|The "Undertow Wall" at Motherload|
After 4 days on of hard climbing we are taking a well deserved rest day tomorrow. We have been to 3 new areas in the last few days including "The Motherload" which is the jewel of the Red River Gorge. Some of the steepest, longest jug hauls in the country can be found in the huge amphitheater that makes up the Load. Climbing at the Load is similar to climbing at any gym in Boulder…With so many strong climbers in one spot it is hard not to wonder how you could suck so much after all of the climbing you have done. At least that is how I felt, and not letting it bother you is easier said than done. I found myself falling off the some of the biggest and best holds I have ever been on purely because of exhaustion. While I waited for my forearms to regain mobility We watched a local girl send "Hoof Maker," a 5.13 endurance route. The most amazing part about this was the amount of time she took resting. I was able to find some inspiration from this and I have realized that unless you know how to rest correctly, it is not worth resting at all.
|Our friend Matt on" Golden Boy"|
|Matt whipping on "Golden Boy"|
The last few days I think I have figured out how to rest better, and my climbing has gotten better with it. I sent a great route at Eastern Sky Bridge called "Dave the Dude." It is the only fully bolted line I have seen that makes use of a lie-back crack and I would highly recommend it to anyone coming to the Red. Yesterday Mike and I both sent a super pumpy jug haul called "Ethics Police" at the Solar Collector wall. The Solar Collector Wall is unique in that it has giant huecos large enough to sit down in, but like the name implies it bakes in the sun most of the day. We also had the opportunity to get on our first 5.13 route yesterday called "Golden Boy," 5.13b. Although neither of us even got close to sending it, it was an awesome feeling getting on something so hard and beautiful. Luckily it is equipped with perm-draws so there was no pressure to get to the top.
|Me on "Hypoctite"|
For me, being on a route as hard as "Golden Boy" really put into perspective how truly incredible it is that people are climbing 5.14 and 5.15. For instance 18 year old Sasha Digiulian is in the Red right now and just ticked "Pure Imagination," a 5.14d that was put up by Jonathan Siegrist last year. Here is a video of Siegrist's assent. Sasha is the third female to have climbed the grade, and it only took her 6 tries. Even more impressive is 15 year old Enzo Oddo. Just type his name in to Google if you want to get an idea of how hard this kid climbs.
Today we spent one last day climbing with our friend Ian at the Zoo before he began the long journey to Colorado where he will be spending the next year "working" at Steamboat. Mitch showed off by re-sending "Hypocrite" 5.12a after an impressive flash on our first day at the Red. Pretty impressive given it was our fourth day on…Nice Mitch! We have one more week before we drop Mike off at the airport and make our way to Boone.
|"Doing laundry"...I spent $12 for 1 load.|