"I'm getting too old for this shit"
-Roger Murtaugh; Lethal Weapon
The Deed is done. I hitched a lift to Bus Stop and met my belayer Ben, Then made my way via all the little rituals on the way. Looning the tube col, touch my toes, up to the coat huts, touch toes again... abb in and do my kicks and flicks. Tape my elbow, tape my knee. squeak my boots...
In the end it was straight forward, as often these practiced things are, although the panic as I popped out the end of the offwidth section, and the scrabbling for the eagle's nest provided an ethical dilemma. My foot scuffed the bolt below me as I lurched to match the exit crimp. I didn't fully weight my foot but it still wigged me out, spoiling my pure ascent. In the end my solution was to down climb back to left hand on the crimp, hang it footless and swung into the match before climbing back to the nest a little bit happier, if panting a little harder.
So 2-3 years later The Beast in Me is a reality. Hard Very Marvelous 20m 5 bolts and a Cam#2, draws in place on the bolts, Cam placed on lead. All my favorite flavors in one route; offwidth, boulder, technical and a little bit of bold.
The Giveaways have left this my Last Project, and while I'm looking forward to getting on some classics and enjoying other people's work, it felt a bit weird finishing off the last runout.
Flopping onto the top, so in control and titanium, this sense of detachment troubled me. Now that all the adrenaline and bull has worn off, however, I see its just the tension between wanting the project to be over, and wanting the buzz of the chase to continue.
The game is still afoot, just with less cleaning and more stars...
The Best Climber, by Stevie Medium Haston.
1 hour ago