I lead a 5.10a!!

Se llama chica rapida. Me llama chica loca.

Regardless, today husband and I went climbing at exit 38 for some fun in the sun. I’m so glad summer has reached Seattle. I’ve missed the sun and all that Vitamin D. We’ve been climbing on and off this past summer, interspersed with Lindy Hop dancing and aerial classes. But cirque slows down every summer as my teacher tours with her own performing groups. And I already miss the intensity of aerial (as do my abs) but honestly, I’d rather be at the crags when the weather is this nice than be inside a warehouse. Plus it’s practically free to climb outside, just the gasoline.

We were off to a good start today, hiked up to Overhaul Wall and we warmed up on the Chain Gang (5.8). Then husband led an incredibly long, pumpy 5.10a called Rhino Relief. There were ELEVEN bolts and it’s a 3 star in the book. Which means it’s fun. And it was. Lots of sidepulls and good footholds the whole way up. It was really enjoyable. Whenever I follow Matt’s leads I’m always amazed that he doesn’t freak out. He just goes right after it and climbs away. There were a few overhanging sections that I definitely enjoy on toprope, but when the bolt is below me it becomes a different story. I’m still building confidence in leading–sometimes it’s fun, sometimes it’s not. I always enjoy following and I enjoy cleaning the gear, it’s very zen-like. When I’m focused while climbing it becomes such a meditation for me. I’m trying to have all my climbing experiences be like that, just me and the rock. Not all this psychological mumbo jumbo.

Husband encouraged me to lead a route on the Motherland crag and I was hesitant but tried it anyways. And my brain took over my body. I don’t even want to go into it, but my brain won. I’m lucky my husband is so encouraging and supportive. I would have thrown rocks at myself up there, more than halfway to the anchors and scared like a little bird. Frustrated but stubborn as always, we headed to Gritscone after finishing the route at Motherland. I filled my head with lots of positive thoughts and zoomed up 99 Grit (5.9) with a pause at the crux. I know I could have redpointed it but was happy to be leading and enjoying it. Gritscone has a bunch of short, mostly vertical climbs that remind me of the gym. It’s easy to just do a bunch and then move on to another wall. Husband and I tend to take our beginner friends here because it’s in the shade and there’s a variety of levels to choose from to make everyone happy. It’s usually crowded but when we set up our rope, we were the only ones there. Husband took a turn and redpointed 99 Grit.

Then, feeling inspired by the name of the climb, I put on my shoes and took on Chica Rapida (5.10a). I made it to the crux no problem while husband sang the ninja turtles theme song. I had a little problem at the crux and took a break just below it. Then, with one swift move, I was over it and up on my way to the anchors. I didn’t fall during the route at all so I could pretend it was a redpoint, but the technical people would say otherwise b/c of my break. I don’t care. I’ve never lead a 10 before and it was fun! I’m looking forward to more sunny days of climbing with the husy this summer. Maybe we can rope some friends in to come along as well.