Resting is good, it is very, very good. Today is our second day off and we've realized it should have been our third. We've been hitting pretty hard lately, climbing every two days then taking one day off. It looks good on paper, in a five day period we're climbing four. That's the kind of thinking we had in Lander, "if only we could climb all week long and just take one day off"! It doesn't really work that way unfortunately. We are TRASHED! This place is so much more physical than other areas. Given the fact that we're coming at this endeavor with no training and very little prior exercise, it's taking it's toll on our bodies. Lindsay's finger is much better, it's still a little stiff in the a.m. but that's about it (whew!....we call that dodging a bullet). The last two days on we climbed as much as we could, over twenty pitches combined (a pitch is the length of one climb, typically here about 100 feet). Unfortunately we don't have any hard sends to show for it, Lin is TERRIBLY close on a .13a and .13b, and I do stress the word TERRIBLY. I....well....I haven't done much, I've been onsighting a bunch of really good hard .12's but fail to get psyched on projects here. To climb at a hard grade (5.13+ or better) here, you need to possess massive endurance. All the harder routes here are mega pump challenges, a type of climbing that I'm just not good at.
This week we're going to get agro though and start digging in and fighting a little harder. We've buffered our diet to accommodate a more rigorous schedule, we have a new rope (thank you Miguel for the swingin' deal), and we're ready to start ticking boxes! The weather is a concern as it has been very cold lately. As I look outside at our $1 dollar thermometer it shows a balmy 37 degrees with cloudy skies and occasional mist. The cold here sucks. I take back all the things I said about Wyoming being cold and crappy. At least in Wyoming it isn't wet and cold. When we check the weather in the morning before we head out, we pay as much attention to the humidity and the dew point as we do the temperature. If the ambient gets down to the same number as the dew point, the moisture starts to condense. The walls here suck up all that water and then the walls literally weep. It's a bizarre and radical phenomenon but alas it puts the kibosh on climbing for at least a day, maybe more depending on the forecast. Today we're right at the border line, if it gets any colder, we're hosed. Tomorrow is supposed to be better, all the way up to 51! Looks like we'll be heading for some of those sunny crags.
We've been hanging out with some fun kids from Knoxville on the weekends though. It's amazing how many people come for those two days, the other morning, I walked out the door and a snoring gentleman had set up his bivy sack right under our towels and airing laundry. Not because he liked our downy fresh linens, no, the campground was just that full. Anyway, our new friends from Knoxville come up each Friday night, we have a HUGE dinner in which everyone throws in a large dish of whatever and then we climb on the weekdays together. It's a bit like home, we eat big, drink big, climb a little, and heckle and joke each other off of climbs we have well under control. I think we'll bring some of my famous Ramen Surprise this week, oh yeah that reminds me, we have a costume party to go to this weekend. We went to the costume store in Lexington yesterday, we could have had a lot of fun with some of the outfits but we needed to keep the costumes within the "kid appropriate" range. So ultimately we'll be going as Fred and Daphne from Scooby Doo. The outfits are hideous and if we go anywhere near an open flame, we're toast. It should be a lot of fun. Pictures to follow!