It’s my last day, for now, at Rodellar. This is probably the funnest hard climbing I’ve ever done. I am never happier than when I’m memorizing beta for a powerful, steep route. I think I tend to pick ambitious projects, and that might be part of why I rarely send anything, but I had a total victory here on a fat 28 meter tufa line called Nanuk (7c). It only took 5 tries total and two days, and on all but my very first run I went all the way to the top and fell at the end. I even managed to use 2 kneebar rests, which is huge for me because I hate to rest. On Nanuk the moves and the rests get progressively harder, ending with a few strong roof moves and an unlikely high step situation. It was a very perfect project for me in many ways, and having done it so soon after sending Jesus/Chuy is a total feat of concentration. Yes, I know that is pathetic by many standards.
My Brazilian friend Luciana was working Nanuk and recommended it to me. We worked it together for a day, then both sent. Lu is from Rio, she speaks like 5 languages and is just freakishly beautiful. She’s traveling with her boyfriend Pita, and they are two hilarious people with a fun couple dynamic. Pita kind of reminds me of Capt Bastard, with his skilled climbing, enormous green backpack always full of jumars, somewhat checkered history and easygoing, self-effacing attitude. Another Brazilian climber here told me that Pita is a pretty big deal in Brazilian climbing, that he fa’d and bolted lots of stuff all over the country. He’s all about cracks, big walls, short walls, choss, he’ll climb anything and be perfectly psyched.
He and Lu have these hilarious arguments in Portuguese while she’s climbing. “You know what we’re saying?” Lu will ask me, and I don’t. Then Pita explains, “she says ‘oh it is so much easier when I do it like this,’ and I say yes I told you do it like this three days before!” Then Lu yells, “but is better I learn myself!” Then Pita wanders off laughing, and one-falls 8b’s for a while. Lu is the kind of girl who, once it’s too dark to get back on her project, will climb on Pita’s projects with a headlamp just to wear herself out before a rest day, then hike out in a rage wearing flip flops.
Climbing with them has made for some of my best times so far on this trip. I’ve had good luck with other tufa climbs here, but I’m still flailing and failing when it comes to crimpy face climbs.