Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Ah, weekends

I had a little more excitement this weekend than I was really anticipating. My friend and I, seduced by reports of good weather, headed up to New Hampshire this weekend to (the theory was) climb at Rumney and Cannon. Saturday ended up being rainy for most of it, so we headed up to North Conway and did a couple of climbs in the afternoon when the rain cleared out.

Then Sunday we decided to climb at Cannon, specifically, a route called Moby Grape. It's about 8 pitches. It took much longer than anticipated, and while my friend has had far, far more epic days, it was easily the longest, most mentally and physically trying day of my life. It involved 12 hours straight of climbing (well, periods of climbing followed by periods of standing still and shivering while belaying) that was frankly far too hard for my current level of strength, and we topped out at 9:20pm. Then we had to find the trail down by the light of head lamps, and not slip, fall, break an ankle, or accidentally step off the side of the 1,000 foot cliff we just climbed. It took us just under three hours to get back to the car.

We got back to the car at midnight, and still needed to somehow get the 6+ hours back to NYC on no sleep and far too much activity. After we have to reduce our speed to a crawl due to far to frequent moose encounters, and after I nearly fall asleep at the wheel, and my friend became suddenly incapacitated (thankfully just prior to taking over the driving) by vicious leg cramps that lasted for a horrifying 30 or 40 minutes, we gave up and drove to my parents place, which was much closer than home at this point.

We get to my parents place at 2 in the morning and I refused to scare them by pounding on the door or calling them at this hour, so we slept in their driveway in the truck in sleeping bags instead. I still ended up scaring them by knocking on the door at 6:30 when we woke up, but to be fair I thought Dad would already be awake by then. So after a few minutes of confusion and explanations, I had the best, hottest, most wonderful shower I've ever had, followed by a delicious-beyond-description breakfast in a warm and sunny room, and suddenly all the cold and fear and exhaustion of the day before didn't seem all that bad, and in fact started to take on the colors of a fun and exciting adventure.

And that right there is the sickest thing about this climbing business. No matter how horrible it gets, you end up wanting to do it all over again. I mean, LOOK at how glorious the day was!

cannon cliff
(I think I took this shot. My friend definitely took the rest of them.)
finger of fate
(That's me.)
pitch 4
(So's that.)
approaching the cave
(See how dark it is already? We still had two or three pitches to go at that point. I had just come to the realization that I was at the limit of what I could mentally and physically handle, and had realized that I had to keep doing this for at least another 4-6 hours anyway. The next pitch included a cave/roof that thoroughly broke me, in a way I have never been broken. I somehow managed to recover from the screaming, crying hysteria and figure out how to get up and over it, but it took a little while. But the point is - now it's over! And surely next time will be much better! What?? I don't have a problem.)



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New York City, United States

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This is my first blog attempt. It hasn't been kept up over the last year, for some reason being pregnant really ate into my creativity, and I picked up the camera very rarely. I am thinking about starting it up again, but am not sure what direction to take it in.

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