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Good days and Bad days

October 5, 2009

Went to the mountain of Sintra again, super psyched, riding high from the recent great sends!  I decided to start aiming my sights higher, as high as Sintra goes actually: Mito 8a (V11).  I looked at this problem with Macau about three weeks ago, soon after I had arrived; it looked awesome and felt very tough but I felt it to be within my reach.  That’s what a project is.

So I went over to the Mecca, feeling great, the wind in my face, the temps felt great.  I walked over to the warm-up area and set down my things.  Chalked up and did laps on an excellent V2 or something.  And it was about then that things started to feel a little off.  I tried some lines I had previously done and was greasing off them.  What was going on?  And then I noticed that I was sweating.  The temperature had shot up and the humidity was ridiculous for Sintra.  What was going on?  The rock felt like soap.  I kept trying the lines, super frustrated, feeling like a shitty climber.  Arghhh…  Each time I fell the morale got lower and lower.  This is one of the downsides of going climbing alone, when things are going bad there is no-one to joke with, to lighten up the mood.

I packed up my stuff after finally repeating a line I had flashed three weeks ago and doing a traverse line I hand’t tried.  Upon topping out I noticed the large raincoulds in the distance and realized that the humidity and temps were because of the front coming in.

I headed back to the car.  Sitting in the car I planned on leaving Sintra and going back home, or going to the beach… but it didn’t make sense to be here now and to leave…  Sure it was frustrating but that was climbing..  I can’t expect to have rad 7c days every single time.  It was a challenge.  I just felt off.  Thinking of Jonathan Livingston Seagull I drove the car to the Mito parking, removed the crash pads, packed the bags again and hiked the 10 minutes there.

The rock looked just as beautiful as I remembered, even more so.  My fingers were in pain when I touched the rock, the moves felt impossible and the rock felt greasy.  With a more understanding mentality/outlook I spent the next hour working some of the moves, failing relentlessly but persisting.

The sun went down and I headed back to the car feeling some satisfaction.  I’m glad I didn’t leave right away.

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