Originally I had planned on skipping climbing altogether this weekend since I had just returned from an all-out, six-day effort in New Hampshire - but, Saturday afternoon rolled around and the siren-song of Whiskey a Go-Go started calling me. I was sore, from an ill-advised campus session on Friday night, but the soreness felt good and I needed more. So I sent out a few texts, and even posted for partners on Facebook...in the end, my good friend Matthew came through and agreed to meet me at Necedah Sunday morning.
I warmed up by hanging draws on Tower Route (5.10a) and Dakota Farms Cheese (5.11a). I probably should have been happy just doing Tower Route, but Dakota Farms Cheese is right there, and classic. After the warming-up, my left forearm, near my elbow, felt tweaky and sore, so I was not sure how things were going to go on Whiskey, but I was there, the conditions were stellar and I wanted to get on it.
Until now, I had been practicing Whiskey on a top rope, but Jay had me whipping all over stuff in New Hampshire, and I felt ready to at least give it a shot on the sharp-end. I had arrived a little before Matthew, so I had rapelled the route, hung draws, and "stick-clipped" the first bolt. I climbed straight past the first bolt, grabbed the second draw, clipped in and then took a hang. Then I re-established, climbed to the third bolt, clipped it, and took another hang. From there I re-established again, climbed through the crux to the good, high finger-lock, and clipped the fourth bolt from a remarkably solid stance, I think I took again (maybe I gunned for it, I cannot remember), and then went for the fifth bolt, I came off in control before getting to the mail-slot, and took a decent whip. Tired, I lowered to the ground.
After that, I walked around to the top, and dropped the rope for a few more attempts on top rope. My second go of the day was going nicely and I hit the Gaston at the beginning of the crux feeling strong, but I botched bringing my left foot up, kicked the wall, and pitched off. Then I hauled rope past the crux to work the top, I was very close to getting the top-section cleanly - it is pumpy up there, but I think think some more dialing of the sequence would lessen the pump-factor.
The third go was ugly, short and unimpressive.
Lessons learned today:
- Do NOT do a campus workout two nights before working the route (AKA have a training plan and stick to it)
- Clips are like this:
- Powerful left-hand clip from the right-hand side pull used to layback into the left-hand pocket/crimp - need to find a better way?
- Relatively solid left-hand clip from the good right-hand side pull below the soap dish.
- Post-crux, bomber stance right-hand clip from the good left-hand finger-lock.
- Right-hand(?) clip from a left-hand(?) in the mail-slot.
- Going to be pumpy any way you slice it...
- The upper section needs rehearsing.
To cooldown, Matthew and I did Air (5.6) and took in the amazing autumn colors of the central Wisconsin sand counties - beautiful.