Ever since I started climbing, I have always had at least one route that has caught my attention to the point where all I want to do with climbing is to climb that route from the ground up without falling. Last year when I moved to NC I began that process again. Here though, it took quite a while before I found a project or two that I really wanted to work. Last June, I had found the route that I wanted to work on. It was Pawing the Void. For two straight days in June, Ron and I worked on this route. The guide book calls it a 5.12c. It is every bit of 5.12c if not harder.
The crazy part about all of this is that the first day we tried it, I hopped on the route on the sharp end without a warm up. Luckily, you are never pulling super hard but it was quite a difficult route to get on without physically and mentally preparing yourself on an easier route. Since last June, Ron and I have only been on it once since. That was until this past week.
For a while now, I have been bugging Ron to go back out there and work the route with me. Finally, I was able to pull him away from his many other projects so that we could get back on Pawing the Void. This route is turning out to be my main project at the moment. With its thin edges, slopey eye-brows, and barely there holds, it will take quite an effort on my part to get the redpoint. Most of my previous projects have been routes that crescendo in difficulty up to the crux then let off. This route is not like that. The first 20 feet of the route starts at 5.10 then gets up to maybe 5.11. After that you get into the first crux section which is probably 5.12b. After that, the route stays in the 5.12 range and has a long upper crux which causes one to basically levitate on the non-existent holds. Then with a few final moves you are at the chains.
This week, Ron and I plan to get back on it for another session. One thing we learned this past week was that it has to be done in the morning. In the afternoon, it gets hit by sun and is harder to climb then. Also, there is a route about 20 feet to the right that is also on our list of routes. It is a 5.12a with a 5.9 unprotected beginning. I have top roped this routes twice and it is fun. Hopefully in the coming weeks, you will get some reports on our progress with these two great routes.