Last week I tried a 7c+ up at the crag…. I couldn’t make head nor tale of the crux – no holds I could use. I felt I gave it an honest go too – tried every combination of handholds, footholds, intermediates, undercuts, crossovers, deadpoints, slaps – nothing worked! Shut down! Some fresh scars on the rock let me know the route had changed lately and the guide description of a good hold by the second bolt was way off – all that was there was an epoxy stain where a glued on hold had once been. Was it still 7c+ or was it now an 8? I lowered off and crossed it from the list of routes to do at the crag – for me this was impossible.
Could someone please then explain to me why on Saturday (my fifth day of climbing straight this week!) when I tied in at the base of the same route (for some unknown reason) I pulled some sick, devious sequence out of nowhere and managed to redpoint it 3rd go?!? I was totally confused! I had really considered this thing impossible and Vince (the Belgian) was surprised too. He had belayed my failed attempts when I first tried it and was there on Saturday to see the redpoint.
I need to realise the HUGE difference working a route makes. Impossible to enjoyable. What was to blame for this drastic turn around? Stronger? Nope! More holds? Deffinately not! Better conditions? Nope – if anything slightly too hot. So it must be my head. I think once I know I have a sequence and something to aim for I’m quite good and just taking a deep breath and blasting through things that really I shouldn’t be able to. If that is a trait of mine i really should learn to take account of it more often and use it to my advantage intentionally. Reminded me of my first 8a. That was another one I had walked away from after having to resort to aiding on bolts to get to the lower off… something pulled me back onto it though and eventually I sent it.
Morale of the story? Keep trying hard – it’ll pay off!
I’ve now sent three 7c’s and two 7c+’s within a session or two - three tries max. This evening (Sunday) I even cooled down by clipping up Friday’s 7c for Vincent to try – no falls, no rests, no hassle! I need to try something harder…