Thursday, April 30, 2015

Changing Plans

"Shhh, stop yammering.  Just take me to the crag." she whispered.  Her smile, I knew was meant to tell me, "I know already" and I needed to tone down my enthusiasm a little.  I held my cup of coffee, gulped down the last of it, smiled back, and tried to hold the last bit of excitement I have in describing the way the routes at the "Junkyard" ran across the huge orange wave of solid sandstone.  We were on our way to the very first crag I ever climbed lead on when I got to Sydney.  At least that was our plan.   

A friend and I partnered up for a long climbing holiday.  We would be stuck on each other's random quirks as we climbed across Sydney to the Blue Mountains.  On this particular trip, we planned heading to "The Junkyard" with Matthew and Jess.  On the way, however, Matthew wanted to show us this other new crag he furiously developed over the last few months. He called it "The Hideaway."  As excited about new crags, we had to make "The Junkyard" wait a little.

We walked down a path through the forest marked only by little ribbons tied onto small branches that arched down to eye level.  The forest went in all directions.  Without the ribbons it would have been easy to get lost in.  The dry ground didn't show signs of a highly distinct trail.  

We eventually made our way to a narrowing path that led us down to where a sandstone cliff rose.  The cliff band started to tower over us as we made our way to even ground.  As soon as we arrived at the base, a huge cave greeted us. The wave of sandstone covered us in shadows and kept the entire crag cool despite the warm summer weather.  

A striking route ran across the entire roof of "The Hideaway."  It seemed to traverse 20 to 25 meters of roof.  We walked past it as Matthew led us to more routes on the other side of the crag, all the while my mind stayed on the long roof climb.  

On the way back to the car I suggested mildly for us to stay at the area instead.  It felt like a long pause as I waited for reactions to my seemingly out of place suggestion.  The plan after all was to head to "The Junkyard", the crag I was excitedly pimping about earlier the day.

I expressed my huge intention to get on the long roof climb.  It was named "Ghetto Superstar." It was a route on a perfect horizontal line and was about as appealing as a new 9.2mm 80m. Sterling rope, a new rack of Petzl quickdraws, and Prana Mojo shorts in every color.  Like in what many climber stories say, "it called out."  I had to climb it.   

And so we stayed.  We had our own routes to try and I got to climb "Ghetto Superstar."  It wasn't at all easy.  Funny the way lyrics of the song from where the route got its name from still rings in my head.  I still hear it in my climbing partner's voice as she sings it.  It's one more of those quirks I got used to.  I'll climb it again for sure even if it means singing it with her again.

As what little Maxie, the three legged wonder dog, has taught me, nothing is impossible for a ninja dawg.

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