We left at 4pm right after classes ended on Friday March 16th and ended up getting to the Red at around 7:30am. We literally sent up camp and hopped back into our van and went straight to Muir to climb! Insanity!
Having only led literally a day before ever in my life, I was really proud of what I was able to accomplish on this trip. Physically tolling to climb so much for some many days in a row but I would do it again in a heart beat!!! Also, I think I have tennis elbow from carrying trays at work so I kept having elbow pain throughout parts of the trip. Definitely started to get worse with each day so I couldn’t do quite as much as I would have liked. But overall? I WANNA GO BACK TO THE REDDD!
Day 1- 3/17/12
Bruise Bros (Muir):
The Offering- 5.7: Fell at the anchor because I was starting to psych myself out. Then again, I had never really led before except a very short gym wall!
A Beand (?)- 5.8-: Led it. No problems. I actually like this really short little climb. No hangs.
Flutterby blue- 5.9: I top roped this climb. Fun start.
Send me on my way- 5.9: Again, I followed this climb to clean it. I would totally lead this one again. Just didn’t feel ready for it on my first day!
(unnamed)- 5.8- Led this one too. No hangs.
Day 2- 3/18/12
Practice Wall (Muir):
Acrophobiacs Anonymous- 5.4: I think I could have jumped and hit the top it was so short. Just did it to review cleaning anchors. Bosses orders!
Mercenary of the Mandarin Chicken- 5.9+: Followed and cleaned. Still too chicken to lead a 5.9 at this point!
Crescendo- 5.8+ (?): I followed this one as well. Thats a tough start.
One Armed Bandit-5.9: What a view from the top! Fun too. I just top roped this one. I would go back to lead it though for fun.
Cindarella- 5.9: I lead to about the 4th bolt and just got freaked out. Next time!
Day 3- 3/19/12
The Shire (PMRP):
Pee-Wee-5.7: Led this. Good holds til the top. Felt good.
Audie- 5.8: Led this one as well. I loved this climb a ton! Actually one of my favorites for the whole trip. I think I hung once but if I did it again I could send it. I was really still getting more comfortable with leading. It takes a little bit! I loved the start on this one though, with a pull up and some campusing. I am tall enough that I didn’t do the traverse that some people did.
Miranda Rayne- 5.9: I top roped this one as well.
First Time- 5.8+: I top roped this climb and just didn’t really like it. I was going to lead it but just didn’t enjoy it enough. I was also tired from random hiking around this day.
Day 4- 3/20/12
(Definitely can count this as the day where I went from being somewhat comfortable but a little shakey to just really comfortable with leading and clipping. Today was awesome and really made the rest of the trip awesome!)
Bruise Bros take 2 (Muir):
A Beand- 5.8-: Led it again. Just to warm up a bit. Always fun. And super easy.
Sweet Jane- 5.8: So glad they bolted this. Fun climb! I got to on sight this one. I had a blast.
Unnamed 5.8: This was a repeat of the other day. Again, led it.
Rat Stew- 5.10a: Up to this point I wasn’t comfortable to even set hand and foot on a 10 for whatever reason. I followed and cleaned this one so it wasn’t leading but it made me feel much more comfortable with the idea of leading a 10 this trip. Also exchanged insults the whole way up with a friend that i made. Had to show him what I could do!
C40 (?)- 5.7 again just hopped on and on sighted it. Short and simple. Didn’t attempt the 11a extension let me tell you. Haha.
Day 5 3/21/12
(elbow was really sore this day so I only did 3 climbs. Luckily I enjoyed all of them and met a ton of cool people! I love climbers)
The Gallery (PMRP)
27 Years of Climbing-5.8: Sent it. Definitely felt comfortable leading now and was really just having fun climbing and not worrying as much! This was a great climb but 5 stars, guide book? Really?
A Brief History of Climb-5.10c: followed and cleaned this one. I want to do this one next time I am in the red! It was really fun and I would definitely like to lead it. Fun!
Murano- 5.10b: I top ropped this one but I had a lot of slack because I didn’t want any help. I know its not quite the same because I didn’t have to clip/etc but I could definitely have led this. Again, so fun!!
Day 6 3/22/12
Left Flank (Greys Falls)
Brother Stair- 5.9: I led this with one hang. I didn’t really use the arete so I had to really look to the right of the bolts for the holds I wanted. They were allllll there though and it was actually really fun not using the arete. Felt safer because there would have been less swing.
Face up to that crack- 5.8-: Sent it. Felt good.
Mr Bungle-5.8+: Again, got the on sight (hey I am proud, I know you are judging haha). Easy. Fun climb.
Fast Food Christians-5.10a: LED MY FIRST 10!!! Luckily I am 5’11” so the first move on this is easier. Did hang at the first bold to get my bearings then the rest was super easy to just scurry up.
Day 7 3/23/12
Last day :(
The Hideout (Muir)
International Route of Pancakes-5.8: On sight, yo. Was laughing so hard at one point though because of a story I had just been told that I actually thought I was going to fall.
Moots Madness-5.10a: ON SIGHT ON A 10! I am easily excited. And so proud that I went from freaking out on 7’s to leading 10s in a week. I love climbing.
Beware the Bear-5.10b: I think I would have liked this climb more if it hadn’t start raining in my face while climbing. The holds weren’t too wet but definitely hard to see. Ended up taking quite the whipper and scraped the shit out of my elbow. I made it to the last bolt before the anchors but just wasn’t having fun so I decided to bail because of the rain. Oh well! A friend got the biner so it was okay haha.
The Great Wall (Muir)
Glory and Consequences-5.7: Led this because a friend didn’t want to clean the anchors. On site in the rain. Easy.
Dynabolt Gold-5.10a: Was so close to not doing this climb because of the rain. But all day after reading the description in the guidebook I was like MAN I want to do that climb! It was seriously my favorite climb of the entire trip. I led it and did hang twice but I was downright exhausted after the previous week. I also had to clean it in the rain and up at the top it started getting a little sketchy. But seriously. I loved this climb. This will be the first climb I do when I am back in Kentucky.
Did anyone actually make it through all of that?
TLDR: Go to the red and climb Dynabolt gold. You will not regret it. Also, I love climbing.
PLEASE wear a helmet. I’m really disappointed in myself that it took me a horrific event experiencing/witnessing something today to realize how much a helmet can save a life.
I will forever wear one when I lead now, and please wear one too… along with…
Yo guys this. Seriously wear one. Was talking to Rick Weber of Muir Valley about it a few days ago and it is a serious topic. He said that the day before I was there climbing a guy had to get 12 stitches on his head because of a fall. Think of what else could have happened.
I know most climbers aren’t photographed in them for whatever reason but not wearing a helmet when leading is like.. Not wearing a helmet when riding a motorcycle. Don’t be a squid.
Also I am really proud that I have only been leading for a week and I started the week leading 5.7s and by the end I was on sighting 10a's. This is something I am very proud of. And I cannot WAIT to keep getting better!
Off to the Red River Gorge to climb for more than 8 hours a day (I will have no skin left I am sure of it) + hiking + swimming in the lake at our campsite + slacklining + snoozing in a tent with a bunch of my good friends +…. I dont even know.
GOING TO THE RED RIVER GORGE FOR SPRING BREAK AFTER ALL
Way to play with my emotions, Outdoor club. This totally beats staying at home while my husband goes to school/work and occasionally driving myself to the closest rock gym to auto belay myself for an entire week.
“The Iron is the best antidepressant I have ever found. There is no better way to fight weakness than with strength. Once the mind and body have been awakened to their true potential, it’s impossible to turn back.”—Henry Rollins (via femme-enforme)