Sunday, September 28, 2008

Climbing, Not Knitting

Today was a day of many climbing firsts.

1) I red-pointed a 5.6 lead on slab (red-point means I got to the top without falling, slab means the rock was mostly smooth and at an angle). I think I like slab. I like using the downward pressure with my arms, rather than having to raise myself to my hands.
2) I climbed my first multi-pitch (which means that one person climbs to a ledge, then another person climbs, and so on, then you climb to another ledge, and so on) on mixed gear and bolts, also on slab and with no walk-off. I did two pitches and more than half of the third. It was the end of the day and I was the last to climb it, so when I got to a harder point I decided to just come down so we could move on. I wanted to get on that pitch, but it didn't matter to me that I reach the top. We were very high, which was exciting. I think that's the highest I've been. Does that count as another first?
3) I tied in to the middle of the rope.
4) I learned a mountaineer's coil (because I had to carry the end of the rope with me on the last climb--my first time carrying anything extra on a climb).
5) I learned to flake and to coil the rope.
6) I used a prusik on the long rappel down (tied a little differently).
7) I expelled some gas in front of the four guys I was climbing with. I was definitely the girl of the group today, but I think I held my own, even in the bodily-function department (though much less than they did).

I did a tiny bit of knitting while waiting for my turn, but it's hard when there's chalk on my hands. It's very drying stuff. I did a little sewing today, too. I was belaying Jason when I realized there was a hole in my pants. In the spot just below my chalk bag, and which would have been very noticeable while climbing. So I grabbed my knitting bag and the little sewing kit I carry with it and sewed up my pants. The guys were surprised I had needle and thread with me, but I was very glad I'd decided to bring my knitting bag up to the climbing area.

There may be a picture of me climbing, but I forgot to take my camera. I wish I had because the aspens are all turning yellow and were just beautiful as the sun moved through the canyon. We went down to the creek after climbing, since it had been a warm day and we needed to cool off. I was walking on the rocks and found a poor little rainbow trout caught in some fishing line wrapped around some sticks. Jason walked back with me to help the poor thing, but the hook was deep in the trout's throat. Jason broke the line, so I hope the fish went someplace nice to die. I'm mad at the person fishing, though. It's so irresponsible to do that--not just to leave the fish but to leave line tangled up like that. This is National Forest and should be treated with respect. Grr.

Next post will probably be about knitting, including a picture of a gift I'm giving. My last few posts have been without pictures. It's time for something pretty and knitted.


aimee said...

omg, that was like reading a foreign language. but i am SO excited for you and all the climbing! and horribly jealous, too, of course.

Carrie K said...

Next time I get into shape I'm going to take up rock climbing. It looks like it would be both challenging and exhilarating. (Being in Yosemite last week didn't hurt).

Pictures, yes!

TV, yes! I'm not as addicted this year as I've been the past few, but I'd get precious little knitting done without it.

TK said...

Climbing is great. My arms feel really strong--you should take it up to get into shape.

I'll post a picture of the hat tonight.

I don't get much knitting done without TV. That's where the conflict comes in. Is there really anything better to do after nine on a weeknight (when I'm not out socializing, of course)?