Thursday, 20 March 2008

Wet, Wet ,Wet

On Friday, just like England, the forecast turned out not entirely correct. The rain stayed in the clouds so the team headed back to Lei pi Shan with high hopes. Unfortunately, the previous days rain was badly seeping through and my project was wetter than ever. I dogged my way up the route and if anything, it looked harder than I remembered. I find it hard to put a number on it because a major section of the route was wet but it felt like the hardest thing I have tried in China. Time will tell and hopefully one of the visiting or local super-heroes will be able to red-point the route once the holds dry out. If not, I’m sure I will return at some point in the not too distant future.

Stripping the draws left me with mixed feelings. It’s always difficult to accept that you cant to something and walk away, even if factors out of your control (wet streak) are to blame. Yet at the same time I felt like I had done what I came to do – to leave something behind for other people to enjoy. Even thought I didn’t free the route, the bolts, hangers and anchors will be there for years to come for anyone to use. Thinking a little deeper, the fact I didn’t free the route means the prize of the first ascent, of what could potentially be the hardest route in China, has also been left for anyone up to the challenge.

After pulling my draws, I tried to flash an 8a+ (5.13c) called Single Life. Like my project a few of the holds were wet but I made it to the last hard move before running out of steam. I tried twice more, falling on the same move before pulling on the rope to look at the holds finding I had missed a good crimp, just left of what I had been trying to use. Emily then dropped the clutch and got in sending mode, smoothly dispatching the 8b+ (5.14a) extension to Single Life. Tired and hungry, we all headed back to base.

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