Dispatch from the Desert

I’m still having a great time at Smith! I’ve been making continuous progress in the difficulty of the climbs I can do. I recently ticked off my first 5.10c, the uber-classic 9 Gallon Buckets. I’m working on leading harder and harder grades, including two 11a’s in the last few days.

Do you ever get impostor syndrome with your climbing? I do. I’m used to climbing 9s and easy 10s. When I climb well on something harder, I feel like it can’t possibly be as hard as the book says it is. If it was, I wouldn’t be able to climb it! My confidence leading has grown by leaps and bounds while I’ve been at Smith, but it seems I have a while to go.

I’ve been working on an 11a called Magic Light. It’s an amazing climb with two distinct cruxes–a crimpy crux down low and a slopey, sidepull, arete crux up top. I’ve taken tons of falls off the difficult bit in the top, but I’m hoping I’ll get it together and send soon.

Since I’m hoping to get out climbing soon when it cools off, I’m going to keep this one short and get out!

The other night, we decided to eat in the dining room. Victor made a Spanish tortilla, which was (as always) excellent.

The view from our dinner table, looking towards the Smith Rock group.

The very distinctive Monkey Face. The route we climbed to get to the top goes out the Monkey’s mouth on solid holds, but with HUGE exposure.

Climbing Magic Light.

A first attempt at long exposure was not at all successful.

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