Rat in the Snow
Sun Feb 6, 2011
I’s a beautiful morning in New York, the sun is shining, and the snow blankets central park. Yeserday the rain and mist made it feel like a bit of a shit-house, but today it’s a fantastic day.
I brought my climbing boots on this trip just in case I might find a few hours to squeeze in an attempt on the polish traverse on rat rock, and this morning I had my chance to get up and see what state the rock was in. Sadly the polish traverse problem had a thick covering of snow on most of the holds, and the other holds were wet.
Around the corner the slightly overhanging wall on rat rock wa in the sun, and there were three desperate, but dry holds.
I messed around a little on the polish traverse, even though the holds were wet, and to my delight the key rail on the crux felt much nicer than it had ever before. The shape conforms very well to the mid-sized campus rungs that I’m training on at the moment, and so my right hand on the rail felt really comfortable probably fr the first time ever. Pity that the rest of the route was totally unclimbable.
I trotted around to the sunny side, and having a little bit of time to kill I pulled on my climbing shoes and strarted playing on those three desperate holds. They are pretty despreate for me, and there is an established start to a problem on that side that involves pulling on two of them and making a slap to a flat jug. I hadn’t been able to do that start that last time I was here in August of 2010, but since I didn’t have any options for trying anything else I just stood there in the sun working those two holds.
I had been able to do that start when I lived in New York, back in 1999 - 2001, but only every now and again, and only when the conditiions were pretty perfect.
It was georgeous, just standing there in the sun, pulling on every few minutes. After the fith try I could get some movement on them, they had gone from feel totally unusable, to actually not that bad. After about ten tries I got the move. If more of the face had been in condition I would have usually stopped trying after a handfull of moves. It was a really great lesson in focus, and in persistene.
All that rock, only those three holds usable, and a little bit of a relaxed approach brough a nice little start to my day :)