Last week sucked. I had a lot of tests to study for, essays to turn in, a training schedule to try to stick to, field trips to attend and bureaucratic paperwork to slog through. I was overwhelmed and when Friday finally came I had one of my longest days yet; I was up at 6:30 AM and didn’t come home until nearly 12 hours later at 6 PM. Strangely, despite my exhaustion I did not sleep well that night. I spent half the night tossing and turning, half of me debating going through with the plans I had made to go to Tahoe the next day to try Penguin Lust (5.12c, 7b+) again. It was supposed to be cold and windy and I was not looking forward to making the drive up there. But, winter was approaching and soon we would set our clocks back an hour and the sun would set at a horrific 5 PM; “this weekend may be my last chance to go to Tahoe before spring”, I thought. I began to visualize the moves of Penguin Lust in my head and pretty soon my psyche was quickly restored and with a thermos filled with coffee I again was on the road to Donner.
IT IS FALL!!! Finally, the best season of the year has arrived! You know what that means, right? It means biking to campus with the goal of riding over as many leaves as I can, blissfully hearing the “crunch” each one makes and mentally tacking it as a personal victory for the day. It means escaping schoolwork to go to the arboretum or the greenbelt and basking in the perfect light that emerges at just around 6. It means layering in warm clothing and finally being able to bust out my beanies ( I love beanies.) It means crisp mornings and perfect days.. really it just means a lot of good things, to put it simply. It also means ROCK CLIMBING A MUERTE! !!! Fall is the BEST season to climb and honestly the best conditions are just ahead of us.
“Shit! How the hell am I still on these holds? My feet are literally on nothing! I can’t believe they expect me to use this sloper .. though it is sticking…”
My inner dialogue while climbing on granite for the first time in basically a year went a littttle bit like that… with even more expletives. Outwardly, I was climbing awkwardly. I was gripping down way too tight on some holds that looked terrible but had a bunch of friction. I was nervous, placing and trusting my feet on small crystals or just smearing them on nothing; in other words, I suck at climbing on granite.