It was cold, overcast and damp in Gatineau on Wednesday which made for some hard climbing on cold fingers. As the day passed you could feel the temperature dropping off. As I lead up Sausages I felt like garbage and had a serious lack of focus. It was like I had never clipped a draw before. A strange opening to the day where I would pull the hardest moves I have ever done while leading on real rock.
I started to work the crux of Sausages direct 5.12a/b on toprope. Out left to a small crimp at the bottom of the direct section, move feet over, right hand to small (2-3 finger) side pull crimp, left hand up to crimp on a pink granite rail, high right foot, pull, lock and crimp really hard with my right hand on the worst crimp ever by the 4th bolt. With a lot of tension I stepped out high to the ledge (below the lip) with my left foot, cut my right foot and moved it under the left to smear on small ridge, then I came off while moving my left up another 6 inches above the lip into the bomber foot hold. I tried a couple more time and finally stuck my left foot but came off after rocking over to hit a three finger sloping crimp (on pink granite) with my left hand. I decided to jug up and practice the movement between the sloping crimp and the cave. Finally, I lowered below the crux, rested, and to my surprise climbed through to stick the sloping crimp, then my right up to triangle crimp above the bolt, a pop to cave with my left, to grabbing a jug for a rest.
On my first lead attempt I screwed up the high foot because I just forgot the sequence. What a waste of energy. So down to the ground to rest. On the second attempt I missed the last triangle crimp. On the third attempt I moved through the crux clean and felt totally gassed as I grabbed the rest jug. After shaking out I moved my feet high and crossed over to a good triangle. At this point you should stand up, move to a pinch, then on to the final jug and clip. However, being pumped and not thinking straight I founded an undercling in the cave from which I made a tenuous clip. The upside of this clip is it gave me the confidence to stand up to the pinch and finish the climb. A late session epic for me.