All paths lead nowhere, choose with heart

rat maze December 30, 2011

Filed under: Climbing — sendann @ 5:45 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

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).

this is andy on wheaties. i stole this off facebook.

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.

Click for more shots by sam davis of my brain on droogz drama

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.

John Myrick spotting me on the Egg. I get so scared at that part! Also, new haircut! I don't love it, but I think it's for the best.

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