So, went for a day trip yesterday out climbing because it was a wonderful day and because my ex had no other person to climb with (his words). Which was fine. We both are short on partners and though it's not good to do it frequently, we hadn't seen each other in a while and were both desperate to climb, so we went. And actually had a very nice time.
But boy am I sore. All over. The place we went to is a fin sticking out of the landscape, so to get to the base of the climbs you have to do a stair stepper workout, while carrying all your shit. Ouch.
Being mr. burly man that he is, he wanted to do a 5.7. This particular one has a very freaky first pitch, especially the start - a crack too wide for gear and no other place for gear after the first two pieces - that's any good at least. The face has a layer of hollow stuff that you should not put gear in because all it would do if you fell is blow up. I tried doing it, in part because he had never done the second pitch and I had, and was trying to be nice to him. After putting two great pieces in and trying 4 times to get to the first ledge - going further each time like going into a cold ocean, I gave up because even when I could see over the ledge I saw it was still freaky and still no gear. So, I came down, frustrated. But realized, hey, he picked the climb so he gets to do the nasty pitch and I shouldn't feel bad.
He went up and it turned out you needed to climb on that face to get to the ledge. As I was watching him step on this manky stuff, I was just praying he had good handholds because his feet could potentially blow out any minute and it would be a groundfall. (I was worried too because early in the season you're more likely to have rock fall off since it's been through cold and hot several times during the winter.) But he made it, and did the rest of the first pitch. I followed, and was so glad I didn't continue.
And off I went on the second pitch. First climb of the season, first time on real rock, first time trad climbing. Boy, did I go slowly. And it seemed like the first 30 feet especially, I was so scared. But I did one move at a time, one piece at a time. And made it through. Got to the top and there were tons of people there. Once I sat and set up my anchor (after having something to eat because I couldn't concentrate enough to figure out an anchor), just for the effect, I said 'damn, I broke a nail'. People liked that.
So, I brought my ex up. I finally see him and asked if he had fun, and he did. I told him I wasn't sure if I had fun, and again people laughed, but it was true. I was so damn focused it was hard to remember what I did and to relax enough to enjoy. But then I thought about it and remembered some good parts. We eventually got over to a rap station and went down, offering a group of four to use our rope also because we decided we were done for the day.
One thing that's really nice about climbing is hanging out at the top and bottom like that. People are generally friendly, and there can be some oddness. One odd thing was these two guys who sat to eat lunch...but it's so narrow at the top (12 feet wide?) that when people wanted to pass through, one stood up and his crotch was right in front of the other guy's face. I didnt' think they were gay, and wasn't sure how the one sitting down could stand it. Also, the four guys that we lent my ropes to were hilarious. As my ex was over setting up the rappel, they were chatting about how blue jays are in the same family as crows and magpies. And they went off from there about bringing bling back to the nest, and when they aren't flying they drive Oldsmobiles, etc. Hilarious.
In any event, it was a great day overall, but I'm sore and whiny. I also fell asleep on the couch for three hours before going to bed - I hate that when I have my contacts in. But today's a new day...