An incredible end to part one of my Hueco season, 2011/12. The miracle of hannukah sending came through, after several days of rain and snow, frigid temps and icey top outs. On my last real day out, and the last day/night of the holiday, I finally finished Wheaties.
I was able to put Bush League together pretty quickly as well, and after that Melissa decided I might as well go out with a bang and send two things. So she and I broke off from our larger tour to head down to the maze and join up with the Exposure team from Dallas, who had just radioed into Wheaties. I felt intimidated by the dozen or so strong kids clustered under the problem, but Brian Anathwioeradksfjnne came up and said “back it up back it up give Ann Raber a turn to crush.” I managed to send it first go, using this amazing beta I discovered the day it bit my fingertip off and I fell on Sam Tinghy then bled all over my long johns. When I got to the last crimp on the face, which is quite good, both my feet cut because I was so freaking nervous and shakey. I heard Melissa gasp so loud, I got myself right and said “I’m good.” Then finished, trembling like a dead leaf the whole way.
Here’s my story with Wheaties: I had tried that problem a lot two years ago, and the first move was kind of low percentage, and I couldn’t stick even the first few moves after that with any consistency. Last year I stayed 100% off of it. This year I tried it again, and the first move worked every time. I decided that, whether I make progress or not, I was not going to give up on Wheaties this year. Everytime I went to the maze, which was like twice a week because that is the nature of Hueco Tanks, I focused on it, falling a dozen times and making incrimental, theoretical, psychological progress (I feel closer). Finally I overheard Walker telling Veevers that he could only do it by using this intermediate I had never bothered to try before. That gave me one more move. Huge! After that I fell a lot doing a foot move where I see a lot of folks fall, and where Andy claims to have been falling for 17 years (but I think he is being hyperbolic).
Another time out, Melissa and Lori helped me refine my opening moves, enough so that I could think clearly at that foot crux and see a more static way to get established on the face. I’m sorry for all this inside baseball beta talk, but I figure most everyone has been on this problem and knows what I’m sayin, ya know? What I’m sayin? That left foot move? I found a perfect method for myself (step to the start hold and do some riverdance!). Anyway, I’m so happy that it all came together, and that I didn’t give up, and that Melissa had it in mind to encourage me to go down there, and that BA was there to make me laugh before I pulled on. Yay!!
I could’ve left after that, but I couldn’t get motivated to leave Hueco with intact skin and fire-less elbows, so I did an unprecedented second day on with the Team ARG kids and their coaches John Myrick and Morgan, whom I adore. We went, of course, to the maze, where I sat around eating, chatting, and almost pulled off that horrible little painful piece of atrociousness, Brain on Drugs. It took hours to figure out how I could even do one hand move, and then another hour to get from what I thought would be the end of “the business” to the top. I wound up having to put on one of John’s huge Madrocks with a flexible, plastic-y toe to do it. Since I didn’t send, I now have to get myself a pair of slightly loose madrocks with soft plastic toes. I’m cool with it. They’re cheap, and probably will be useful again.
I’m heading to Hawaii in just a few days now, and I plan on not thinking about beta or bouldering or anything really, other than uke chords and swell reports. Luckily Sam Davis was with us and made a beta memory video for me, so I can do that pile next time I’m at the maze. Which will probably be every week of the rest of my life, if this month is a precedent.
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