Rarely do I have climbing days where I feel invincible. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever sent more than one “hard” route, or route that I was proud of, in a day. Typically, once I send my project, I’m too excited to care about other climbs and end up not climbing much the rest of the day. This is pretty lame. It makes more sense to ride on the motivation of one send to complete additional routes.
Yesterday, I finally managed to pull off multiple accomplishments in one day. After falling off the opening dyno of Rodan (which is really more of a little jump than a dyno) a few times, I finally managed to stick the dynamic move from the ground, and climb through the upper cruxes to the chains to make the route’s first female ascent. At 33 (5.14a), Rodan is the hardest established route in Boven, although a few open projects will certainly claim that title once completed. A 35 meter route, Rodan is surprisingly powerful. Aside from the opening jump, a fifteen move crux with no relief protects the anchor. I found moving my feet up for each move more difficult than the actual moves themselves, although my first time on Rodan, a few moves and clips felt unfeasible. Yet with a bit of rehearsal, Rodan came together after about eight attempts (plus fifty or so attempts on the dyno). Another Andrew Pedley masterpiece! Andrew is quickly becoming my favorite route developer – this guy has an eye for impeccable lines!
I’m psyched to have finished Rodan, as it definitely provided a gauge for my fitness over the last few weeks. I’ve certainly never climbed as much as I have in the past month, mostly because of time constraints with school, so it’s exciting to see the benefits of trying hard and pushing myself every day. I’m forcing myself to do more routes than feels comfortable in a day, and to try a wide range of routes rather than just focusing solely on a project (‘Operation Branch Out’, thanks LisaGrrr!).
Rodan (5.14a), Jon Glassberg Photo (lt11)
As a result of branching out, I found myself on Vorpal Sword a fairly technical 31 (5.13c) a bit right of Rodan. I decided to work out some of the moves with Jon, and lowered down thinking the four impossible feeling cruxes warranted a harder grade than 31. Somehow, I managed to pull off Vorpal Sword on my second try. Despite feeling exhausted after the 12a approach pitch, the upper crux came together in a Christmas miracle. I’m looking forward to trying its neighbor, Jabberwocky, this weekend. After finishing Rodan and Vorpal Sword, I figured I’d try to complete my mini project, Bovenator. Unfortunately, this 10 meter 28 (5.12d) will be sticking with me a bit longer, as I keep falling off the powerful jug pulls at the end of each day. Thus is climbing.
Check back in the next few days for an update on Room to Read, one of our Lead Now non-profit partners. We had the opportunity to visit a Room to Read supported elementary school this week, and the experience was yet again humbling. These South African kids are tugging at my heart! Support our Room to Read fundraiser HERE.
One of my best friends, Emily Harrington, also wrote a really sweet piece (HERE) about Lead Now and my fundraising work. Thank you Emily for spreading the word!