All paths lead nowhere, choose with heart

Toolin time March 16, 2011

Filed under: Climbing,Trips — sendann @ 3:42 pm
Tags: , ,

and all the sudden, my Hueco season was so over.

I guess we’ve been thinking about it all weekend, but today and yesterday’s high of 83 sealed the deal, and it is time to go home. There’s been all this vague, “end of the month” talk among my friends at the ranch and shindaggar, but it looks like we’ll all be gone by Thursday morning.

I went out on my own to North yesterday, but I’m still pretty shaky on the climbing alone idea, since my horrible solo ride at MK a few weeks back (hip and butt are fully recovered, thanks!). I also didn’t have any coffee or tea in the morning, and never quite woke up in the first place. I was hoping to run into Gustavo and the Mallorca boys, but they never appeared. I almost stormed off the mountain and headed home in a huff a few times before I got motivated to hike up to Big Nose Millie, which I haven’t tried this year. A few days ago I sent Something Different with one shoe on, and it went so fast, like, 3 tries. After many dozens of attempts over the last year.

So, riding the wave of one-shoe motivation, I tried Millie with one shoe, and experimented will Allen’s no-shoe method. Surprisingly, but also of course, I made the crux moves easily with my big toe all dug into a hole. I couldn’t hit the last move, though. It was nice to be alone and in the cool dark cave. I stayed there for 4 hours in this strange, suspended time kind of state. I ate, played with the holds, never saw anyone else, read an old edition of Light on Yoga I found at Goodwill yesterday, and practiced the moves in various stages of shoelessness. And I came up with this little system for thinking about my performance on projects.

When I’m working hard on a problem and it isn’t coming together I ask, Do I have what it takes to do this problem today?

Do I know and trust the beta?
Do I have the physical energy, strength or flexibility to make all the moves and transitions?
Do I feel safe gear/spotters wise? If not, is my fear manageable?
Do I even care?

I take this little inventory and consider my situation. It’s not about excuses, which I suppose all of these could be characterized as. Working at my limit, I have to be realistic about the circumstances I’m working under.  Here’s what I think was going on today on BNM.

The beta? Eh, no. I never stuck the last move convincingly, and I wasn’t sure how I was going to match the jug without dabbing either. No, I don’t really trust it yet. Allen gave me some tips later on.
Energy? Kinda. Granted I was napping, but I do well on projects when I’m in a tired haze, so I’ll say that was fine.
Strength/flex: Yes, I was long and strong enough to hit and reach everything.
Safe? No, I had my one pad, and was scooting it along move by move to avoid slamming the rock on my back or hips. I wanted another one or two thin ones for the length of the problem.
Care? Yeah, I haven’t done a v9 before, and this one it so funky and well suited to my roofy, pocket strength and long bony toes. I’m excited to send it, but it looks like it’ll have to be next year.

Anyway, that’s my little project inventory tool. Matters of weather, attitude, posse or distraction are purposely absent, since I’ve had a lot of success in bad weather surrounded by jerks while hating everything and bad music playing out of someone’s phone. I think weather would fall into safety and trust anyway.

Planning to leave early Thursday morning. Yoga and mastodon cleaning today.


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