On my way from one DFW terminal to another, I saw this girl wearing an amazing outfit. Her name is pronounced /highly/ and I have no idea how to spell it. Check her out:
worry worry worry whatever August 26, 2010
I’m finally totally packed up and ready to go. I’ve got all my work squared away, and I don’t have to write anything until tomorrow night when, hopefully, I’ll be blowing off work to accompany my sisters on an epic London pub crawl. I’m already checked in for a flight from London to Nimes next Tuesday, and everything I own is in a plastic box in a closet, garage, or car somewhere in Austin.
I wasn’t, purely for lack of trying, able to hammer down plans to meet up with any familiar (or second degree familiar) faces while I’m on my sport climbing adventure. I have a long list of concerns about that, like not ever getting into a friend groove and being one of those people at a sport crag who wanders around with her rope and harness looking forlorn and never climbing. Sigh. And then I’ll die. Homeless and penniless and no one will ever love me.
Worst comes to worst, I suppose, I’ll drive myself to Switzerland and go bouldering alone. Not the worst life. When I told my dad I was afraid of traveling alone and not finding sport climbing partners, he said “you can always go to London and spend a month on your sister’s couch.” So there’s that.
After last weekend’s super relaxed and intimate Amistad trip with just AO and TV, I wrangled a spot on Armada 2.0 this weekend and made it down to the border one last time. I got to enjoy my last Texas summer weekend at my favorite place, doing my favorite thing, with some of my favorite folks. It was a large-type trip with Jennie and AO, the Brooks’s, Travis, Capt. Bastard and me.
First thing we did, before the other two boats got there, was help Capt hang a rope from his 100 foot (we measured) project, The Sanctuary, so he could suss out the top moves and film someone else climbing it.
He did great on the FA and got a good shooting position. Unfortunately, Travis struggled to get up as high as he had before, and I was terrified of the first high, honest move. So after he sunk a bolt, hung the rope, then did the dws/death solo (shown here) all we got was some epic falling footage.
Greg and Suzee rolled up while Capt was doing his FA, and were rather unsettled by the size of the route. Greg said he didn’t want to spent the weekend pulling his dead friends out of the water. I didn’t think too much about that. I knew, for one, that Capt was unlikely to fall from a dangerous height. Maybe I’m naive or something, but I’ve seen the him back off of stuff before because it seemed out of reach or dangerous. He wouldn’t, I thought and still think, be trying a 100 foot line he didn’t feel at least pretty sure he could do or safely bail off of. Also I didn’t really think at the time that it would be a death fall.
I usually avoid watching people soloing. I hate hate hate those Steph Davis videos, and avoid anything and everything related to Alex Honnold. I don’t hold it against anyone that they solo, but I don’t want to know them personally, or like them, or have any personal investment in someone who’s into that. Yet, it would appear that I do after all.
The rest of the trip was pretty good, climbing wise.
I sent an old line in the canyon that I had struggled on during my last few trips, so that was a great relief, and I got to a personal high point on this very hard, bouldery canyon project.
I took some scary falls making insecure moves on hidden crimps at the top of Blaine’s project, which AO finished last week. He named it Dolphin Power/ Poder Delfin. Hopefully next time I’ll send it first go, like that canyon line.
Not sure we’ll be going to Amistad much in October when I get back, but I have a feeling there’ll be at least one more trip before I head to Hueco on/about Halloween. I’m eager to boulder over land on the Pecos, swim in cooler water and be happy to bake in the sun. I got to spend so much time on the water this season! No matter what horrible drama is befalling me, everything looks and feels better on a boat, and I’m so thankful.
Oh yeah, but then on Sunday morning, we found that AOs boat had sunk in the night. That was a big ordeal, but it turned out ok. I decided my skills were best applied to the situation by making coffee and Batter Blaster pancakes.
Now some pictures!
This trip I used an old Vivitar 19mm 2.8 manual focus lens that I haven’t used since I was shooting with my Nikon FM. It’s light and I love the wide angle, but the light meter in my D40 doesn’t work with it, and it’s pretty challenging to deal with. Also, the great Hitachi hard drive fail of July 2010 cost me Photoshop, so I’m stuck with the limited editing options in iPhoto. So these pictures are weird. Still, here’s what I got:
There was some nice video too, but it’s going into a large-type editing mill and won’t make it to the interweb until the fall.
