Feb 2, 2007, 4:50 PM
Registered: Nov 3, 2005
This will be familiar to all those who have read RWW, in particular the anecdotes that Arno describes where a climber facing a challenging project has given the route a go, not to get to the top, but for some other reason (dial the moves a bit more, see what a link is like, etc).
One of several gritstone climbs I've wanted to do this winter is a steep slab called Jetrunner. The meat of the climb is short: Easy climbing leads to a sloping break with a thin seam at the back. This seam is shoved full of gear, and then there is the crucial step up into the break using just a mono layaway to reach the next good break and an easy finish. It has a reputation for having dodgy gear in the first break, but actually the gear is good, and it is safe - but the move is precarious and committing.
I tried this a few weeks ago, spent maybe an hour on that move, up and down to a rest, trying various sequences. Finally got the best sequence but couldn't commit to it - I was scared of falling (phantom fear!!!) and I was scared of muffing the onsight. Eventually I got fed up and cleanly downclimbed, stripping the gear.
I went back today, got onto the crucial sequence a lot quicker, and still found it too bloody committing. The move just feels as soon as I'd stand up, I'd barndoor off this mono and fall. Still no danger but still the fears mentioned above. I spent about 1/2 hour on it, and got fed up. Again I downclimbed clean. We went off for my partner to lead a route, and I felt cosy and chilled in the February sun - and really didn't feel like pushing myself and getting scared.
I felt bored of this route, and bored of the possibility of coming back yet again to try it. The mystery and the magic had gone a bit, I just wanted to be done with it. I let go of the "need" to do it properly and stopped caring about it. Possibly not the healthiest approach but the initial pure desire had been overtaken by a mini-obsession....giving up was a way out of that.
So, I went back up with the approach "I will try the move, and if I fall (and in my view fail on the route), that's fine because at least I wouldn't have to come back!". So this time I actually finally committed, stepped up, and pulled on the pocket......
(This post was edited by _fiend_ on Feb 2, 2007, 4:52 PM)