Friday, 22 March 2013
Area 44, SNOW DAY!!!
With Penticton an alcohol fuelled bust, (OF AWESOMENESS!) we decided to check out Area 44, to see if there was still snow there. The temperature was only just above zero, but we loaded up and headed down to Preview. No snow on the ground, so we set up on a 5.7 to start our afternoon.
Heather was taking first lead, and she ably climbed for half the climb before she hit something that caused problems. Not sure what, as we have both climbed this pleasant little route on many occasions, but she was stuck for a short while, and had to work hard to find the holds she needed. After she came down I started to prep.
I learned one thing from that cold weather at Skaha: keep your shoes under your coat so you aren't strapping blocks of ice onto your feet. This helped a lot, but there's nothing you can do to heat the granite, and before the second draw I was starting to lose my fingers again. I'm used to this, it happens everywhere, all the time. But it doesn't make for pleasant climbing, not by a long shot. Shortly after my hands the feet started to feel the cold, and things just started coming off the rails.
I arrived at the same point that Heather had paused at, and every move was causing me pain. Anything I touched hurt, and I couldn't tell if my hands were doing anything unless I could see them. It was impossible to know if my feet were on anything unless I could see it, and even then I couldn't trust. How can you trust something under those conditions. I can see my foot on the flake, but is it holding any weight at all? Fuck.
It took me WAY longer to pass this point than Heather did. I was getting very frustrated with myself. It was weird, to be so distracted by the discomfort that I really couldn't do much of anything. Very annoying. When I made it back to ground we noticed that it was snowing. Yes, again, we were climbing in the snow.
This trip, however, was to be even shorter than the Skaha day. After that one climb we packed up. It was just too cold, and Area 44's climbs are so high that you spend way too much time on the freezing granite.
Another day, Area 44...