Its a cold day here in Rocklands, the wind is pumping up the pass, the waterfall between “” and “” is blowing up the mountain. Benjamin de Charmoi, John Reeding, Julia Chen and me make our way to Roadside, feeling the cold conditions hardening my skin I briefly think back on what Berndt Zangerl said in The Rocklands Movie, “when its cold here, you can crimp almost anything ”! I have a little smile inside and my heart glows in the anticipation of what might unfold in this landscape of endless possibilities.
Fully equipped with long johns and down jackets, we pack out at Roadside boulder the iconic landmark first climbed in the hay day of Rocklands. Benj and me worked Nutsa on a previous session here, so the pad stack goes out underneath the bulge. Not being on for too much warming up, I do the stand-start (Sunset Arête) to ingrain the top crux and set up a rope for the possibilities of some filming.
My previous approach has always been to get the strongest as possible and just attack lines with as much energy as I can conjure from within. This time around I want to make the moves count, I sit down, chalk up, and start pulling, up and up I go, pulling through the crux at the lip, set the heel, and that was it, no hesitation, no wasted energy on unnecessary movement, just giving what is required to send, SWOOSH!
There I stood on top of this boulder, smiles from ear to ear, pure pleasure!
Walking down I’m shaking a little, feeling the charge that built up, MMM, the hunger sets in with this need to chill out and conserve for the next “attack”! Sitting there, watching Benj pulling in, harder and harder he goes, just throwing himself at the line, I get really inspired watching how hard he can try! I feel his energy, just loves giving 100%, giving everything on every try, he whispers something to himself and psyching up, blasts off… falling on the last moves of Nutsa and this is only his second day of the season in Rocklands!
We chill at the base having a snack and contemplating on where to go next! I remember chilling here with Berndt and Barbara Zangerl, he was describing his project, a direct variation of Black Spider, a shallow tight three finger pocket up to a small hard to hit crimp, then a small explosion to a horn! I remember looking at it back then, wondering if it was at all possible. Benj had done this line the year before, but was getting well worked by Nutsa so we decided to go check it out so he can rest a little! (we have a similar problem, getting too Psyched and not getting off the rock for long enough to recover for the next go!) Rocking up there in the “stepped cave”, the place is padded out by the Americans, we through some more pads down and I put on my shoes and chalkbag.
I talk a little with Jessy, a really strong guy trying Green Mamba, but I recon I will just have to try it and see, since you can see all the holds from the “step”. Jumping down, Im thinking to myself, ‘just to warm up on the bottom traverse’ since it is not that hard. So off I go, putting on heels, hanging around on the traverse, chalking and warming up! Climbing to the direct finish, I place the heel, thinking that my left hand is sliding a little on the slopy crimp, but somehow I just continue climbing, I try to place my right hand in the pocket, (Benj explained this was tricky to get the positioning right). I remember not having a firm grasp on it, not knowing if I should re-adjust or not, I just hear screams, COME ON, COME ON, the energy is good, and I through for the tucked away crimp, and MY WORLD STOPS!
I’m in this zone, my hand just gripping down, the next thing I knew I threw for the horn, I stuck the last hold! As I looked back in disbelief to the group of climbers behind me, it felt like watching Nalle Hukatavial in a movie, but somehow I was the one topping out!
Somehow doing the hardest lines can feel effortless, ONCENESS!!!
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