Motivation, obsession, fixation. I think I finally have the perspective through which I can understand our Spring Break trip to Indian Creek. I’ve finally moved on, no longer obsessing over a specific route.
In the months leading up to March, I spent time at the gym doing laps. In abs and core class I pushed my body to grow stronger. My mantra was simple: “Ruby’s Cafe”. I would whisper these two words to myself as I struggled through endless “bicycles” and when my forearms wanted to explode. But once we were in the desert, having a singular goal became problematic. I had to deal with my expectations and inner doubt – could I climb Ruby’s Cafe? Was it was selfish to drag anyone to Battle of the Bulge so I could work on “my” project?
As a group we fought with cold and unpredictable weather. Climbing time was limited and we had to balance rushing and relaxation. The days all seemed to run together. Each morning began with a mix of wind and threatening clouds and left us wondering when the rain would come. I’m still amazed we were able to climb at all.
I had one go and it was spectacular. The first moves are thin and then it opens up to perfect fingers (.4 Camalot/ Yellow Alien) with many pods and little features. Working up the changing corners I passed the first crux and made it to the rest under the roof. I was over halfway there, but there was no gas left in the tank. Unable to undercling out the roof, I gave up. A kneebar, a few hangs and another roof later I had clipped the chains. The personal victory was anticlimactic. I had made a huge step by finishing the climb, but was still filled with questions and doubt.
For me, this past trip to Indian Creek was spent in the shadow of success. I flirted with the idea, climbed some routes, but never found the zone or killer instinct that is needed. My fitness was good, but my crack technique was lacking. I really struggled while finger stacking, especially on the steep Slice and Dice. Thin hands, however, seemed to be much easier and I really enjoyed following Lizzy up Sacred Cow. As always, going to the desert is a learning experience and next time I will remember to brush up my off-size technique.
Enjoy the photos. They capture many of the sweet climbs we were able to try this year!
Photos taken by a variety of people (Jlo, Lizzy, Keith, Austin and Luke). Austin is notably missing from these photos since he was constantly taking pictures!