“Come on! Join us on the party bus!” Mike and his roommate managed to convince us and suddenly we found ourselves dancing in a flashy riding dance bar among an exuberant, partying group of people.
With several pit stops at different bars all over Colorado Springs, we had an awesome night at the birthday party of Mike and Derek. Thanks guys!
Getting up the next morning to go to Shelf Road as planned, was a different story. Luckily we had an appointment to meet with Melissa, Jaundeanna and Anthony, which forced us to wake up and get outside. 11 am we arrived at Shelf Road.
We decided to climb at the North side of The Bank. Jaundeanna and I started on a high ledge, climbing ‘Peter Pan’ (5.11b). Pretty unstable from my lack of sleep and too much alcohol, I went on the route with trembling legs. It was a slab climb without good hand- and footholds. All the bolts were spinners, which made me less and less comfortable. I struggled my way up, but I won’t recommend it as a good warm-up :).
The second route we did, called ‘B/C’ (5.9+), was the complete opposite! The wall was a little bit overhanging featured by jugs and big footholds. I flowed my way up and made some pics of Jaundeanna, Melissa and Anthony.
Le Pincher 5.13a
Very motivated by my first 5.13a (Cure for the Common Crimp) earlier this week, I searched the guidebook for another one. I found Le Pincher and took a look at the route. It was a short 5 bolts route and it seemed to have the crux at the top part of the route.
The first bolt was approximately 10 meters from the ground. Fortunately there was a piece of gear in a crack on the right that I could use. The first three bolts was easy 5.11 climbing followed by a rest before the crux. I took my time and tried to figure out the sequence during my rest.
Then I went for it. The crux was very cool. Big moves on small pockets, an undercling and a side-pull. At one point I stood eye-height with my next bolt, but couldn’t find the position to clip and I fell.
I think it took me 8 big falls and 30 minutes to work out the sequence (way longer than the crux of Cure for the Common Crimp). It made me feel pretty tired and I found out that the crux is not over yet after clipping. The next three moves before you hit a deep good pocket are pretty thin and difficult as well. It took me 15 more minutes to figure out the moves.
After a break I tried the route again. Climbed up to the rest, felt tired and didn’t believe I could do it at all. I took a deep breath and started climbing the crux. The first moves until the far move high up to the right went well. I followed the beta that I had figured out and clipped. Oh gosh, I made it through the first part of the crux. With all my motivation back again, I started climbing the next part of the crux. At this point, the beta I had figured out before didn’t work though.
Damn, this isn’t going to work… I need to do something else. I climbed back two moves, which was really hard! I was amazed when I found myself back in the earlier position, wow. Instinctively I climbed further. This time I used a totally different beta that I didn’t even try while working on the route. How the …. did I just do this?! I climbed further to a sloper and then I knew I was there. Climbed the last moves to the anchor and there it was: my second 5.13 2nd go!!! Both in one week! Yay!!