Anton made his way through the Double Direct roof as if it was a jungle gym… starting the day with an immediate crux that is certain to leave you warmed up and inspiring Julie to do the same!
As I clung onto the undercling (as if my life depended on it alone) and prepared for the high foot above the roof… Julie gently reminded me that inevitably, I’d have to move my arms up too.
Kate was keen to be training again. Incredible that there were two thirds female climbers on this wall! The women who were there with me, all had this sovereign clarity that announces itself without introductions.
What bliss to pull up onto that ledge and know that the roof was behind me… little did I know that I would spend ages unsuccessfully trying to dislodge a cam from Magnetic Wall. That too was surmountable for Anton… after having lead Magnetic, without so much as a ‘watch me’; Anton patiently and without resentment returned on top-rope to clean up what I could not!
Unfortunately as Anton made his way up a very sketchy Quake the toprope got caught on a few too many horns, one of which was out of sight. Eventually, Anton had to climb past in order to unhook from above! My heart was in my mouth calculating the drop and not being able to visualise the trajectory of the swing.
Brian was on Farewell to Arms and showed what is possible with determination and perserverance. What a styling ascent of that roof designed for leaders with unwavering belief in self!
Next up was Margo and her peaceful way of dancing through what could’ve been a curse-a-minute climb!
It was a happy reunion when Margo topped out!
Would I make it through another climb? Claire was leading the whole of Jacob’s, determined to achieve this beautiful goal she had set for herself. She was also blessed with Hugh in the wings, a patient and extremely observant climber, who does not miss a beat! So, I was needed for the second climb.
Mercifully, Cable Way crag was most convenient and yet I found that traverse difficult to hang onto with straight arms! Anton had sailed along, jamming and relying on good legs… while I was determined to squeeze the rock and stay as close as possible to solidity.
Turning out towards the exposed view from Bosun’s chair was inevitable and my emotions went full circle… recovering as I sat still and focussed enough to spot a white feather catching an updraft. Next, I heard the familiar clink of Anton’s cams above the roof and the Swifts cutting through air like they wanted to rip up my fear.
Anton had coiled the rope over chicken heads, like only a master rope manager could and I simply had to work from right to left… beautiful predictability with a turquoise view of beaches; rivalled only by Seychelles (because of its warm welcome).
The monster crocodile rock formation to the right of the crag, dwarfed Lion’s Head. Our rope-code comms (due to limited audio because of the cavity within which I was perched) was foolproof and I knew exactly what was being signalled. ‘Climbing’ I called and everything started to flow… even the chimney was possible without beta, despite the fact that I did it the hard way and not by stemming the way Anton had.
Mindset is everything; as well as reminding one’s self that you are safe – instead of continuously anticipating all sorts of unlikely and imaginary pain.
Can you be consistently persistent and rest, when necessary, instead of quit? Can you focus on the next step that you know you can and must take?
The day ended with unexpected and hugely appreciated clarity… once again Bosun’s chair highlights what really matters!