I had a great night of climbing last night. I cleaned my first 5.12a since my return to climbing last month. It’s a pretty tight climb that works up an extruding corner. The climb allows ‘features’ which are small edges and bulges in the faux rock wall. Normally I don’t enjoy climbs that allow features or an arete (corners that are considered part of the climb) because they often end up working one side of the body far more than the other. But this particular climb does a good job of staying balanced. I need to keep working this route because it’s not smooth and I think I could ultimately make it smooth. Fluidity is important to me, so while I can check it off on my completion list, I’m far from finished with it.

After that climb, I started working on another twelve in the back room. I’ve figured out how to power through the first half without fault, but the climb is really continuous and the second to last move requires gripping a round sloped hold that has no favorable surface. I love the beginning because it’s very technique oriented. I don’t think it’ll be long before I clean that one.

Finally, I tried a 5.13+. It may very well have been the most fantastic example of failure I’ve ever been a part of. You start the climb with your right hand on a tiny chip and your left hand on a side pull. Your right leg is on the ground and your left is Waaaaay up by your waist. The power needed to lift yourself off the ground is staggering.

Someday perhaps. But not last night. Last night I whipped off that first move more times than I can count. Falling on the first move of a climb is always humbling. Special thanks to Big Aaron for his expert belay.

One thought on “Climbing

  • 3/27/2009 at 11:23 am

    I always get the feeling that when people who’ve never climbed read this stuff, they don’t recognize how ridiculous Mike D is.
    Imagine climbing a wall, where holds are awkwardly placed and all about the size of a half slice of bread.
    That’s a 5.9.
    A 5.10 is twice as hard.
    By the time you’re at 5.12a, you need mental levitation abilities just to get up the first 4 feet. And now imagine you weigh 800 pounds; Mike D is ridiculous.
    To be dually fair – compared to people who claim 5.15s, Mike D is about as capable a climber as a blind monkey missing several limbs.


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