This labor day weekend was overflowing with adventure. First, Saturday.
On Saturday I went to the Gunks with Andreas. The Gunks is a hugely popular climbing spot in NY and Andreas is an extremely intense German. He led a 5.10c like it was a walk in the park. Completely smooth and without hesitation. On top of that, he was humble about his on-sight achievement.
The second pitch of nurse’s aid was rated as a 5.10a… but it was not a 5.10a. At the top there was a “wild hand traverse” which would have been better described as an “insane hand traverse.” Here’s a rough sketch:
Andreas was unsuccessful in his leading of this portion of the climb. He actually had to make a little aid ladder out of gear. He did it, and eventually got to the top.
I was following, and when I got to the hand traverse I did the most horribly sloppy ascent. First I traversed out about 3 feet. Then I threw my left foot onto a chip in the far corner.
Then I mashed my face against the rock.. jammed my wrist into the crack and pushed down to get my body above the crack.
Then I brought my right foot up and kind of slobberly mushed myself higher. slobberly mush is a pretty good adjective noun combo. Other good adjectives noun combos that could be used to describe my motion might be:
Finally I desperately grabbed for the top and stuck it.
After completing the route a group of climbers who had been climbing next to us spoke up.
climbers: You did a great job with that roof!
Mike D: Ugh. no I didn’t. it was just about as ungraceful as you can get
climbers: Grace? grace doesn’t matter in Trad* This is climbing not figure skating.
We had a good laugh. After nurse’s aid, I led CCK a 5.7/5.9 exposed lead. Once worn out, Andreas and I left the gunks and shared some pizza in New Paltz. It was a great experience and I was happy to spend some time with Andreas.