We went over to catch up with Olivia Hsu, a friend of Monique’s and a lady I had heard wonderful things about; she was staying with some friends of hers at a cabin nearby us. I have to say I have not been greeted with such open arms into peoples lives. Joel and Melissa are two of the good people in the world and Olivia is just lovely. So open and accommodating and totally welcoming in every way. We dropped off the delivery of Tim Tams for Liv and were on our way to the Sanctuary in the Muir Valley. We were meeting up with the crew to climb there but we got out earlier than they did and warmed up on Indy Wall, a beautiful vertical/slightly overhanging face of crimps and pockets from 10a to 12c.
Once the crew had arrived it was game on for these truly strong creatures. It was great to watch and learn and see how they worked the routes and remembered sequences that I couldn’t quite see. The day was filled with laughter and shouts of “Venga!!……VENGA!!!” as everyone inspired, perspired and aspired to ticking their chosen line. Monique was keen to get on a great looking route called “Prometheus Unbound” 5.13a. From memory the crux was about halfway up the route and was a technical sequence through a series of pockets (I remember Monique saying “Pockets aren’t my favourite thing”) and then more hard climbing to the anchors. It was awesome to watch as this powerful athlete goes through the process and dig deep to get the send. I learned a lot from this lady. I am so pleased I made the original phone call asking if she would come climbing with me. You really do just have to put it out there.
This is the day I met Brent Bishop, Olivia’s friend and climbing buddy. He was just a great bloke from the outset……funny, confident and with an unusually un-american shit-stirring nature. The guy impressed me, not only because he could take shit, but he could give shit! He was hilariously dry and great to be around. Brent and I wandered back to the “easy” part of the crag to knock off an 11c (23) that I wanted to red-point and he was keen to get on it for a lap. Brent hadn’t climbed much sport before being a “Trad Lad” was more his bag from what he said and he wasn’t a blouse wearing nancy sports climber……this made me laugh and I responded with “so you only climb 10’s then right?” and we both just laughed and it was on from there. Great day indeed hanging with “Good Humans”.
We were having dinner at the Rockhouse diner; this place is a bastion of solitude on a quiet night after a big day of climbing and Monique and I tucked into our respective meals with great enthusiasm, devouring every morsel of the plate of “fries” and a grass-fed burger and Mon’s kale salad with Barbacoa (marinated pulled beef). Brent and Olivia appear outside the window and came in and join us for dinner and a great night of chit-chat about generally cool life stuff and our experiences.
When we arrived home Dani and Marionna had just arrived home and were playing this “Gin-rummy” type game they had brought with them, so we hangout and Monique and Marionna teamed up and played down the challenge……..I will say clearly that I was a passive participant initially just getting my head around the idea of the game, not being a card game player at all. Monique jumped right in and it was on…I was absolutely no help to Dani as he was copping it from the girls.
Good night Kentucky!