day 6 on Atreyu – that’s right, 6

Owl Tor was visited Saturday by Phil, Andy, Skip, Andree, and me. Having dominated Power of Eating (5.11d) a couple weeks ago, Andree applied her attention to Auto Magic (5.12a) for her first day of legitimate redpoint burns on this new project. Perhaps though, “project” is not the right term. That would presume she spends a significant time rehearsing for the send, but having seen her on it Saturday I don’t believe that will be the case. Skip focused on Power and had a good day of it. In typical fashion for new patrons of the cliff, he doesn’t realize how close he is to putting it all together for a redpoint. He’s got stacks of strength from building a proud bouldering résumé, meaning he’s got the hard part handled already. Andy got on The Natural (5.12c) and No Skill (5.12c), both looking well within his striking range. And Phil got on Atreyu (5.13b) three times with me before moving on to laps on a few other routes. The focus of my day was three burns on Atreyu. Three burns for three falls at the crux. It’s a couple days past ridiculous for how much effort I’ve invested in this redpoint. First go I wasn’t even pumped, threw confidently for the crimp but didn’t even touch it. Second go had me barely on the crimp, unable to hold it longer than a moment before spitting off. I was all over that crimp for my third attempt but couldn’t hold on, knowing even before the throw my arms were ready to throw in the towel. My focus each burn was to relax, to stave off pumped arms all the way to the final crux move, which got harder each successive burn. But despite the day’s resultant failure I feel good about my fitness. These were my three best burns on Atreyu, ever. My focus on route-wide fitness, the kind of endurance one must have to climb powerfully for entire sequences, has stimulated some gain. I’m more comfortable on routes of this grade. I now climb at a pace between calculated movement and pump-racing speed. To finish the day I put five new bolts on my new line. And now I know, that’s no small task. New-routing is apparently enormously painful. Phil asked which was more tiring, putting in burns on my project or bolting the new line – honestly, it’s a toss up.

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