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Smith Rock, November 8-9, 2014

The following list is why my entire body hurts today:

Saturday

Snuffy Smith- 5.9 warm up 7 bolts; flash Tuff it Out- 10a on TR; one fall at the undercling due to a lack of commitment on my part… Time to Power Start- 10a 5 bolts; easy send. Blue Light Special- 11b on TR; stuck the crux on try #3 #project Phoenix- 10a 5 bolts; send- first time leading this route and it was a fun lead.

Sunday

Helium Woman- 5.9 8 bolts; easy warmup send Captain Xenolith- 10b 8 bolts; fell at the crux on both send attempts but I know the beta now and should send it next time. #project Caffeine Free- 10b 8 bolts; fell twice at the first crux but smooth sailing once I committed. #project

This weekend was the manifestation of my “why not?” outlook on life. The result being that I not only took my first unplanned lead fall outside, but I took four of them. With a gentle “whoop!” each time I peeled off the wall, I settled myself, shook it out, and kept climbing. I also managed to hit the anchors on Blue Light Special after employing all of the strength in my body to get through the bouldery undercling move.

I was psyched to get the send on Phoenix because I had a mental block on that route on TR about a month ago. On lead? It was a cruiser.

Both 10b leads were challenging for me but they were definitely within my reach- had I climbed those routes on Saturday when I was fresh, I think I definitely would have sent them both.

Sunday, I spent some time giving a belay to the sketchiest lead climber I’ve ever encountered- he had just driven in from Colorado and didn’t have a partner. He asked if someone from our group could catch and I said… ‘sure…’ despite him having roughly 75 lbs on me. I spent the entire time saying things like 'watch that foot’ while grimacing in fear and keeping my brake hand as far away from my ATC as possible… it was pretty terrifying. But it was his first time touching Smith Rock rock so that was pretty cool.

I felt ballsy. I felt strong. I felt balanced. I felt wonderful.

I lead more this weekend than I ever have and I never once felt scared or anxious. The climbing rhythm continued and I ran with it. I had some wonderful partners helping me through the cruxy bits, and although I still felt the strong void that came with the absence of my adventure partner, I sailed through another weekend doing what I love in a beautiful place.

Portland, OR, USA

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©2020 BY CORIE L. TRAYLOR. CREATED AT SEA LEVEL.