Saturday, November 20, 2004

5.10 and Beyond

Today I reached my goal for the entire winter, and this has only been my third time in the gym this year, and third time climbing since the early fall. And I managed back-to-back gems as well, each one was solidly done. I did rest, but not often and was able to work out the moves very well without much hard work.

My first climb today was a warm-up 5.6, which I did consecutively to get warm. I could feel on each of the first two climbs that I was fluid, even though the runs were easy. I decided early on that I was going to go for 5.10 right after warming up. The first was a black-tape run on the back-center wall. It was in a corner and required some tight bridging, sorry stemming, and balance work, but once I got the feel for changing feet using my palms to balance I felt pretty strong. There was one moment, when I was putting a lot of pressure on one hold that was big enough to have both feet, that threw me off balance. Ordinarily, when you change feet you can just hop off one foot and replace it with the other. But some holds are large enough to allow both feet, even if it is just your toes on each edge. It was the second scenario that sent the hold spinning. All I did was adjust my left foot a little to the left and...flooom...pffpfffpfff. I came tumbling down and was unable to find that great position I was previously in.

One important note here, when the hold came flying loose, I looked around to see if there were any employees around so that I could get a tool to tighten it. But there were not, so I scrambled up without it tight. I was able to complete the run, and afterward I went in search of an employee to let them know. The girl I found looked real disappointed when I said that I was not going to go back up, but I showed her the hold anyway.

The next run was a green run on the middle section, in the center of the gym. That had some odd reaches that went around an arrete, and it had a loose hold that also came spinning off under my foot. So this time, instead of finishing the run (mainly because the hold was too loose to use) I asked someone to send a tool up to me. A grateful climber nearby agreed and tossed the tool up...but I missed it. It flew right over my thigh, in-between my abdomen and the wall and crashed right down on some poor girl's head on the other side. Oops. She was not happy. I apologized profusely, but she would not have it. Thank full she did not say anything, after all, it was an accident.

After those runs I was tanked out. Surprisingly because neither 5.10 was pumpy, just technical with small holds. But I was tired and was barely able to make it up a steep 5.9 and then totally crashed on a tricky 5.10 later on. But still, I am back to my previous level, even if the endurance has not returned yet. Can't wait to upgrade that goal to 5.11 by spring!

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