the adventure continues:- a birthday gift to yourself is sometimes just the right thing…….

Yesterday Miss K celebrated a birthday and when asked what she wanted to do……she said lets go climbing! I want to try my project. So off we went to Noufaro Sector and climbed for the day. We  warmed up on a couple of 6a+’s and then I had a shot at my current 7a and broke a foothold off. Miss K decided it was time to test herself and tied in and pulled on to the rock to put the quickdraw on her project “Spice” 6b+.

It was great to watch her pushing through some barriers that she had placed around her ability and face a few heady fears. She got to the sixth draw and said Can you put the rest on for me? I smiled and said Sure honey. She came down satisfied with her efforts as this was the hardest route she had ever tried and it was a really step up for her. I was a proud man this day indeed.

I put the rest of the draws on and lowered down and extended a few of them to try and reduce the head game Karine was experiencing. I thought to myself “I wished I had somebody do that for me on the odd occasion when I first started leading at my limit.” When I touched down we talked about strategy and how to approach the climb as a project and not as a difficult ascent.

The sun was now approaching the crag and we had a limited time window for K to try the route again. She tied in and off she went. It was wonderful to see her try this hard and wanting to try this hard. She climbed the first few clips rather quickly and then moved into the little roof slightly right of the crux. Clipping here was paramount as the fall although safe and relatively short had a little swing involved. She pulled out and clipped quickly. Then I heard the words….”I’m tired.” She pulled tow more small moves and sang out “Take!”

After resting for a couple of minutes K pulled back on and although scared out of her pants she pulled the crux and headed up to the last 5 metres of slab climbing to the anchors. She rested and shook out her pump and continued strongly to the anchors. This was her first red point attempt! One hang on the rope and she was up the route. She was super pleased with this and I was a very proud partner indeed.

We headed home to get ready for the birthday party we had organised for K…………


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