A second weekend in Yosemite, climbing with a friend. We just finished a short climb and packing up to head home, and a woman chats us up to learn about climbing. Soon after she comes over and hands us two tangelos from her friend's tree. Cupcake Karma! I very much prefer tangelos over cupcakes. They really are wonderful. If you've never had one (and I have never had one before this past month) they are worth trying to find and try. Yum.
One day we did a 5 pitch climb, with the first and last pitches being a 5.8. It was my choice to do that 5.8 finish on a 5.6 climb. It looked doable. A little while later, picture me, standing on a small bump on the rock, shuffling weight back and forth, holding on to a small hold, 10-15 feet above my last piece, no places for gear within reach. Move one foot and a hand to the right, shift weight, become really scared, move back. Shake out one leg. Shake out the other. Move one foot and hand to the left, become really scared, move back.
I stood there for at least 20 minutes doing this. My partner was mostly silent and let me just try to figure out what to do. He offered the suggestion of moving left. It had the best footing, but it was a high step and the hold I'd be reaching for wasn't all that good. He suggested down climbing. I looked down and thought about it, but realized I likely couldn't do it without falling, or so I thought.
So, the choice was either up or down. Try a move, or jump off and do a controlled fall.
Given that choice, I had to try.
And I made it.
Yes, I do this for fun. It still amazes me sometimes that that is the case. But it is true.
And, oh, that roofie area at the end that he said had so much gear? Nope. Not so much. One decent nut, and that was it. But, I did the weird traverse heel hook flop onto belly move and made it. To find, again, no gear. At that point I was just like 'what the hell?' and just went to the top.
I don't normally drink after exercising (climbing/skiing/etc) but this day was an exception. Pint of beer and a blueberry lemonade that turned into a lemonade with vodka. Nice buzzzz...
I must admit when I heard the rain in the middle of the night, my first thought was "oh, good, I don't have to climb tomorrow".
But of course we did... :-)