As we embark on a new month, colder temperatures and another season of skiing, I can’t help but reflect on my training over the past year. Ethan nailed it when he said, ‘2015 was our most ambitious climbing year yet’. 2015 was a year for the books; record breaking sends, sweet campfires and always a good friend to share beers and climbing beta with.
Our third phase in the Rock Climber’s Training Manual proved to be just as successful as the first and second. A goal of mine for the third phase was to get on the tiny and technical, Soap on a Rope 5.12c, in Clear Creek Canyon. I felt calm and collected as I approached the route. I didn’t have any expectations and mostly, I just wanted to give it a whirl.
We waited patiently for temperatures to drop and we hoofed it to the crag early each day to avoid direct sun, clammy hands and poor conditions. The first day I climbed up the route, I surprised myself – getting to the red point crux with relative ease. I rehearsed the route twice that day, feeling motivated, strong and hopeful.
Moving past the red point crux on day two felt like a dream. Three of my favorite people were there to root me on as I climbed on in euphoria, clipping the chains. In a way, this route was the pinnacle of my year. Not only was it my hardest send to date, it was my goal route: a route that I hand-selected at the beginning of our training; a project I wanted to work toward.
In following the Rock Climber’s Training Manual so ardently, working Soap on a Rope felt more than possible, it felt good. In many ways, I have this program, and motivation from Ethan and great friends to thank. I am a much more confident and intentional climber. My movements are much more fluid and dynamic, I am stronger physically and have strengthened my mental stamina significantly. This year has definitely been a chart-buster; more rewarding than I ever imagined it to be.
As the cold, dry weather of winter falls upon us, I take special consideration for my body and embrace the beautiful season of winter. I am looking forward to long tours in the mountains, fresh powder turns and sharing this beautiful season with friends and family. For now, training for climbing can wait until the new year. ‘Tis the season for wintry fun.