I had a dream (climb). The first time I got on it, in Mountain Quarry around '98, I was so hopeless I had to dog every move from about half way up. I resigned myself that it was the sort of thing I could never do. I was too heavy, too weak, too...whatever.
All the same, every year I would return and give it another go, getting a bit less hopeless. In '03 I could do a clean toprope but I was too chicken to lead it. Peter was not too chicked and he did lead it, picking up the scalp. Oh jealousy. Then it got covered in shotcrete, courtesy of DEC. Then I went overseas for a few years, got a bit older.
Some kinds of dreams get further out of reach as one gets older and so it became clear that if I was going to live THIS dream, it better be soon. So when the weather cooled I jumped onto it, zipping up and down it with my trusty chest ascender. Over three Fridays I unlocked a series of its secrets: rests, holds, moves, clips. I also trained for endurance.....I must not get pumped on this thing.
Today I was ready. Well....my head and arms were ready, my legs were knackered from running up Jacob's Ladder on Friday, ten times with an 11kg backpack in 43 min. Mmmmm, overtraining equals sore quads.
The weather looked a bit dodgy but fortune favours the foolish. The first try went pretty well until I got to the ledge below the right undercling at the top. I dithered, then I tried to crank down with my cramping thigh to stand up, and it was too late. Aaargh.
Back on the ground I thought about it. Chill out. Maybe not today. I did some tutoring to Eric who had his first go on the route, and was as puzzled as me on my first go. Actually, E did rather well....and is young. No sweat dude....you still have many happy returns ahead of you, ha, ha....
Try two. Up the loose blocks. Clip first bolt. Left into dirty corner, stand up on ledge to right. Clip. Easy face to slot and bolt. Left, then right, long reach to ledge. Clip. High right step, sidepull, clip. Right crimpy sidepull, very long stretch to sloping ramp, clip. How do short people get over this? Up microramp to top, right hand to flat ledgy thing, left hand to sidepull. Left leg up, crank on left foot. Pause, clip. Stand up with GREAT difficulty, very low left undercling, rest. 4 metres to go. Up on glued holds, right foot to microscopic edge, left foot to good edge, ready-set-launch. Yeah, got the top jug. Clip, clip. Done. I SCREAM with joy. For a long while.
I may have done seventeen 24s before, but now I have lived the dream, Star Wars (30m, 24). What a great route! What a battle!! I celebrated by redpointing Urban Ethics (22). A wonderful Sunday. Thank you, Eric.