The next day was a Sunday, which we always spend relaxing from the week. Unfortunately Casey got a little bored and decided to do a front lever on his parents stairway. Normally this wouldn't be a big deal but on this day, perhaps because of the strenuous day we had on Saturday, his lat gave in with an audible rip. He knew instantly that he was going to be out for at least 4 weeks, probably more. Heartwrenching! The following week I overbouldered and hurt my shoulder. Needless to say the next few weeks (months for Casey) were spent rehabbing. In some ways it was a good thing because we spent our extra time off learning about climbing training, nutrition, etc. The new Momentum gym opened (it's an amazing training facility!) and we started some easy sport climbing. We eased our way back into bouldering and before the temps got too hot we decided to take a trip to Joes Valley.
I had been really wanting to try a V7 in Dairy Canyon called Baldwin Bash. It seemed like it would be my style and I was really hoping to get a V7 before the season ended. Even though Casey's lat was still recovering we found a free weekend and drove to Joes Valley on Friday evening. We went straight to Dairy Canyon and I hopped on the problem. I was able to do all of the moves easily and make a few links before it got dark. I was beyond excited to get back on it in the morning and hopefully send!
Saturday morning we made the hike up to the boulder and I did the ending to warm up and make sure it was the beta I wanted. I was bumping out to a slopey left hand hold that felt slippery in the warm sun, but once I got my right hand on the indent next to it, the top out was easy for me. I decided to try from the start and I was able to link it all the way to the top out! I slipped off the left hand sloper but felt confident that I could send it since I was only one move away. I rested and went from the start again. Same story. Rested again...fell of the left hand sloper again! It was getting frustrating!
Sitting sorrowfully after another failed attempt.
I could do the whole problem, but every time I was falling from that left hand sloper. I was confident that it was definitely within my ability, but doubting whether or not I would be able to send it in the warm weather. Casey, being the awesome husband/coach that he is, encouraged me to rest during the day and come back in the evening when the top out was in the shade. I decided that was a good idea and left feeling hopeful but disheartened.
He didn't want to overdo it for his lat so we ate lunch and took a little nap on our crashpads in the little meadow at Dairy Canyon. We were tired and feeling ready to pack up and go home. I almost decided to throw in the towel and not even try Baldwin Bash anymore. Fortunately we decided to hike back up and give it a few more tries, even though the sun hadn't set yet. When we arrived at the boulder I decided to try the ending again. I did it easy with my old beta so I hopped on for another go from the start. I made it all the way to that sloper, and fell again!
Rethinking my plan, I tried some different beta for the ending, using my left hand on the indent I had been going for with my right hand, and it felt really awkward. I was sure that the easiest way was my original method. I tried it from the start over and over again, with the same result, falling at the end every time! There were some other people climbing there that suggested a right heel hook for the ending. I tried it with no luck. I really wanted to send the problem and I knew I could do it! I tried it a few more times from the start and guess what happened?... That's right! I fell off the left hand sloper time after time! Finally I realized that it was not going to happen with the beta I wanted (I guess I'm a slow learner?). I tried the ending again with my left hand on the indent, a high right step, and a long reach to the jug. Although it felt more awkward, it worked, so I worked up the energy to try the problem one more time from the start. By this time I was extremely tired. Luckily by this point I had the beginning of the problem totally engrained in my muscle memory. I started the problem and every move felt much more difficult and desperate. I knew that if I fell there was no way I was going to be able to do the problem again. I held on and moved with every ounce of strength I could muster and....I SENT THE PROBLEM!!! The top out was long, desperate and ugly but I couldn't have cared less. I did it! In a matter of two days and an enormous amount of effort, I sent my first V7.
I had tried it so many times that the skin on my right hand ring finger was completely worn away after my final topout. It was worth it!
baldwin bash from Casey Webb on Vimeo.