Tuesday, July 10, 2007

First 5.11 Lead?

Believe it or not, after my not-so-positive previous post, I had a really good night last night at the gym. For once, I enjoyed myself, laughed and climbed hard, even making it up a tough 5.12 (not cleanly) and 5.11 (again, not clean) to finish off the night. This was on top of a 5.8+ lead to start, 5.9 (and that grade is way off) lead, 5.11 lead (cleanish - get to that in a moment), 5.10b/c (harder than the 5.11 lead in my mind - had one take), and a 5.9 TR mixed in there somewhere. I might have done another climb too, but I can't think of which one I would have done (oh yeah, a 5.11b/c that I damn near flashed, but I was too tired at that point. It was a real bummer too). Anyway, I had a good night except I'm not sure just how solid it was.

You see, a couple of posts ago I talked about flashing my first 5.11 at the gym. My problem was that I wasn't convinced (and am still not convinced) that this was, in fact, a 5.11. But since others have told me that they think at least one of the moves at the start is a 5.11 move, I'm somewhat inclined to accept the fact that maybe I'm getting better. This inclination follows "Geneva"'s explanation that as one gets better, one starts to downgrade climbs that are now much easier than one's base. I think he's right in some regard, but I still think there are harder 5.10 climbs in the gym than this 5.11. (I also want to point out here that I'm not a "grade chaser". While it may seem that way according to my posts, the grades and success with those grades are merely a measuring tool for me. I don't care how hard I climb versus anyone else. I just climb for my own benefit. The main benefit being stress release. Climbing to me is a way to forget about the world, not about chasing grades, but it is nice to see progress, and I would also like to be able to go outside and give myself access to climbs that aren't crowded). Anyway...

As I noted in a previous post, I had thought of leading a bunch of harder climbs, and that included the so-called 5.11 (OK, it's an 11. I'll stop there and call it what it's been called). On my third climb of the night, I climbed it without falling and didn't need any other holds (otherwise known as cheating) to make it. I did, however, at the very top, use the top of the wall to gain the last hold. I'm not sure I can duplicate the top, but here is an attempt -

I know, it's small, but you can just barely see what I'm talking about. The final move is a bit of a dicey crossover from the left hand to the right that goes across the body. As you can see, this move is above clips. I didn't put the feet on here, but they are small jibs without an edge. The grey hold is a decent crimp and the pink hold is a total jug. What I did, and this is where I'm leaning toward not giving myself this route, is go with my right hand to the top of the wall instead of to the pink and then bring my left hand to the pink hold, which I would have needed to do anyway at some point because the clips are too far to the right at this point to clip across my body.

So I'm not giving it to myself. I can do this route straight up and that's what I'm going to do. I won't take credit until I do it correctly. Still, I climbed hard and well, so I am satisfied. And for "Jesus"'s sake, I had fun and yes, it was enjoyable.

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