Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Squamish for the weekend


There is nothing that makes Monday easier than a weekend of some good healthy play time. I came to the office with a smile on my face and a bounce in my step on Monday morning. Unlike most people, I didn't take the weekend to rest and recover from a week at the office rather I took the weekend to get rid of all the energy I had built up over the week. Mondays are usually for recovery.

Friday night I packed up the truck with Bryan and had a bite at Taco Lobo downtown. It was a chance to say hi to Jess and Miss Abby. Andy and Az met up with us and we all crammed into the Subby and hit the road to the home away from home. We pulled into the parking lot at the Chief and it was empty. This was a surprise to me. Usually the place is littered with people sprawled out on crash pads, sorting gear and staring you down when anyone pulls in. Welcome to Squamish. We were greeted by John and Jimi chillin' in the van playing chess and reveling in the two prior days of climbing. I was so excited to see John, there is nothing like a little separation to make the heart grow fonder.

We all got up bright and early on Saturday morning. John and Jimi went and fired off the Angle's Crest. They did it in record time. John being the amazing person that he is led every pitch, from what he tells me, running, which I believe. It is so great to be around someone so confident in his climbing abilities (mentally and physically). He truly is a natural if I were to ever have to describe him. There is nothing that he turns away from. They are all just possibilities to him. It is a great energy to be around.

Bryan and Andy hit up the Smoke Bluffs for a day of craiging. Kudos to them for the cold beer at the end of the day.

Az and I were ambitious and tangled with Stairway to Heaven. It is an 18 pitch slab/sport climb. It went smoothly. I would not expect anything less climbing with Az. Az is another one of those naturals. She is a joy to climb with. She did a great job on the entire climb. This was my first day back to Squamish in a long time. It took me awhile to get my feet back under me. This is no excuse though, I just need to pony up and get over my nerves. The climb starts in the Bullet Heads, making its way to Bellygood Ledge. From Bellygood it takes the the first two pitches of Millennium Falcon. Az and I were unstoppable to this point. The first pitch off of Bellygood is spooky. Until now the climb is a slab climb, now it ramps up to vertical, exposed, and the bolts are super awkward. Az being all of five feet had to work for the clips. The next pitch was mine and I had a run for my money. The first clip is a tough bouldery move and then continues up to some tenuous traversing moves. I got scarred to say the least. I just didn't want to go for the move, basically chickening out. Az wouldn't take that for an answer and pushed me to go for it. The next thing I know I am out there making the move. My heart racing adrenaline pumping through out my entire body. I was making the next clip. I had done it. What a great feeling. That is why I climb. I was alive in every sense of the word. I am so glad that I hadn't backed off and settled, having someone else bail me out. That is what it is all about. We finished up with the Traverse of the Gods which Az got a kick out of and eventually hiked off and were greeted back at the van by the guys.

Sunday, we wandered through the Grand Wall boulders, bouldering at the super classic spots. It was great to watch John climb. He looks like he just floats through some of the problems. I have a feeling that he will send some V8's by the end of summer. I am excited to see this. He is motivated. John, Jimi, Bryan and I called it a short day, drove back to Bellingham and spent the evening with my dad for Father's Day. We had a great dinner of ribs (his favorite), salad from the garden, followed by pie and ice cream. My dad is the greatest, followed by closely by Bill.

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