|wolf point..... until the fall my friend...|
Ty was keen to come out to the crag today, and it was awesome to have him there on the belay. I stacked a couple crash pads at the base, in the spirit of safety... When sport climbing I have essentially no fear - partly because of my experience but also because I feel that there's very little rational reasoning for being afraid. However, on hard trad leads, I, like most everyone, definitely fight with anxiety, fear and always try to remember to ask myself - is it worth it? Because here, to me, there is inherent danger that is unique to hard headpoints.... so the rationality part of it goes out the window. You're afraid because you actually are in danger. Skillfully limiting that danger is the best we can do I guess.
I warmed up with a lap on Super G, brushed the holds and reviewed my gear placements again quick as I lowered down the Almighty. I started off feeling strong, climbing well, nailing the first placement and firing into the mid-crux. When I stuck the hold for placing the #3 I felt pretty strong but for some reason I was slipping. With feet well above my last nut, and adrenaline racing I pealed off. Zooming to within a body length of the crash pads, I instantly celebrated the offset for keeping me on the rope and off the ground. Whoa. Okay so the good news was I can blow it from way up there and not die, the bad news was that now I had a kinda severe adrenaline hangover. I took my time cooling off as Emily and Ty lightened the mode with jokes and playful chatter.
My second go I started off well and found myself entering the mid-crux again, this time with fire in my eyes. I nailed the tenuous #3 placement and carried on towards the fixed wire. I let out a scream as I threw into the final finger lock, soon thereafter finding a nice rest and clipping a bolt. It was a relieving moment, but I knew I needed to keep it together. The boulder problem just below the chains was a formidable one. Here, Ty, does one go-go-gadget long arm crux move, where I do 9 moves to reach the same hold - smearing my feet and rocking over right and back left. It's a fun sequence but certainly was stressful on the go. I lurched for the last rail and clipped the anchor, elated.
This is one of my favorite ascents to date - I feel that it is my hardest trad lead and it was a really cool process to get there. Ty suggested .14a for The Almighty and I think personally I would suggest .14b for the short person method through the lower and upper cruxes. Because of size we really did climb the route entirely different. Ty's effort here is really sick, and I want to make a point to congratulate him again for his efforts opening The Almighty -- there really is nothing else like it!
Just to make sure this wall got maximum action, I did the awesome crimp route 'Freerider' 13a and Ty finished the day with a headpoint lead of 'Off With Your Hands' 13a. Wicked day in Teton Canyon!