On Friday I got a call from Brenna, inviting me to go climbing with her and a few people associated with AAI. I was hesitant, having been moving forward with the house and the weather was super hot, and guides, I must say I was a bit skeptical. John reminded me that the house can wait till the weekdays and I know we can find shade to hang out in and I could learn a ton climbing with experienced guides. Friday night, after a fantastic dinner with the the Family Dorr at La Fiamma (wonderful pizza) we packed to spend the weekend up north.
Saturday morning John and Bryan left early, beating the heat and the people, attempted the Grand Wall but got stuck behind a slow party and bailed. These guys can climb so fast, I am excited to hear how it goes when they finally get a chance to go at it with no rain or slow parties in front of them. From what I gather, the two of them did Rutabaga and in which Bryan on sighted it. Kudos, it is a great climb. After this they retreated to the forest for some bouldering, Viper and American Gigolo was two of their problems. John said that Bryan is climbing really well these days. It is great to witness, he is really excited to climb and it shows. The two of them are going to tear it up this summer.
I met the gang on Saturday morning. I met everyone for the first time, my weekend was exciting just getting to know all these new people. Katie was sweet as can be. She is a ball of happiness and joy. She just rolls around as happy as can be. What great energy to be around. The best thing is, she mountain bikes. Music to my ears. This is actually the first woman I have met that bikes. She said she will be on Galbraith about three times a week this summer. I am so excited about getting to know her better and knowing more woman bikers!! Mary, is a guide with AAI, so she has tons of experience climbing. She is in town for the summer, guiding around the area. She is a tough cookie (literally, I think her biceps are bigger than John's...). I was stoked to climb with her in the Bluffs. It was nice to climb with a female who can climb hard. It was the first lesson of the weekend: women can climb and they can climb hard if they choose. She made me want to push myself as harder in climbing. Great inspiration.
Mary, Katie, Brenna and I loaded down Mary's Westie and met Ben, Vren, and his wife Julie in the Bluffs. We did Mosquito/Phlemish Dance and S&M Delight to warm up. Hit up the Penny Lane climbs (Crime of the Century was a blast!), as always, fantastic routes! Then headed up to the Split Beaver for a little variety. As we pulled into the the Chief campground, surprisingly Steve Murphy greeted us. That was a blast to see him. He was in good spirits. He has been testing himself by mastering the art of solo aide. More power to you Steve.
Sunday, Brenna and I got up and did The Angles Crest. It was the perfect choice was perfect: a northern aspect kept the climb out of the scorching sun, it was 14 pitches with the crux pitches being a good grade for me right now, and the fact that it is hands down one of the best moderate long climbs in Squamish. Well, we weren't the only ones with this brilliant idea, there were a total of six (6!!) parties on the route that day. The climb was in the shade all day, imagine that, we would have baked if we had any sun, it was way too hot just in the shade. I struggled leading a few pitches, instead of dwelling on the fact that I did have troubles in a couple cruxy areas, I made a simple conscious decision to get over it. I told my self that these emotions were totally irrational because I can climb and I can place gear that will keep me safe. I had a conversation the previous night with Brenna, questioning the motive behind why we climb, and I thought about that and reminded myself that I had choose to do this climb, I had sacrificed a lot to go climbing for the weekend, if I am going to get frustrated climbing I should stop doing it. WHAM! I turned things around. All of the sudden I was climbing for myself. I had a blast! I started to move more efficiently, place fewer and better pieces of gear, and overall enjoy myself and being out climbing. I felt free, free from this burden I had placed on myself. I felt strong and confident. What a difference it makes. I have a new desire to climb and it comes from the heart. I am breaking through the platue. Back to the climb... The acrophobe towers were fun, getting some great exposure, the second to last pitch was hard down low in the wide sections and finished up fun when it got to be a great finger crack. The exit pitch, a 5.8 off width was a spectacular way to top out. It ended up being a bit too epic for what the Crest should be, but we made and I am very proud that we did. Oh but wait... We got back to the van and the entire crew were making HAMBURGERS!!! It was incredible. The was one sitting there just for me, with a big side of home fries! These guys were great! They were so nice to us, I am excited to have met such inspired people and hopefully do more climbing with them!