Progress at the New
Armed with shiny, new gear, we packed the car and headed down to our second home, the New River Gorge. I was sick and tired of my crummy old pack. It was small and very uncomfortable. I got the Arc’teryx Miura 50 pack and the Pali rope bag to go along with it. In short, it’s amazing. Stay tuned for a review. We also got a new Sterling Marathon Pro. Our old Marathon Sport was showing it’s age, and we were getting a little uncomfortable with it. The new rope is silky smooth.
Anywho, looking like newbies, we went to Summersville Lake on Saturday. In an attempt to beat this summer heat and humidity, we woke up early and arrived at the base of Orange Oswald wall around 8:30. We climbed Souled Out (9) to warm up, but as soon as I got to the top and began to rap off, it started to thunder. By the time I was at the bottom and we pulled the rope, it started pouring! Not again… We retreated to the Narcissus Cave and waited… and waited some more. Two hours later, the rain had stopped, the sun was trying to come out, and we went back to the wall to notice it wasn’t that wet. After a few more minutes, the water stopped dripping and we climbed She Got The Bosch, I Got Drilled (10a), which we had never done. At the last bolt, I spazed out, and pumped off. I was in an awkward clipping stance and pitched. We finished up and the crowds were now arriving. Our next climb was Moon Pie Deluxe (10c), another new one for us. It starts up a technical slab then goes over a couple roofs. Pulling the final roof proved tough for me as there are a couple bad slopers at the lip. After falling a couple times at that spot, I pulled it and finished it up. It was getting really humid, so I was pleased the way I climbed the route: having only trouble in that one spot.
The crowds were rolling in, and so was the heat. We bailed and went to Waterstone Outdoors, but they still didn’t have my size in the La Sportiva Miura velcro shoes to try on. After an ice cream, we went to Bridge Buttress to meet our friends. I ran up a top rope of Monkey See, Monkey Do (5), and Butterbeans (10a). It was a good end to the day as we went back to the campground to enjoy some brews and burritos.
Sunday’s forecast promised relief from the heat, but it didn’t seem that way to us! We went to Fern Buttress and warmed up on Fragile Ego System (10a), a nice, technical slab climb. We were all pretty tired from the previous day. Gaelyn made an attempt at Chameleon (10b) but bailed early due to a tough start. I was saving for Wild Seed (11a). Wild Seed is a beautiful line that starts with a technical slab and crack. It traverses under a roof with bad feet, then finishes with a few pumping crimps, and steep jugs to the top. It was my first time on the route and I was very happy with my performance considering my past performance throughout this spring, coupled with the conditions. I hung once below the crimps to read the sequence, but other than that, it went clean! I can’t wait to come back and fire the redpoint! It felt great to climb strong again… I was loving every minute of it.
Once back on the ground, I discussed this with Gaelyn, as my climbing on Wild Seed didn’t match with my climbing on other easier routes the past few weeks. Plus, I went into Wild Seed tired. I’ve been a little down on myself lately. I was hoping to have climbed some harder routes by this time of the year.
We came up with the thought that the reason some of the moderate climbs don’t go as well for me and I don’t onsight them, is that I expect to onsight them. I expect it to be easy. I feel like “well I’ve climbed harder routes so this should be cake, right?” I think I don’t have the intense focus that I do with harder routes, and when I struggle, I get flustered and frustrated. I noticed my focus on Wild Seed was almost laser like. I saw every small foothold right away. I knew Wild Seed should feel hard for me, because of the grade, so therefore I tried and focused harder. What do you all think?? Have you ever had this encounter?