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Talking about rock climbing, while Beth Rodden rock climbs

Sara Lingafelter
Sara Lingafelter
2 min read

The last few weeks have held about as much talking about climbing as actually climbing. We are still working hard on putting together a plan for a member acquisition of the local climbing gym, which is taking up our Sundays (with meetings to talk about rock climbing) and some of our “free” time during the week (to prepare to meet to talk about rock climbing). In the meantime, our climbing friends are actually rock climbing, and I’m a little bit jealous. I’m trying to put together a plan for Vantage on Saturday, but we’ll see if I get any takers. Chris would rather stay home than go to Vantage, and so far I’m not getting any jumpers-up-and-down-yes-I-can’t-wait-to-go-climb-on-crumbling-columnar-basalt, please-can-I-can-I from anybody. The weather looks pretty good, it’s a free day, and it would be nice to get outside. Chris and I (and our friends, it’s been wonderful) have been in the gym a lot, so all has not been lost… but what with our early season trips this year, I’ve gotten in the habit of being outside once every few weeks, and I’m ready to get some air.

The gym has been fun. There’s a renewed energy about the place, I think because we all know that we can’t take it for granted. The upcoming sale has brought the members together into an even stronger community, and we’re all still optimistic that we’ll be able to figure something out to keep the gym in Kitsap; or, that perhaps some angel will come along and carry on the operation so that we can go back to our day jobs. Still waiting, and working, but we’ll see.

I’ve been climbing hard (for me) and leading a lot, which has been really satisfying. I always set my passwords for email/etc. based on my climbing goals, and I’ve got a lot of passwords I need to change since I need to set new goals. The big goals are still the same: to lead 10a on sport outside; to do a long multipitch route this summer on gear; and to have as much fun as I can in the gym without hurting myself.

I haven’t been keeping up on the rock climbing press too terribly much the last few weeks… other activities have crowded out any leisure reading. I did catch that Beth Rodden, one of my all-time climbing heroes, redpointed a traditional 5.14c route at Yosemite after five months of work. The climb is called Meltdown, and according to sponsor La Sportiva, is the “world’s hardest traditional rock climb done by a woman.”

Five months of work.

That’s amazing. Redpointing is definitely not my strong suit. I am at my best during onsight attempts, and rarely pick a project to really stick with, if I don’t get it on my first try. Recently that’s changing a bit, as I work harder climbs on toprope at the gym, and I have had a few really satisfying redpoint successes. Even so, I can’t imagine the mental workout of approaching a project for that long; making progress some days, and not others; working the same or similar moves over and over, risking repetitive stress and other types of injuries; and staying motivated to do that hard of work.

Otherwise, I’m waiting on a box-o-gear from one of my freelance gigs and am VERY excited to see the details of what’s inside … stay tuned for gear reviews upon receipt.

I hope that you are doing more climbing than talking about climbing, and say a little prayer to the climbing Gods for me that I get to see real rock this weekend…

Sara Lingafelter

Sara (Grace) Lingafelter takes steps forward and backward toward a right-sized life on a daily basis.