Thursday, February 23, 2012

Twin Towers meltdown

The last day of our iceclimbing trip this Winter.
It was warm outside plus 5 or maybe more. And we were tired. The last day, so we MUST climb. But what. Too warm for Kiental, too warm for any proper ice and the thing we really wanted to do was not in condition. Ueschinen then.
Dennis hardly found the motivation to ski up that bloody hill, we even took a break, drank some tea before we went on. It took ages to get up. I remembered running up there last Summer, back then it took me 1:10 to run up and down again. Now it took us more then one hour to just walk up...
Around us the snow fell off the trees and the skins of our skis were full with thick blobs of wet snow.
Finally there.
The ice was quite thick and beautiful as always. Although Ueschinen is a bit like 'sportsclimbing for Alpinists' the surroundings, the big icicles, snow and the mist in the valley makes it a bit a mythical place.
We had no goal, so just went up one of the routes we wanted to do some time. Twin Towers. We were doubting, or maybe Matador? Twin Towers had ice. So it became Twin Towers.
I decided to go up first, and Dennis was okay with that.
It starts in a bit of ice, then some good hooks and a couple torques before you get to an enormous move. There are scratches close to the hold on the wall I moved, moved and found it way too long. Tried again and made it. But then Dennis and I came to the idea of moving into the ice instead of the stone hold. The move was as long but in a different angle which could make it better. It worked, so I decided to to this in my next attempt.
After the long move I had some rest in the ice before getting onto the next long move. From a sketchy hold very long to a good hold and then very long again to a good hold. Then long into the ice and okay from there on. But no more bolt, so an grounder (?) if you'd fall from that part to the top.
It was Dennis turn. He now knew all the moves. We took a close look together to be sure about all the moves and as he's quite a bit taller then me it should be all right to flash the route.
Dennis says "Not being warmed up it was so nice to move in to the freehanging in the middle of the roof to get a rest.
From here its “only” 4 hard moves in to the next overhanging ice. I found the hooks first try made some big dynamic moves and found myself in the curtain on the end of the roof. I climbed the icicle careful being scared to waste my Flash attempet. YES made it. First M10 flash."

I always get quite nervous when Dennis climbs something and I haven't done it yet. It's the same feeling as on competitions. Knowing most girls will climb the route to the top, knowing I should be able to do that too, but now prove it and actually do it gives me a big 'block in my throat'.
I climbed up the first part. Swung into the ice and took a nice rest. I tried to breathe normally but the 'thing in my throat' got my breathe stuck. I had a nervous feeling in my stomach and my mind was playing with me like an angel and devil telling me what to do:
"It's all right if you don't make it". "You should climb it now, you can do this 2nd GO". "It's hard so you probably fall off." "Come on, climb on, it's not that hard." "What if you fall, then you failed again." "You're getting tired, move on." "You're going to fall." "You can't make it." "You're strong enough to do this."...
On and on this goes in my head. Making me forget every move, having to hold on twice as hard on every hold. Dennis had to help me on what move was coming next. Meanwhile my hands became tired, forcing me to shake more and move slower. I got frustrated by the insecurity and the idea of failing to climb it. I got slower and didn't want to be slow. Why did I feel like this, it got me quite desperate, screaming, almost crying to myself that I had to move on.
I had to do a figure of four on the sketchy hold but my axe kept on turning. Come on, do it. I moved back again, to take some rest, tried again, moved back again, tried again, moved back again and finally did it. But then my hands were bailing out on me, forcing me to shake. I was not pumped, not like you have when you climb normally, it was just my hands.
I found a hold in between the next long move, hoped it was okay and moved from there. My hands slipped almost out of my axes, desperate I was, I could hardly move my hands slipping away. "Put your feet in the ice, feet in the ice" Dennis screamed to me. I desperately moved into the ice. There I could rest again. My mind still playing tricks.
From here it was just a couple more moves in okay snowy ice blobs and a nice icecle.
Dennis placed a screw in the top part, making it more comfortable to top out.
And that's what I did. I climbed it. What a relief.
My first M10, and that 2nd GO.
Time to go home.


Leon said...

Nice! Congrats to both of you!

Michel Kleinjan said...

Two die hards on a pride ride home.