I made an unscheduled climbing outing with James today. James is a climbing addict and he wanted to go work the moves on "Big Joe" 5.13c or something crazy like that. So off we went into the Gatineau with 5 degrees C air temp, an overcast sky and flurries coming down.
After hiking in James started on a climb that turned out not to be Big Joe but some (unclimbed?) project that was much much harder in James' mind. Then after a peek at the guide book we found Big Joe. James worked the route and managed to get all the moves and link most of them together. By this point, 1.5 hours has gone by and it was my turn
to climb. I won't lie, I was cold (and sore from yesterdays bouldering) and would have walked out of there given the chance. However, James can be persuasive and besides I did not want to look soft in my old age. :) We hiked over to Downunder and setup under
"Pita de Roma" 5.11a. Pulling on my cold climbing shoes sucked. The climbing to the second bolt went well but I could not hold it together on icy fingers and sore arms. After warming my hands under my arms I moved on pass the third bolt and into the crux and on to finish the
climb in one go. Yep, only three bolts and then anchors but they are well spaced so the climb is not short. The crux felt hard. It goes like this: right hand to side-pull crimp, left hand up to garbage crimp, smear right foot on sloping ledge, pop right hand to sloper,
get stable, screaming loud now ... pop right hand high to crimp, pull and stand up, bring left foot up, left hand up to next crimp and pull in, this is where you should clip but I was so pumped that it was not going to work ... after a moment of indecision I screamed really loud and threw for the top above the anchor ... thank goodness it is jug.
With my hand on the jug I clipped the anchor. It was scary and awesome at the same time. James asked if I wanted to do it again to which I reply "no, lower me off this f@#king rock". Maybe if the sun comes out on the weekend I will be able to send this in one go.