backside of the lookout point at Horsepens. Each trip there I'd taken the time to walk out to the point and take a look around, never once thinking there was a boulder problem down there. I noticed it in the book and on our first day Katie and I walked over to have a peek.
For being only 10 feet or so in stature it packs a bunch of burly moves into a small overhanging cave. Katie was psyched as soon as she saw it and we started checking it out.
"It's sure not a pretty line...but it looks like fun!".
I laughed as one of the boys who was packing up looked at Katie kinda incredulous at the thought. It's really not a gorgeous problem. Kinda cobbled together and pebbly. That said, it's really fun.
We got the full beta spraydown from one of the kids there and Katie tried out a couple of the moves to see if it was worth investing some time in. It was.
I held off for the next morning and as we walked in on Sunday we had the cave to ourselves. Katie proceeded to figure out all the moves except for the last bit before the jug rail. After a burly iron cross you move through a couple of meandering lockoffs and into a redpoint crux of a heel/toe cam. Guarding the final jug was one last awkward bump move with multiple options.
I watched Katie a bit more and then put my shoes on for a flash attempt. I figured out what I thought was the best beta and just went with it. After I did the first move crux I thought to myself, "Fucking done. In the bag.".
As I moved through the rest of the moves everything felt great. It was just clicking together. I slotted my heel and felt super solid going through the bump. Right as I started going for the last hard move my heel moved just a bit and I took my mind off the next move just enough.
I fumbled the last hold and came down to the pads hard. I immediately hopped on and did the bump sequence and topout with ease. Christ.
I rested a bit and after a couple more punts I satched it up on my 4th try from the start. Psyched to do such a good problem with some amount of efficiency I packed my stuff up and spotted Katie.
Unknowingly I got a crazy barbell shaped blood blister on my right ring finger in the process. Sadly it was really just a sign of things to come.
My little friend.
Katie spent the next half hour or so refining her betas before we took off for other problems. Later that night we went back for some quick photos at night and had a good time despite Katie being wrecked from the mornings session.
On the last hard moves.
At the cobbly pinch.
Sticking the gaston...like a badass.
I do like night climbing.
After a couple of rainy days Katie went back and worked out a very good sequence for the upper part but felt too tired that day to try and link.
With only one day left in HP and 2 projects left to do Katie woke up a touch nervous. After lunch we made our way over, rain shells in tow. The skies were dark and we figured it'd open up any minute.
After two progressively strong efforts and one pretty serious punt, the rain was coming down hard enough that I had to throw up my hood and zip up. Katie stepped up and cruised to the final hard moves. After falling on the last hard crossover on her previous attempt, she dug in and stuck the move just as it started to pour and a little stream trickled past the topout crimps.
Katie, not being a fan of topping out and all, sally'd the hell up and cruised the topout moves like she'd done them a million times.
Katie considers this one of her happiest and hardest sends and I couldn't be more proud of her. She stuck with it on moves that aren't really her style. The first move for her is a HUGE one for her as she's not at all a fan of iron crosses off of tiny crimps.
Her confidence exploded this trip and it was really fun watching it happen with each new problem she finished. More on that later though....until then here are a few more shots for you.