I have been chillin' at the Red for the past week or so and times have been good. Last weekends Roctoberfest was a blast and the weather had been good up until a few days ago. Almost exactly like last year, the cold and rain swept over Kentucky leaving the crew down here wishing for sun and unnumb digits. All the cold and rain has also given the majority of the Red's residents with a nasty cold, which i was unfortunate enough to catch a few days ago.
I have had my sights set on ticking a line called Lucifer 5.14c, a line that I first tried in the spring of '08. I tried the line a bunch that spring, too much in fact, because I ended up injuring myself on it. I came back last fall, dealing with some mental battles concerning reinjuring myself, and actually came really close to doing it. Then the cold and rain hit and the season was done.
I came back this fall with Lucifer as my number one goal. I put in a good three days of work on it last week. The process of relearning the beta and getting the muscle memory came quicker than I thought it would, especially since I have been primarily bouldering since August. I took two rest days with the intention of going back out yesterday to try the route again.
However, yesterday I woke up feeling like death and it was raining. I laid in bed and finally convinced myself to get up...the thought of cough syrup in the cab of the truck was the driving force for sure. I swore off climbing for the day, but after the medicine kicked in I decided to roll out to Purgatory to try my luck.
I felt good climbing-wise as I was warming up. We had an awesome crew with us yesterday and my friend Stephen Woodward came out on his rest day just to take photos. I ended up hanging the line on a nearby line...for the more thorough warmup and so we could get some shots. I rested while I belayed and then did the whole cold weather re-warmup routine to try to fend off the numbing of the digits. I pulled on the wall and quickly found myself at the first crux...a powerful deadpoint move off a bad left hand pinch and a shallow two finger right hand pocket.
Photos from the send: Stephen Woodward
entering the crux
the crux deadpoint move
The move was the easiest I've felt it in all my attempts and I sat at the rest and got psyched for the redpoint crux (which I've fallen off of numerous times). You are pretty pumped at this point and you must lock off of a bad left hand edge, to another good right hand slot. This move is quite hard because at this point the angle starts to wear on you, and your power has been depreciated. I had gotten to this point and fallen on a bunch of occasions, only to be able to pull back on and link it to the top. This time I hit the left hand edge perfectly, crimped hard, and hit the right hand slot...a moment I had been waiting for for a long time. From there it was all autopilot and before I knew it I was clipping chains and letting out a little victory yell.
the redpoint crux
I am extremely happy to have this route done. The time I spent working on Lucifer was the most that I've spent on a route. It is a huge relief and I couldn't be happier. A huge personal epic is done for me!!! I just want to give a big thank you to all of you that I've drug out to Purgatory over the past two years...you know who you are.
Some shots from yesterday...
Cory working on Dracula 5.13b
Danny working on Paradise Lost 5.13a
a good ol' KY box fire