Which, lets face it, is not anywhere as cool as a mountaineering summit, but, well, thems the breaks.
So we went climbing indoors, of all things, with 30 degrees and sunshine. To be fair even indoors it was almost too hot to do much, and it was an extremely sweaty day all around. It was also virtually empty, one of the benefits of the good weather, so we had the run of the place. We went to the other indoor gym, over the hill in what one could call a suburb, or the neighboring village, or, well, over the hill also works. We don’t always go because the other one is much closer, but my Abo works for both and we like to mix it up a bit sometimes. This one is a big empty warehouse kind of set up, one big hall with various things all around, 12m high though longer on the ceilings, with 2,500m2 of climbing and only about 20 people there was a lot to do.
We started out on some 5s, a bit bold, but they looked attractive. I lead a 5a which had some odd pinchs, a change up for me of the boring hand holds which would turn into a theme of the afternoon. I had a minor issue almost at the top, where I think I had my feet wrong because I just couldn’t let go of a left hand to reach up, I had no balance, it wasn’t quite a barn door but it wasn’t fun. I actually ended up panicing and grabbing the quick draw. Then looking at it for a second, and thinking, OMG jenna you are retarded, clipping it, and moving on to finish the route. Heat of the moment right?
I then top roped another 5a, with some loose top rope fall training tossed in for fun, and went up it with less effort than previous attempts, its a long overhanging route that just leads to pump.
The next one I was super proud of, it was a 5c+, and my second at this rarified grade. The first was 17m, with a “natural” style wall and a serious overhang at the top, but the handholds were good and large and I flew up it. This one, well, this one was a different story. It was almost like a really tall boulder problem… not so many holds, lots of big steps, big reachs, small holds, sloopers, it was so technical it was spectacular. All body position, center of balance, trusting your shitty hand holds and going for it. I rocked it and was so fricking siked.
I am not only seeing improvements in my control, smoothness and flow, dynamic movement and endurance, but I am also moving up the difficulty grades, and finally seeing them become possible. For the longest time, things were either too easy, or simply impossible and this is starting to change. Though, now I am in the weird middle ground of too easy to top rope, and too hard to lead… it will come. I did another 5b, and it was powerful, with some really awesome laybacks up at the top, but I don’t think mentally,I could have lead it. Progress is progress no matter how small! I did some other routes in the 4s, leading, and they all to a fault had the oddest shapped hand holds. I really like jugs, like all newbs, and today I really pushed out of my comfort zone … as good as a summit? Not at all… better than nothing… and pretty rad? For sure!