failure at any cost

So, Saturday’s session at the Tor started out smooth. I warmed up on Power, then a lap on The Sea before I walked over to No Skill. Not only have I not redpointed No Skill this year, I’ve never redpointed it. This being my fourth day on it this season I thought this should go over pretty easy. It had better go over pretty easy because this is MY FOURTH DAY ON IT THIS SEASON. Sure, I’ve only been getting on it once a day and sure, the way it climbs does not suit my style. But the thing is not that hard. Which makes my next two burns that much more amazing. My first go had me falling reaching from the jugs on Chips to the far crimp. One fall, no big. I’ll just give it one more stupid go to make the redpoint official and I never have to get on this pile again. As befitting any story worth telling, the outcome was interesting. I fell. Again. At the same point. Now I’m thinking something’s wrong with me. So, I get on Chips. And crank it like I’m walking to the But, Elijah, isn’t No Skill 5.12c?me: yesyou: …and your projects are hard 5.13s?me: exactlyWhy this stupid friggin’ route has my number I can’t understand. Why I can hike up Chips, eight feet to the right, an undeniably harder route, after flailing twice on stupid No Skill boggles my mind. I’ve managed to turn what should be a lap route, another incidental pile of holds in my mid-summer endurance routine, in to what is now virtually a project. I’m virtually projecting it. Whatever. After Chips I got on The Natural, maybe the most hated route in all of Santa Maria, and tried my variation to the crux sequence. My plan here is to dyno off the two-finger, throwing left hand from the flake to the jug straight above. This eliminates the right hand jug after the pocket. It’s far, I’m not gonna lie. But it’ll go. I got close. Well, all is not lost. I do believe all this endurance garbage I’ve been hammering out lately has helped. Like I said, Chips felt easy. It felt better than it’s felt in a long time, better now than ever this season.

Micah on No Skill. He does yoga.
Justin on When the Sea Doesn’t Want You.

It was me, Micah and Justin.Temperature was about 85. Kinda hot but nothing like last weekend.Saturday’s routine:

  • Power of Eating (5.11d) – redpoint
  • When the Sea Doesn’t Want You (5.12a) – redpoint
  • No Skill (5.12c) – 1 fall, going from the Chips jugs to the far crimp
  • No Skill (5.12c) – 1 fall, same spot
  • Chips Ahoy (5.12d) – redpoint
  • The Natural (5.12b) – Lots of falls, trying to work out a new ridiculous sequence.


  1. My bad. ‘Hell’ is 12b. I erroneously called it 12a in this post. Though the Tor still hates you, this particular route is in fact harder than I indicated. I will edit this now. Sorry for the confusion. Hope to see you at the Tor soon.

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