So it’s one of those projects, when you’re first introduced to it, you can touch it, maybe make a couple moves, but that’s about it. A few years ago, a friend introduced me to Junkyard dog. A really nice looking rock with with an incredible line right up the middle. When you’re sitting at the base, it does not look too intimidating, but when you see the rock from a distance, it’s almost hard to believe it’s got quite an overhang to it. Over the past seasons, the sequence was getting unlocked, the moves easier, and the problem doable. At the end of last spring, I had dialed down every move up to the crux. A big move up left to a really decent angled bulge/ledge. For whatever reason, I could not land it.
I hit it once, solid, surprised. Fell off going for the next right sidepull. Damn.
Then work took over. I wasn’t able to get back out to it until later this fall. Conditions were near perfect, no crowding at the rocks, and just a day to throw myself at it. I spent a good chunk of a saturday just getting myself refamiliarized with it. Still getting stuck at the crux. Time to move on to other problems. I return the next saturday with with a purpose and a calm. Again, I work it to the crux. Still not connecting. But the throw is getting consistent. I know that I can land it. I’ve landed that move a hundred times before elswhere, so i know that this will go down. But for whatever reason, I just can’t connect. My hands are getting torn, my shoulder is already bad. I give it one more go, and “slap”, it sticks. I move through it like it was a warmup. I move through it like I was expecting it. The finish takes a little bit because it is entirely new territory, but it finishes pretty easily. I get to the top of the rock, and I am psyched! But at the same time, I’m feeling “ok, what’s next”. I think every climber has experienced it. You succeed in your mission, you finally finish in minutes, what it’s taken hours, weeks, months, to accomplish. And your mind goes to the next one, already. It’s a weird feeling. My mind is completely excited, but at the same time wants to move on to more, harder, the next one. And believe me, I have plenty of next ones on my mind.
Looking at the video, yes I dabbed. But who cares? I don’t have an 8a.nu scorecard. I don’t have a whole climbing community looking to see what I send next. I have me and my friends. I have my personal challenges and travels and failures and triumphs. Junkyard dog, on this day, was a Triumph! I was out at one of my favorite places to climb, with a couple really good friends, (big ups to Mike Bowsher and Bill Koenig), with perfect weather, and a perfect line.
This day, I was happy. This day, I am able to rack my mind over the next problem. This day, was good.