Three weekends ago I got a chance to get on one that I've been wanting to climb for a long time. Tucked in a back corridor at Bushwhack, I originally envisioned it as a short toprope when I came across it three years ago. Nothing really came of it back then.
|Photo: Nate Hathaway|
Wanting to get back and finish it up before the weather got too warm, and knowing that weekends weren't a possibility for a few weeks, I accepted Katelyn's offer of a Friday afternoon spot. True, I had originally said I wouldn't even touch the slab without John Brunson below to catch me, but I figured if Katelyn had already managed to find ninja beta through so many people's projects, she probably had some sort of tiny person spotting sorcery as well.
While I was brushing off the holds, Katelyn rigged the Pro Spotter pad up to the tree, so at least any broken bones wouldn't be under a layer of nasty abrasions.
After a few runs on toprope to convince myself it was a good idea, I cleared my head and went for it.
Happy with not breaking myself, I put my harness back on and dropped the rope so Katelyn could give it a try. She couldn't reach the high mono crystal that I used at the top, so she settled for a worse one just above waist level, and rocked her foot up high to crank to the good sidepull for the finish.
So what now? Last week when I realized how weak I had gotten on the system board, I was ready to throw myself fully back into overhang training once I had knocked this thing out. Now I'm not so sure. I can get overhang strong again any time I want, but right now I think it's time for a slab hunt. I think I've finished off all of the hardest ones in MD so far, but I can't help feeling that there are even thinner ones we just haven't seen yet, and I can already think of a few in neighboring states that I'd love to take a shot at.
And speaking of big plans, check out Katelyn's fundraising page for her upcoming expedition to the Wind River Range in support of the at-risk teens served by the Big City Mountaineers.
Here's a bit of video from Friday's climb.