Killing Me Softly

Eyeing in the second crux of Killer Bees. pc: Carlos Romania,

Southern Utah is a very warm place. We were lucky to have an extended season there climbing in the Hurricave this spring, but time’s up. I’m having a hard time deciding whether I should feel disappointed or grateful right now. I go through this every time I have to walk away from a project. On this route, Killer Bees (8b/13d), I find myself weighing all the work and time invested against the power and strength I’ve gained, in hopes that the benefits win my emotions. I remind myself that when I first got on this anti-me, short, bouldery line I asked it to make me be fast and furious and try my very hardest. It has done that.

I will not forget my beta. It’s been hard-wired into my neural network. This has been the single most cryptic, beta-intensive route I’ve ever attempted. My creativity level was forced to its maximum. Sixteen days in, and I was still discovering nuances. I found new beta my last day on it. Between foot jams and cams and knee scums and bicycles and slopers and hand jams and finger locks and crazy contorted body positions, I think I pulled out every technique in my bag of tricks, plus added a couple new ones.

And so I’ve left it for now, with memory reels of powering through hard moves and making good links against the odds of style and conditions…grateful. The route isn’t going anywhere, good temps will return, and so can I. And as Charlie keeps reminding me, there are other routes out there, maybe even a few I’ll love more than this one. He’s usually right about things like that, whether I always admit it or not.

Charlie had successful early season with several strong sends, leaving the Hurricave on an especially high note with the third ascent of Inner Worlds (read his story here). Yesterday was the second climbing day of the Maple Canyon leg of our odyssey. The cobble pump is real. It’s been a few years and I’m psyched to be back. We both have unfinished business to clean up and new tick lists to tackle!


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