Eat, Shlep, Amistad August 19, 2010
Toying with a title that plays on my shameless excitement over the movie Eat, Pray, Love, and my trips to Amistad. I know, I know, I don’t care, I love Julia Roberts and I relate to the story of the film so just back off. I spent three days climbing on the water with AO and Travis over last weekend. We took no pictures, but here is one from my last trip, which was an interpersonally and socially traumatizing experience I’m kind of trying to forget. But it’s a nice picture, by Merrick.
Tall, scary, vertical, over the water, kinda the deal out there for me. This time I did a line I’d never tried before, a tall set of shallow red huecos on the 2010 wall. It was for the ffa which is super cool and all but really, with Jennie benched for gestation I don’t feel as excited about it.
It was a very relaxed, glorious trip. I came back with many bug bites, and another 5.9+x fa called Peacock Lounge, downstream of the 2010 wall. It’s a short, 20 feet or so of easy slightly overhanging moves on sharp, huge holds, then a loooong low angle climb up these enormous, deep runnels. It’s not hard, but moving from the overhang into the runnels was scary and the whole thing was probably a bad idea, but it was super fun, but I think no one should probably bother doing it again. This was the conversation that preceeded it:
Me: Think I could rock climb that?
AO (fishing): No. Those big runnels? No.
Me: I think there’s a clean line into them right there.
AO (ignoring me, fishing): ….
Me: Hey the wind is taking us over there, that means god wants me to climb it.
Travis (fishing): The what wants the what?
Me: Take me over there to that choss. I’m going rock climbing.
(I climb all the way up and turn around, victorious)
Me: Should I jump?
AO: We should probably depth test it.
This trip I forgot lots of important stuff, like my chalk bag collection, my toothpaste, and a headlamp. I’m heading back on Friday for one last go before I head to Europe. I’m gonna remember my mesh tent, my gas lantern, my headlamp, and all kinds of other stuff I completely spaced on. Pretty excited to do more climbing, hopefully my brain will still be in gear from last weekend, and I won’t need a day to get myself un-terrified. Maybe I’ll get to try some harder moves. Maybe even, god help me, a 5.10!
halleluja August 11, 2010
Finally sent Talk To Jesus(/Chuy) last night, with the starting tufa about a foot out of the water. I nailed every move on it with no extra swings, and I think that’s just how it had to go. I was tired on the last moves, but got my feet back on and took my time on the sort of insecure top out. I’m so glad to have sent it, finally, from a respectably low start, and it was extra cool because Vinny and all my favorite dudes were there! Even Gus happened to be out, which was a rare treat. We met climbing, but Gus and I climb together maybe once or twice a year. I forget that he even climbs sometimes, and I’m sure he does the same with me.
Capt. Bastard got a great video of the send, and after climbing we all went back to Vinny’s to watch footage from the last couple weeks on his fancy enormous tv. All the lake footage looked incredible with the HD camera. Then we watched old videos from the last two years of climbing in central Texas, and talked about how lucky we are to live and climb here.
So now I just wait for the water to drop, warm up on Jesus, be bold and do it from ever-lower starts. Here are a few grabs from last season when Capt first did it. I don’t know what my limit will be, but I guess I’ll keep running it until I leave. At the rate the lake is dropping, it’ll still be starting about 10 feet higher than in these shots.
Psyched. Hopefully I’ll have the video to post eventually. Now I get to pick my next project out there. I’m thinking Better than Soccer, this weird double-toe hooks line. I might not be able to reach the start anymore though. We’ll see. Amistad this weekend for a change.
Bolder August 9, 2010
Back in June I visited my best climbing girlfriend Emilia in Boulder. While I was waiting for her to meet me near the bus station I stumbled into this huge carnival, and I saw this girl wearing a totally amazing outfit. It is striking how much her aesthetic reminds me of my own at her age. Right down to the braids.