When I really fight hard on a route, it can be for a number of different reasons. Some I’m quite proud of, others less so. This one is a little in between.
Chris and I arrived at the awesome Les Bruixes crag in Terradets (a 30m, gently overhanging wall, chock full of pumpy tufa lines, the best and most popular grade being between 7c and 8a+), late Saturday morning. By the time the sun hit the wall at 12 and we’d warmed up, there was already a long queue for the route (Energia Positiva, 7c+) I’d hoped to try! Thus I spent most of the day faffing and falling off some of the few unoccupied routes at the crag while Chris went about onsighting everything he laid his hands on! When Energia eventually became free, right at the end if the day, I was still psyched to give it a go. I made it fairly high before falling unexpectedly on a long move, and then fell a few more times, whilst working out the two top cruxes. I’d hoped it would go the next day but I wasn’t sure.
On Sunday I awoke much stiffer than expected, a combination of a bad nights sleep and sore muscles from the hard routes I’d tried the previous day. My right bicep in particular felt partially torn from the elbow; a little worrying. I climbed extremely poorly on the warm up, almost falling off multiple times and ending up very flash pumped! Optimism was low and my expectations for the day were fairly non-existant, yet at the same time, I really did not want to leave Terradets without having completed anything. I was feeling too sore to really enjoy the climbing but I just wanted to tick something to feel better about myself. Although I believe climbing is just for fun and ‘failing’ is still an achievement in itself because trying hard routes makes you stronger, annoyingly you won’t be as satisfied unless you get the elusive ‘send’ so I couldn’t help myself but want it.
I knew I was too tired to be able to give it more than one good redpoint attempt so I joined the queue. When it was finally my turn, I gave it everything my broken body had left in it. I almost fell at several points, including not even the crux, but just managed to scrape my way to the chains, panting, mouth dry, arms like lead. This is the fastest I’ve been able to tick a 7c+ to date so I’m proud of this mini achievement but not completely happy with.the reasons regarding my effort to redpoint it. I’d like to be able to say I sent it because I was really psyched and wanted to do the route because it was that good, but really I just couldn’t bear the thought of leaving Terradets without a ‘send’.
Les Bruixes is a truly ace crag however and I’m excited to return and enjoy the lovely routes with fresher arms!