The last two months have been crazy! I managed to send my long term project in Boven, now called Mutation. It runs at 8b+ or 33 and is my first. If I were in the States I’d be pretty excited since it’s my first 5.14! The worst part of doing this first ascent is that I have no photos of the climb save this one below.
I headed up to the midway point on the route. I wasn’t feeling great but I wasn’t pumped either. While I was shaking out in the finger lock I starting to focus just that little bit deeper. By the time I moved my left foot into position to leave the rest I just had a feeling that this time might be different.
I moved my left hand to a good side pull, stood my left foot into the corner and set my right on the poor sloper for a drop knee. I stood up statically into the Africa hold and matched briefly so I could move my feet before the throw to the left hand side pull and the bounce to the slot. When I hit the slot I moved my feet into position and set my right heal-toe cam so I could clip then get the gaston with my right hand. I moved my left into the poor sloping sidepull set my feet and launched to the undercling sidepull with my right hand; I shuffled my feet, slapped my left hand into the good sidepull and set the left hand jam. Crunch time: jam feels good, move feet left; set right knuckle jam…
I lock off on the jam and reach left hand into the undercling so I can slap my right hand up the fridge block and shuffle my right foot on to a horrible hold. Ninja kick! Left foot above my hands and slap into the right hand gaston! Full power to move the left to the finish block… High point… FOCUS… Make sure the left foot sticks.
In this moment I find myself doing something completely new. I bounce the right hand to a horrible hold, move my right foot into a toe cam in a crack and do a deep drop knee. I find myself wrapping my hand around the rest jug. SEND. It’s not over yet. I don’t celebrate, I just focus. The next two moves are really tricky still. High left foot and sloping shelf, left hand to poor sloping pinch, right and to bad gaston, oh no, I’m slipping, hold tight! Rock up to crimp and grab jug! SUCCESS! Move right and clip chains.
This was an emotional moment for me and I’m pretty sure the entire valley knew it… I was psyched.
The next weekend I was back in Boven, jump on Rodan (8b+). It felt quite a bit like when I started working Mutation. I sorted out all my beta and left my draws up. I wasn’t quite ready for another megaproject, so I repeated Vorpal Sword (8a+) second go and Jack of All Trades (8a) the next weekend to get some motivation and a sense of how strong I was. I’m really strong. Both lines felt like jokes when I struggled with the previously. Almost did Juggernaut, a bouldery 8a, second go as well but missed some micro beta and decided to call it a weekend before my finger started bleeding from the tiny holds…
My next series of blogs are going to be based on a brand new pair of shoes I was given to test out… I got them two weeks ago from Mad Rock and they won’t be available till next year. I can tell you this so far: you want a pair of these… More to come.