It was bloody Sunday today. I got one of the worst “flappers” i’ve ever had today, I’m not sure it even qualifies as a flapper if it’s this bad. It’s more like a deep gash like cut on my right hand’s middle finger. I’m going to make you read a little though before I tell you what happened! Muahahah!! 

Today started off with an amazing breakfast burrito made by myself and my grandmother, and then it was straight to the Sailing Hawks bouldering area. I always forget how intense the hike up the initial hills are just to get to the first series of boulders. I had scoped out a few different routes I wanted to try today, mostly V6s & 7s, in an attempt to test my strengths in different areas of the country. I walked up and saw someone working a V6 sloper traverse route and I asked if he would mind if I joined him for a while. He didn’t mind, so we headed for the “Font” boulder to try some harder things. There were a few routes on the mostly sloper-y boulder, a V4 stand start, a V6 sit start, a V8 traversing into the V6, and then a V10 that traversed across the entire face. I started on the V4 stand and found it fairly easy so I moved right along to the V6 sit start. This V6 was probably one of the more technical boulders I’ve tried from that grade. Starting with matched hands on a jug side-pull, you throw a right hand up real high to a slope-y crimp like thing that’s better as an open hand rather than a closed crimp. After that move you re-adjust the feet and throw a right foot wide and high and the left foot cams into a small crack down low. This move is definitely one of the weirder techy moves i’ve had to do, while you focus your left into the foot jam into the crack, you stand up on it and bring your left hand into a very small undercling. I wasn’t able to actually do this move after about 30 attempts haha, either the right hand on the crimp dry fired off, the left foot slipped out, or I just totally missed the undercling. A very frustrating start to the day, but I was still psyched on the beautiful weather outside. 

I decided to move on to the boulder I really wanted to climb today called “The Sunday Stroll” boulder. This boulder stuck out to me because on my very first time at Sailing Hawks 2 years ago I was completely unable to pull onto the start holds of this boulder, and I wanted to test if my new strength in bouldering meant I could do it now. As I walked towards the boulder I walked past the V6 sloper traverse route and a guy was working on it. I stopped to catch my breath from the 5 minutes of hiking and started talking with the guy and found out he was working a low start that goes up the middle. The route really stuck out to me because it was a short, technical, powerful climb. Just my style of boulder. The beta was cool too, I started matched hands on a incredibly bad sloper start with a low right foot and a really cool left toe hook waaaaay underneath the bottom of the boulder. I core up a lot, and really sink my left foot into the toe hook and fire my right hand up to a really awesome mono pocket. I don’t release the toe hook just yet, and I slap my left hand onto a small hueco sloper pocket. From those two holds I slowly pull the middle finger out of the mono pocket and go up to a slope-y crimp and then bump it again to a good sloper on the lip of the boulder. At this point I cut both feet and bring the right foot up to the start hold, while also getting my left hand to a sloper and bumping it again to a higher one on the top of the boulder. The last hard part is getting your left foot into the hueco sloper thing while not being able to see it at all, after that it’s just a mantle off solid feet onto the top of the boulder. I really enjoyed projecting and finally sending this thing, I think it’s one of the cooler routes i’ve done at Sailing Hawks for sure. 

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After I finished, I said thanks to the guy for letting me project his route, and moved on towards the Sunday Stroll boulder. It didn’t take long and I was setting my pads up underneath the boulder that was so hard 2 years ago. After feeling all the holds and trying the moves out individually it was very apparent that this boulder was perfect for me. It starts on a left hand pocket and right hand crimp and follows kind of the same kind of technical moves up the whole thing. Right hand goes up with a right drop knee off a good foot and then left goes to a side-pull, and that trend continues for the next 4 moves. I was able to get the first 3/4s of the route fairly easily, I found them to be very much my style of climbing, the crux for me is the last crimp before the top out. The hold has broken fairly recently, and it’s a very crappy hold that basically only your point and middle finger hold onto, but if they latch oh boy it’s good. After getting all those moves I decided to try the top, and THIS is where it gets bloody hahah. I pulled onto the last two holds before the top out and then threw my right hand up to the top to see how good it was, it was dooooope by the way, and after I jumped off the route and back onto the pads, ready to attempt all the moves for the “send go”. However when I landed back on the pads I looked down at my hands and I had blood gushing like crazy coming from my middle finger. This was more blood than had every come out of my fingers before from a scrape or cuticle popping, it was alarming to say the least hahah. I realized I was bleeding all over the place and quickly grabbed my Nalgene to poor water onto it and then I saw really how deep the cut went. At that point I recognized that with this kind of cut on my strongest finger on my strongest hand, my climbing was done for the day. 

Luckily my grandma was a nurse and when I came back to the house she patched me up nicely. Overall i’m very pleased with my day, even if I didn’t get the V7 i wanted to get, I got a really cool one that I didn’t even plan on doing today. I’m trying to enjoy the process on these kinds of days, really put some energy into focusing on the technical beta rather than the overall sending of a problem. Luckily the injury will have some time to heal while I snowboard with my grandpa over the next couple days, but I fully intend to go back and send Sunday stroll V7 before I leave Durango!

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