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Aug 10, 2009, 6:18 PM

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Re: [Gmburns2000] Weekend Warrior
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“An Unexpected Crusade” or “When One Climb Equals Enough Adventure for A Weekend”

In hindsight, the goals for the weekend might have been a bit ambitious for the mere weekend warrior and her injured-ankle partner. So the plan on Saturday was to hit Whitehorse and do the first three pitches of Children's Crusade, rap down and then go do Lost Souls. A few weeks ago, we'd done Hotter Than Hell and Inferno, so I was thinking another 5.9 and then pushing it with a 10a would be possible, even though I haven't done a ton of Whitehorse climbing.

So we walked up to Children's Crusade and I looked at the first bolt way, way, way up there. Sure, it's an easy walk up the dike... but it's a sideways walk. And the wall bulges out a little bit at one point. I feel really shaky and unsettled the whole way up. I clip the piton, then make the half move required to clip the bolt a few feet up and right of the piton. Rest. Breathe. Scope out the moves to the next bolt. With a sketchy step down and a move up on very thin face holds, I gain the next good stance and clip the second bolt, noting the bail 'biner left on the bolt. A glance up and the third bolt looks a mile away and the good holds only last for about 5 more feet. Um. Bail 'biner. Unfortunately, I am impressionable and have to admit that it crosses my mind that if someone else had to bail here, maybe I do too. I move up shakily, gaining sloping holds and am convinced there are no further hand holds and am petrified of falling. I know, it's a bolt, but it feels like it will be just too far a fall. I down climb and then hang and then bail.

After some time has passed, I decide I HAVE to get on it again. At the second bolt again. I make the moves to the slopers then convince myself to let go, fall. Ok, I got that out of the way. This time, when I get to the slopers, I think about doing another exorcise-the-demon fall, but then I just decide to go for it. I work out the moves and suddenly I've clipped the third bolt. Another glance up and the next bolt again looks a mile away, but the holds look decent and I decide to only pay attention to the next two moves, then the next two and so on. And I'm quickly to the bolt. Next, I go up and traverse to the anchors, continuing to only pay attention to the immediate moves and block out the distance I've gone or still have to go. I'm at the anchors. More emotionally drained than ever before on a climb. I eye the second pitch as my partner works his way up the first. I'm not sure I want to continue, but if I don't, I'll have to come back and do it again some day.

The second pitch had some thin scary moves off the belay, but after that, it consisted of a very enjoyable route finding adventure. I wove my way back and forth, following the path of least resistance and gear placements. It was exciting and fun, pausing to read the rock and determine what would be the best way to gain the next few feet. Eventually, I gain the belay ledge and begin bringing up my partner. Again, I eye the next pitch as he works his way up. Again, looking at the climb ahead, I'm not sure I want to continue but I'm sure I don't want this last pitch hanging over me, unfinished.

Throughout the entire climb, Greg provided excellent support and encouragement and I started up the third and final pitch, loving having the crack for protection but cursing the pain in my toes from the crack! Then I'm at the top of the crack and can see the anchors. And nothing between. No bolt. No way to protect the next moves. My next good hand hold 6 or 8 inches too far away to reach from my current stance. I pretend I'm stepping on to some little nubbin and reach up to use what looks like an intermediate hold, but is actually crap and yet my hand sticks and I manage to gain the good hand hold. Now I need to move up and right, on non-existent feet. Oh, another mantle, I'm starting to get good at these. I move into it, but start to feel my right foot slip as my left foot fights with my left hand for room on the hold. I get it just in time to avoid an ugly fall onto the low angle crack below, where my last protection is. Every fiber of my body is shaking so hard that the next move is harder, even though it's not. I breathe and get gear in and then make the final easy moves to the anchor. I'm so glad to be done. And so glad to have done it.

(This post was edited by ratherbe on Aug 10, 2009, 7:02 PM)

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Post edited by ratherbe () on Aug 10, 2009, 7:02 PM

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