What does one do with 65 degree weather and MLK day off of work?
Climb The Spy in Boulder!
The Flatirons were looking as beautiful as ever when Chris and I arrived at the parking lot around 10:30 am. Last night involved a bit of, well, drinking with the girls, so that combined with tired legs from Saturday's race meant the morning hike was not the most pleasant hike of my life. As we got going though, I looked forward to another Flatirons climbing adventure. The Spy is a little finger-like structure that juts out to the north of the First Flatiron and the Flatironette. At only a 5.4 rating, and an estimated two pitches, we planned for a quick climb.
On the hike up, we saw this tree growing out of the middle of a rock. Now that's perseverance.
Chris led up the climb looking as cute as always. He made it to the first belay station just as the rope ran out, and I followed up the first pitch a bit tentatively. I've made good progress in the gym, but climbing outside always seems to freak me out and slow me down. There wasn't many good hand holds, and I like hand holds, so that made things a little tricky. I got stuck in a few trees on the way up... seemingly a retarded predicament in the middle of a huge rock slab.
Once at the first belay station, Chris kept going up the second pitch. He was nearly giddy with the fun climbing that came in that pitch. At some point you climb on top of this huge block and continue climbing on it where it gets pretty narrow with exposure on each side. The holds there were great and I enjoyed this pitch as well.
Once at the top of the fun second pitch, we had some lunch and Chris tried to keep me positive about the upcoming section and subsequent JUMP from the top.
White Marni's DON'T jump.
But to get off The Spy, I HAD to jump from a tall rock, to a slanty rock, with a nice drop down a gully in between. EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEK.
This is the jump. You step down from the top rock to the middle rock, and then the rock at the very bottom is where you land, and it's at a good angle. Basically you just jump forward and hope your feet stick to the slanty rock in front of you. Chris made it look easy and graceful. I sat, paralyzed and freaking out for several minutes before jumping to the rock like an elephant. It was neither easy nor graceful on my part. But I didn't fall (after Chris gave me a safety line to hold on to, and as he stood there holding me into the rock so I wouldn't fall back). I basically hit the rock, hugged it, and then proceeded to cry. You'd think I had just jumped from a burning building.
I = not a fan.
Chris now says he's going to incorporate jumping off stuff into my training plan. We are starting with the couch. :)
This face makes me smile:
The Spy was fun. It took a bit longer than I anticipated, but at least the weather was perfect. After a hike back down to the car, we drove to Pearl Street and celebrated another successful climb with HUGE sundaes from Ben & Jerry's. YUM!
It was a pretty good MLK day for me and Chris. It felt like summer... warm, leisurely, low-stress. Makes me long for... well... at least Spring Break.