This isn’t meant to be boasting, because I don’t feel boastful. But, last night I sent my 11a (feels 10d to me) project at the gym on toprope, and it was massively satisfying. I am stoked to work the route on lead if it stays up long enough, and Alex put up a new 11a on a steeper wall so I’ll still have an 11a project (lost count of the number of falls on my first try) if this one comes down.
So what did I learn, working and doing my second ever project while nearing my third anniversary of climbing? That projecting is fun, that if I do it right I won’t hurt myself, and that projecting is definitely worth the work. When I first tried the route, I toproped it with two falls, but the top third felt like it would never be possible for me. After a few more sessions on it, I cleaned up my footwork and efficiency down low on the route, and had it down to one fall. From there it just took a couple of days of work to put it all together — work, and a helpful piece of beta from the routesetter about a more elegant way to do the footwork high up than I had figured out on my own (thanks, Alex).
I’m an onsight junkie. I climb harder, and more stubbornly, on an onsight than on redpoint attempts. I haven’t yet found an outside project to dedicate myself to (although Chicken McNuggets at Smith is a contender), and I’ve only projected two routes inside — one 10c and now this 11a. Until now, I’ve been afraid to work harder routes because of my not great tendons and joints — it seemed like every time I tried a hard 10c or a 10d more than once I paid for it in the fingers. Luckily the fingers are holding now — I do think my tendons have caught up with my muscles — so I’m looking forward to doing more projecting. Thank goodness Alex’s new 11a just went up so I can take a rest and work some endurance before starting another project in earnest. Seriously, that route was all I could think about for the last week, and I have got to focus on other things (like work, doing the dishes, walking the dog, paying attention to traffic while driving instead of mentally working the route, etc.) for awhile.
So, this thankful long weekend is for rest. We’ll probably hit the gym on Sunday morning to see a weary traveling friend who’s passing through on his way back to college, and we may belay slave for friends over the weekend if anybody actually takes us up on our offers. Otherwise, we’re having a nice, quiet fake-turkey day at home today (my trademark port and cranberry yams are already in the crock pot) and catching up on our reading. Have a safe, warm and happy holiday.
Sara Lobkovich Newsletter
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