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Greed can be a killer
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Partner coldclimb


Sep 9, 2003, 3:38 PM
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Greed can be a killer
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Voices brought me out of the pain induced delirium. As my eyes came back into focus I found myself hanging in midair, staring at the overhang in front of me. No, staring away from it, towards where we had parked the car. No, the overhang, it was clearly there, right before my eyes. Then it had vanished again. I shook my head, awakening with a startled jerk the screaming demons within it, which began pounding on the inside of my skull like a thousand Peruvian soccer fans. I groaned, and blinked myself into life again. I was spinning.

Looking down, I located the source of the noise that had awakened me. My belayer, Jimmy, was yelling words of encouragement upwards. "C'mon man! You can do it! Just one more and we've got it done! Get up! Keep going!" His voice sounded enthusiastic, but I could see the fear in his eyes, even from forty feet above him. Both hands tighly clutched the brake with white knuckles.

We'd been here for two hours climbing hard without a break, before we reallized that we weren't prepared for this job. By then it was too late though, we had already set out to break the record, and we had to keep going or face the shame and embarrasment of defeat. That was three hours ago. Now, while hanging here almost dead, I vowed that this rock would never defeat me, and looked back to the overhang.

It seemed so simple, just a few chalked-up holds, easily recognizable even from a distance. Linking the moves together was merely a matter of thought and hand motions from below. Up here it was a completely different story. My tongue throbbed for moisture as I tried to swing back into the rock. Clutching fingers finally clamped to a small crimper and I willed my feet up onto tiny nubbins that no lizard would consider worthy holds. A dropped knee and shaking stretch moved me within reach of the next clip. I wasn't sure how the draw got there, but I vaguely remember bringing the rope up and slipping it through the wire gate. Then I slumped into my harness again and began to sob.

Why did we do this? What convinced me to come here and kill myself just to try to break some stupid record? I only hoped Jimmy would still be able to survive and make it back to his wife and daughter. I knew there was no way I could finish. I stared numbly at my arm as it slowly oozed blood. How did I cut myself? When did that happen?

"It's over!" I shouted down to Jimmy. His smile disappeared, and the rope slipped an extra inch through his ATC.

"No! You have to keep going! We can't give up now! We're so close!."

I looked at my hands. Somehow, while hanging there crying, I had subconciously chalked up. My vision was starting to blur and the ache in my head was getting worse, but I suddenly felt a burst of energy. Jimmy was right. I could do it. I reached up and latched onto a jug, which I didn't recall being there moments before. The movements came naturally now, though my muscles protested wildly and threatened to give up. I gave a shout as I reach the lip of the overhang and clipped in. This one was finished, now we just had one more.

While Jimmy readied the rope, I stared upwards at the wall. This was it. The last one, and then the record was ours. We'd been planning on doing this for so long, and now that we were here, I wasn't so sure that we could. I started off with a feeling of dread in my gut. There was no way. This was impossible.

Halfway through, I stepped on a knob sticking out at an angle. Suddenly, without warning, it gave way. The moment froze in time, flashing an imprint permanently into my memory, and then it was over and I ate the wall face first. Exhaustion had slowed my reaction time and I didn't even have my legs up to take the swinging impact when i hit. A knob struck just below my left eye, digging a nasty gash, and something gored me in the stomach like a mad bull. Pain shot up my leg from my right knee, and met the pain shooting from my right forearm to combine powers and bombard my brain with neurological damage alarms. I fought to scream, but my breath would not come. Blackness was beginning to creep into the borders of my vision when I finally managed to gasp in a trickle of air. Like water surging through a broken dam, the current slowly grew until I was taking in great shuddering sobs, and wincing from the spasms of pain that came with every glorious breath. I was alive!

Yet I still had another twenty feet left. I had to make it. There was no turning back now. I moved one foot onto a nice little ledge, then I moved the other into place. Chalking up, I smeared my white hand over a rounded bulge and stood up. Move after move crept by and disappeared below me as I focused my eyes on the top of the climb, so nearly within my reach, yet seemingly moving farther and farther away. A half-choked scream escape my lips as I clutched the last hold and pulled up rope for the clip.

We had done it. We had done what no other person had done before, ever. The tremendous triumph that burst forth inside me stretched my bloodied lips into a smile. I looked down and saw Jimmy laughing joyously. It was a moment I'll remember forever. We had battled the wall for nearly six grueling hours, sacrificing blood, tears, and even large pieces of flesh, but in the end, we had proven ourselves to be the masters. But it was not over yet, there was still one trivial task left to complete.

I turned and looked down at Jimmy. "Take," I yelled.

"I gotcha," was the reply. I lowered off of the route amid the applause and whoops from the crowd that had gathered to watch the event. At the bottom, Jimmy wrapped his arms around me and with many pats on the back and congratulations, we stumbled off to buy a cliff bar and a bottle of gatorade.

We knew we would be remembered for this, and that many more people would make the attempt and maybe even beat us, but we were the only two who could proudly hold our heads high and say to all the world, "Yes, we were the ones. That was us. We broke that record and set one of our own. It was hard, but we completed every last darn route in that gym, and in only five hours and fifty-two minutes too!"






:lol:


muncher


Sep 9, 2003, 4:16 PM
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Nice TR dude, what an epic. So many people bag out gym climbers but I think you have finaly dispelled that myth and shown that gym climbers are actually pretty hardcore.

Maybe I could try that at my local gym, no doubt I would have sponsers chasing me around all over the place. But first I guess I better get into some training and maybe aim to climb every problem in my garage, nto that that wouldn't be a newsworthy event on its own. I can see it now, the garage packed out with me and maybe one of my cats, some crappy tunes in the background, chalk dust flying evreywhere, the sweet smell of bong smoke.................


climbsomething


Sep 9, 2003, 4:30 PM
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hehehehehe. Some climbers take themselves, and their suffering, SOOOOOOOO seriously. Thanks for the satire ;)


jookyhead


Sep 9, 2003, 4:37 PM
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What a twist :lol: Great story man.


climber49er


Sep 9, 2003, 5:15 PM
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Dude,
I can't believe you finished all six of those 5.7's in one day!!!!

Mad props to ya!!!


herm


Sep 9, 2003, 5:20 PM
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ENCHAINMENTS RULE!


tungsten_carbide


Sep 9, 2003, 6:43 PM
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hehe, not a bad story. :lol:


epic_ed


Sep 9, 2003, 6:51 PM
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Nice job, dude. Who'd a thought you could make an excellent TR out of a day at the gym. :lol:

Ed


Partner coldclimb


Sep 9, 2003, 7:27 PM
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I gotta admit though, this whole thing was completely made up just for the humor value. :oops: None of it ever happened. ;)


eodclimber


Sep 23, 2003, 7:31 PM
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Registered: Sep 18, 2003
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In reply to:
I gotta admit though, this whole thing was completely made up just for the humor value. :oops: None of it ever happened. ;)




:P Now that's humor!! Great story! 8)


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