You’ll be Lucky

When Trent told me, “You’ll be lucky to climb V3” in Hueco, I must have had a big shit-eating grin on my face.  I’ve been climbing six or so years, and I climb V6 inside pretty consistently.  That and a month of real training had me pretty confident that I’d crush any V3 or below on my first boulder trip.  My goal was to climb V5 outside.  Let’s do this.

Day one we reached a warm up area, and I flashed V0, V1, and V4.  Suck it Trent.  

Then the day took an interesting turn.  Our next climb was Dragonfly, a diverse V5 left me bloody and hurting.  Then I got kicked off a V2, flashed V3, and gave everything I had to V4 Moonshine Roof while getting nowhere.  Even so, I was confident V5 was in reach.

The following day was unforgiving.  I didn’t send anything after warmups, and I couldn’t even finish one of those.  V4 Between the Sheets – no shot.  V3 Death by Mambo – close but no cigar.  V5 Animal Acts – please.  Day two down.

Day three was similar.  I gave V3 Burro everything, leaving blood on the rock but no send.  I didn’t even try on Animal Acts or Honeycomb because of a strained left bicep, and it was only at the end of the day that the guide took pity on me and called part of Star Power a V2 so that I could send something.  V5 had been in my grasp and then nada.

My goal of sending V5: Failure.  Hueco kicked my ass.  

But Trent was correct.  I was incredibly lucky to climb V3 in Hueco.  Swirl was my favorite send of the trip, and V3 it was.  I enjoyed working Moonshine Roof, Dragonfly, and Burro even more, despite not finishing them.  Each day I was in awe of my experience on that hallowed ground.

The process of crashing my mind and body against the rock resonates with me in some primal way.  The battle is important, the result less so.  As I sit typing, ten days later, I am still filled with the joy of the fight, and bursting with hope for the chance to climb there again.  The names of those climbs that shut me down are carved on my training wall, and my heart is burning for the chance to battle better against even greater foes.  

Thank you for inspiration Trent.  I hope I am lucky enough to climb V3 in Hueco again.