Wednesday, May 16, 2012

This morning felt like what I can only describe as emerging from a chrysalis, the feeling of changing becoming something new, moving on, achieving and becoming the master of my own destiny once again was exhilarating!

At 4:00 am I could have easily turned over and gone back to sleep but there was an enormous burning ambition and motivation within which I had to answer, for the last 6-7 months I'd been listening to people tell me what I could and couldn't do... and I was sick of it! Luckily I had a companion equally as motivated as myself and willing to get up before sunrise to answer a call to challenge of climbing 2 routes before work.
A quick check of the watch to confirm we were on target - damn it!! 5 minutes late never mind we can make that up on the approach I start to run, not sure if my team mate is up for the run I stumble to give him the opportunity to respond almost inviting him to join me in haste....

As you can see we both start to jog and then run the excitement, angst is building; I sense the same urgency in my climbing partner's movements the way he responds to the situation gives me my sue to blurt out "I love it.... we're doing!"

"Yeah we are!" comes the reply...

A little out of breath and giggling like naughty school boys we reach the top of the crag - communication breaks into almost radio comms style bursts.

Kit up at the bottom is it - no kit up at the bottom, saves carrying everything back up - OK, bit windy - we'll be out of it down there - you going first - yep you can do the second pitch.

All the while rucksacks are being removed ropes slung over shoulders and gear sorted onto harnesses in order for ease of retrieval once in the thick of it. With that we're heading towards the end of the ridge and descending to the first climb....

As we come to the base of the first route the rock looks in fine condition and so inviting it feels like its been so long too long since I was so enthralled by activity the concise comms starts up again as I pay out one rope and Tom pays out the other at the foot of the route:

Where does it go - follow the crack-line straight up, then step right to the shallow niche - yeah where then - head straight up and onto that ledge 3/4 height - yeah - then traverse right to the corner and up again to top out.

I take in some more of the climb and a couple of breaths then the words come...
"You're ready to go mate,"
"OK." I reply "I'm off."

My body doesn't have time to catch up until I'm half way then it starts to remember where I am and what I'm here for I manage to shut out the chatter and just enjoy the route - it is a fantastic route quite underrated if truth be told; my movements are a bit short and nervous I stop myself from second guessing breath and make the committing move onto the ledge, I breath deeply blowing out the doubt. I look down to my loyal compadre an encouraging thumbs up comes my way and I smile.

 Wow that felt good... now over to this corner...
Tom makes short work of the route and I was pleased with getting to the top of the route by 5:55, then Tom made short work of the route reaching the top and passing me to the safety of the ridge once more and all within 10 minutes! As he pulls the ropes through we congratulate each other "Good effort mate!"
"Yeah, it turned out nice hey?" I reply, "This is what it's all about - what a great morning!"

As the sun struggled up a little further over the horizon I struggled up over the little rock step onto the ridge proper. Tom was quick to check "We'll get straight back down there for the next one is it?" I return with "Yeah lets just sort the gear quickly here and get on it."
By 6:20 we're already established on our second route of the day, I'm feeling pretty pleased with myself and enjoy the feeling of accomplishment, satisfaction and the view - life is good!!

I move on to planning my movement up the first 2/3 of the route and start to enjoy the anticipation of getting onto the rock once more....

By 6:50 I've emulated Tom in clambering past him to our start point and look back towards Mewslade bay just as the sun begins to bathe it glorious golden beams of light; at this point in time I am so satisfied with our efforts the whole world becomes vivid and for a moment or two I am at peace with myself and drink in the surroundings life feel so good it's almost overwhelming! All before 7:00 in the morning as well!

From that point on the day was always going to be mine; we had literally lived 'carpe diem' and now felt unstoppable. Little time was spent sorting out kit and we began our run back to the van we were well within time now and the inevitable "We need to go on an Alpine trip mate." came "YES!" was Tom's reply and we began to babble on imagining what our next adventure was going to be....

With that out of the corner of my eye I spot this little beauty...
A Spotted Orchid, somehow I felt rewarded, my mind wandered to the next adventure, we began to run again and in high spirits couldn't help ourselves in saying "We're doing it tomorrow!"
"No worries I can't wait, that was awesome!"
"I love early mornings...."

We may not go out tomorrow morning but I can't explain how motivating the whole experience was, I'm not sure if there is a moral to the story but if I was forced to choose one I suppose it may go something like this.

Sometimes you just have to grab the world by the scruff of the neck and go out and do it, don't let people point a finger in your face and tell you what you can and can't do. This was only a small step in the grand scheme of things but it was a powerful one for me - I think Tom got just as much out of as well.

Now who wants to go climbing.....

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