As I got to the second set of chains I just wanted to give in and say take. I was boxed. I felt broken. I'd climbed the lower section abysmally, nearly falling off an easy move by misreading it. Then nearly falling off a tricky move by being shit. I'd been lucky to scrape through to the first anchor, let alone the second, and I knew the top was supposed to be the hardest part. Still, might as well press on until I fall, I've blown doing anything else today anyway. With expectations thrown out the window and caution thrown into the wind my climbing improves instantly - faster, flickier, more decisive. Suddenly I'm at the lip of the cave, shaking out on undercuts. Fuck. It could be on. Don't screw up now. The last sequence sends me up and down a couple of times. Don't screw up now. No time left. All the aero cap training is doing its thing, but 40m of cave climbing has taken its toll. It's now or never. Commit. Try hard. Round on the slab and it's over. I'm in. GET IN! Excitement and happiness well up, and I shout like never before. A perfect reminder that it's always worth keeping on trying, even when you're convinced you've blown it, and just the kind of experience I wanted for my first 8b onsight.
|Glorious Gran Boveda|
|Onsighting Eclipse Cerebral (8b) [photo: Mark Tomlinson]|
|Eclipse Cerebral (8b) [photo: Mark Tomlinson]|
|Happy knees. (It wasn't my idea. Honest.) [photo: Mark Tomlinson]|
|The Kneepad Tree|
|Wow. Oh wow|