|The rock was calling to us again. |
On Wednesday, Justin and I picked up Maya from school then headed to Big Cottonwood Canyon where we met up with Curtis. It was 4 in the afternoon and the only people on Challenge Buttress were 3 ladies doing the climb that we had our eye on. So instead, we went to the west side of the buttress and tackled Hollow Man (5.9).
This climb has a couple of sections that bulge out and a couple of sections that are off-balance and tough for me! The first bulge (at about the third bolt) has always been my crux and ending point.
Justin was able to get past the bulge but was so spent that he only made it a move or two beyond.
This year has treated me well. I made it past the bulge (on the second attempt) then kept right on going. A couple of pauses on nice resting shelves to catch my breathe and shake out my arms.
My first attempt at the top nearly spent all my energy but there was no way I was giving up with only a move and a half left to finish the route. A few more moments of trying to get my heart rate back down. A lot more shaking of the hands and arms. Futile attempts to swallow saliva from my cotton filled mouth. I knew I only had enough energy for one more attempt.
I find my hand holds, spot my foot holds. Left foot up, right foot up, then lunge for the top with the left!
YES! Another 5.9 notched into my harness!
Maya had fun trying to climb (it was a bit scarce of good holds for her) and playing on the make-shift swing that Curtis made for her.
We timed our climbing excursion very well. As were finishing up, the wall started to get pretty busy with about 10 people climbing or waiting to climb.
Once we got off the 5.11 (Winky and Waxman) that Curtis worked out on (and Justin completed - although quite a bit off-route) there was another guy ready to jump on. And I do mean Jump! He flashed up the short 5.11 section like it was stairs then continued on to the upper 5.10d (unnamed). His belayer (and I use that term very loosely) was feeding out rope nearly as fast as she could in order to keep up with his rate of ascent.
That was quite a humbling moment. It is amazing to watch others who are so much better than you are. I struggle, sweat and pant as I barely complete my climb while this guy make his (which is SIX levels more difficult) look like a walk in the park. I don't think I will ever get to that level but I am pretty happy with the progress I have made.
Another great day on the rock.
Here are a few more pictures that Curtis and Justin took.