This last weekend I decided to head up to Squamish, Canada by myself for a solo adventure. I’ll be honest, the reason I went by myself is that my husband didn’t want to go (he is trying to focus on training to get ready for the fall), but I also feel like it’s pretty easy as a married lady to become pretty dependent on your significant other, and I think it’s important to still be able to do things on your own. I also had tried a problem the weekend before (The Touch, v9 in Gibbs Cave), and I was able to do all the moves in a single session, so I was hopeful that I maybe had a chance of sending it.
On Saturday morning I packed up my car (ok fine, my husband packed up my car 😛 ), and then took off that afternoon for Squamish (about a 4.5 hour drive for me). I arrived that evening and ran into a few friends from Seattle, so I watched them project a little. I was very tempted to climb, but I had a plan of resting until the next morning, so I reluctantly made myself leave my climbing gear in my car.
After a semi-restful night of sleep (I learned the hard way that I need more blankets when I’m sleeping alone in my car, versus when I camp with my husband), I woke up a little before 7 AM and headed to Zephyr Café for breakfast and coffee. I then got back to the parking lot, went into the forest and warmed up, and then loaded up all my gear and hiked out to Gibbs Cave with 3 crash pads in tow. After making it up the steep trail, I was already very exhausted from hauling way more crash pads than I’m used to carrying. The problem I was working is pretty tall, but has a very distinct crux sequence down low followed by easier climbing up high. I spent the first half an hour dialing in the upper section, just to make sure that if I got through the crux, I could have confidence that I could do the rest of the climb. After getting this dialed, I took a short rest and decided to start making attempts from the start. The first few moves are pretty mellow, and then for the crux sequence, you hit a slopey left hand gaston, then come into a really aggressive right hand crimp gaston, then bump left hand to a sloper and then a big move to a tooth shaped mini jug. When I first hit the right hand crimp gaston, I immediately realized my shoulder was not nearly warmed up enough to attempt that move! I then tried for about an hour to do that move in isolation, but with no success… I called my husband and told him that I didn’t know if it was going to happen, that move is just sooo hard!!! We agreed that I should try a couple more times and then maybe go into town and get more coffee and then come back and try later. After I got off the phone, I lied down on my crash pad and was debating what I wanted to do (and honestly I was probably pretty close to just falling asleep there), when a girl showed up to try The Touch (partly inspired by seeing my Instagram post from the previous weekend where I showed myself falling on the crux move!). Her arrival was the motivation I needed to get up and try some more, and this time with some encouragement from another lady crusher! I tried again, and again had to come down at the crux, and then I watched her work out the beta for a little bit. I went to try again with literally no expectations, except for just continuing to figure out the movement, and I found that every move went pretty flawlessly, then I hit the right hand gaston and it felt the best it’s ever felt, and I was able to do the crux moves, take a couple deep breaths, and finish out the remaining ~15 feet of climbing. I was super psyched because this was my hardest send to date!
I then went on to work on another project I had, and ended up climbing with two other crusher ladies and had an awesome session working out some beta. I then went over to another boulder, set up my crash pads, and then proceeded to lie down on the pads and again, almost fell asleep! I realized that I had been climbing for about 8 hours already, and decided it was time to call it a day. I went back to my car, setup my bed, and did some reading with the trunk open, the sunshine streaming in onto my legs, and a view of the mountains in the background. This moment was literally heaven on earth.
I ended up staying another night, and making one last bid to send my other project (Sesame Street) the next morning, but felt that I was just a little too tired and had lost a little too much skin to finish it out.
Driving back home, I felt completely renewed, completely beat up, and definitely ready to be home. So thankful to have the opportunity to venture out by myself every once in awhile, and also to have my best friend to come home to at the end 🙂