Friday, August 12th, 2011
After my travels out east in the Spring, and then out west all in a whirlwind short time period it has been nice to be back home in the mountains.
Thunderstorms, wild raspberries, gorgeous mountains streams, cool fresh evenings, climbing guiding, all shared with friends, an old pig-dog and my sweet Katherine have made for a great summer thus far.
Having injured my finger has slowed my sending spree down for a little while but I have managed to send a few super sweet climbs.
It seems like most of the month of July was spent hiking to try and climb. I drifted out to Lincoln Lake a few times, as well as RMNP, the Wizard’s Gate, and the Monastery. Initally I set out to complete Grand Ol’ Opry. After trying it for a few days I made rapid progress but my tweaked tendon told me to ease off a bit so I shifted focus to some light bouldering and a climb called Black Magic.
Black Magic is a line found up on the Twin Sisters outside of Estes at a lung pumping 10,300 ft. The line is a link-up established by Jonathan Siegrist. It climbs a bit like limestone but is a unique granite wave-like formation with a stout power endurance finish. I must say this and the other lines established at Wizard’s Gate by J-star are a great addition to the Front Range sport climbing scene. After a couple days and a ripped-open pinky finger I found myself clipping the chains.
I would say that without bailing out to the picnic and coffee rest 25 ft out right, this line comes in at a solid 5.14a. It made for a great finger healing project for me since the moves were not too fingery or bouldery. As soon I clipped the chains, I immediately looked up to Sarchasm (great view of the Diamond from the crag) and thought of Grand Ol’ Opry too. Being as I had the Opry figured out and Sarchasm is way the hell up on the mountain, I decided it was time to return to the Monastery. It was a goal of mine to complete Grand Ol’ Opry and a new V12 in the same day. So away I went with a healing finger and some good psyche.
Upon returning to the Opry, however, I took a good firm ass kicking. The first day back to it was hot and dry (worst combination ever for me…), not to mention I was pulled over and given a 250 dollar ticket at 6:50 am en route to climb. (…Really frustrating, considering my summer home is about 20 minutes from the crag!) The next day went really well with a high point, though again it was HOT! Then I returned thinking it was a done deal but the foot I had thought was the solution turned out to be bunk. I then found the key foot staring at me out left, but this was of course as the sun was coming out and it was time to leave. One more lesson from this deviously technical line.
Finally a cooler and humid day arrived and I put it down on my second redpoint go. I was so psyched to complete this amazing line. It is for sure one of the hardest and most demanding lines in Colorado. Serious props to the four previous ascents!
I then headed up with Keller to Upper Chaos for the grand Finale. Keller had been a supportive climbing partner so we headed to what he wanted to climb on. After a bit of time he sent some boulders and I figured, “what the hell, let’s see if I can achieve my goal.” I was at ease mentally since I had already taken down the beast and anything else would be icing on the cake.
The sun set, clouds and rain pushed in so on went the headlamp courtesy of Petzl. With some time spent figuring out the moves, along with sore fingers, and wet finishing holds I thought to myself with some doubt “…Are you here to do this or just fall short?” With that notion it became clear there was only one thing to do…PUT IT DOWN!
With a surgence of motivation I powered through the line, messing up the beta I had figured out, thunder rumbling in the background and rain gently sprinkling me in the face. I found myself matched on the final wet sloper, fingers beginning to slip off while I stared at the final hold which was a jug. I had hiked at least 8 miles, sent a proper hard line earlier, hauled multiple crashpads up here, and in an instant a Roar in my mind said, “DO IT!!!!” My fingers and body seemed to take on a mind of their own and it seemed as though I was fresh and super powerful. I grabbed that final jug and let out a huge victory cry! I had done it…I flipped the switch to destroyer mode! This was a huge mental breakthrough. I need to figure out how to turn this switch on more often. The important thing is I found where it is. I’m not really sure what level this means I’m climbing at but I do know it was a step forward in my climbing development and a progression in the direction of my life goals.
After the OR trade show busy-ness, Mike Williams put up a nice post on Deadpoint about the sends: http://www.dpmclimbing.com/articles/view/nick-duttle-double-send-day
Thanks again, Mike!
And now, on to the next goal…..