This past weekend Fall decided to make an appearance and bring some cool temperature to the Wester Slope of Colorado. We've recently been stuck in a "heat wave," with temps reaching the high 80s in town daily.
I began working on the 7pm Show in mid-August and had anxiously been awaiting cool temps and good health. Both of which managed to elude me in September. Not only was the weather WAY too hot for this particular route, I was also ended up with a case of the Kindergarten crud, which eventually manifested itself in the form of pink eye. YIPEE! This is, of course, an occupational hazard when you spend 7 hours a day in a room with 5-year olds.
After some forced rest (I was sent home from school) and lots of vitamins and EmergenC, I was back to feeling human when October came around.
This past weekend everything came together. It was a chilly 47 degrees in the canyon both Saturday and Sunday. After two new high points and two one hangs on Saturday I was excited and expectant Sunday morning. High expectations rarely lead to sending, at least for me. So of course I punted low on the first attempt. Oh well, come down, put on a jacket, wait a few minutes, and go again. Again, no success.
Immediately my mood changed and I became dejected. I knew I had another go in me, but what good would it do. I NEVER send second day on, let alone on my third attempt.
Colette however said something that changed the day for me. She reminded me that it didn't really matter if I sent today. I was going to send the route eventually. If not today, then Thursday (a rare day off work for Fall Break), or Saturday, or Sunday. Or maybe the weekend after that, or the one after that. It's not like I was going to stop trying the route. Worst case scenario, I have to keep working it next spring/summer/fall. . . it woudn't be the first time.
I manged to let go of expectations.
Purposely I got a Lady Gaga song stuck in my head, warmed up my shoes, and danced around the base of the climb (alone of course, I completely denied that this ever happened when Joe and Colette walked up on me).
I started climbing, and this time I didn't fall on the opening hard moves. The next thing I knew I'd climbed through my high point and stuck "the move" that would lead me into my no-fall zone. I can't say it was easy to finish the climb. My legs were shaking out of control and my hands were completely numb. But, I manged to keep it together and clip the chains.
I realize that this is probably the last time in my life I'll break into a new number grade in climbing. Somehow, I like that idea! But that doesn't mean I'm going to stop trying!
Here are some pictures from an early working burn on the 7pm Show (5.14a) taken by Joey Kinder.