Well, it looks like there’ll be no snow this Christmas but a lot of rain.  As my Dad would say, “Thank God the drought is over.”

But, despite all the heavy humidity, we have gotten out and climbed some.  Ryan and Matt went bushwacking the other day while Amy and I climbed with some chuffers from California, JR and Michelle.  We went out to an area called Emerald City-Lady Slipper where both Amy and I had unfinished business.  Route one: Ruby Slipper, a slabby (ie not overhanging) and crimpy (small holds!) 5.11a sport route.  We’ve been on it before but typically fall in the area from the last bolt to the anchors.  My crux was one little technical move where I simply had to remember to bring my left foot up another 4 inches.  Alas, a new crux was found for me…I cruise past my crux only to forget the remainder of the route and as I, pumped (ie very very tired in the forearms) out of my gourd, jump for a crimp I don’t make I fall.  It is amazing how many thoughts can go through your head in a very brief period of time.  In those seconds I thought to myself, “Dang it!  That hold feels a lot bigger when you aren’t as tired.” and  as I look down, “Holy Crap that is a lot of rope out!”  That is when I screamed.  The fall isn’t so bad when your crux is just above the bolt.  When you add an additional 5 feet vertical, you add 10 feet of falling till you are caught.  Doh!  In short, there is still unfinished business on that route.

There was another route, but given how we were climbing that day we elected to toprope it only.  *Sigh*

Ryan and Matt had a slightly more sucessful day retrieving 8 ropes hanging in the southern region.

We have a little Christmas merry-making to do before we head towards some bouldering and continue our nomadic lifestyle.  We’ve really appreciated the hospitality and friendship of Matt and Amy but we are getting soft sleeping indoors with plumbing and a kitchen that is enclosed.  I hope we haven’t forgotten what it means to tough it out!

Happy Holidays everyone!

Love, VA and Ryan

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