In Austin in the summer there are two options (three if you count “Colorado” as one which I do not): Dawn patrol at Reimers Ranch, and the lake. The lake used to involve floating on a noodle and hiking up juggy caves and short, vertical walls at Pace Bend. A few years ago it started to involve aluminum bass boats and exploring coves all over Lake Travis. The first boating year I was not into it, mainly because I wasn’t friends with AO, and he was the only one who had a boat.
Then last year more people had boats, but I had a hard time getting out anyway, because the boats were always full and I’m proud and uncomfortable when it comes to asking favors. After summoning my nerves and getting let down a couple times, I let myself get discouraged and stopped asking. Hence, I almost never got out.
Finally I stumbled into a boat relationship that worked, with a dingy called Bastard Craft. Last August, Captain Bastard and I discovered that we could both go out during the week and that we could for the most part tolerate each other. I never worried too much about having a spot in a boat after that.
This summer was pretty much the same, until Capt. Bastard got benched, and now boat time has been harder to swing. But now I’m pushing myself onto boats without shame, constantly asking to go out, ponying up gas money, trying to nail down this one line before the summer ends and I leave town.
It’s this roof problem, probably like v4 or 5 but pumpy and tricky, that starts on a huge tufa and climbs out about 10 feet of jugs and slopers in a roof, then some traversing on smaller holds, finishing on a nice crimpy headwall. It was 40 feet tall last year when the lake was alarmingly low, but now it tops out just 10 or 12 feet off the water. When it was first done it was christened “Talk to Jesus” I think because it was so scary and highball. I’m gonna call the lowball version “Talk to Chuy” and see if that catches on.
Got a ride in Blaine’s boat tonight! I’m so psyched to get out and try my moves with the lake a full foot lower than it was last time I was there. I think the cruxy part for me – the traverse after the roof – will be easier with more air to dangle in. We’ll find out!