It’s not always the same

I looked up, as usual, trying to scout the route. The route looked suspicious. I found it difficult to simulate even my first few steps: where would my feet land? Which anchors would my hands grab? How would I shift my weight?

“Let’s do it!” concluded my mind, “You will never be Deep Blue, planning so far ahead. Just do it.” I pulled myself up by several feet, passing three or four anchors, and I was stuck, hanging myself on the wall like an octopus.

“Is she trying to do the orange route?” I heard a lady’s voice, talking to my husband, my faithful belayer. “This route is supposed to be like this.” continued that lady. She tried to demonstrate how the route was supposed to be climbed by really stretching out her legs. She patted the wall adjacent to that wall I held on, pointed to a bunch of orange tapes, and said “These are also part of that route.”

The orange route my mind pictured was in fact only the left half; the TRUE orange route spread out onto two walls, and the rope I should have attach to located near the meet of the two walls; that corner was probably 120 degree. When drawing a horizontal line from an orange tape from the wall on the left hand side, just a few inches above which, there will be another orange tape on the wall on the right hand side. One has to transform to a lizard to hill the top.

I dropped down, and attached myself to the correct rope and said to my belayer, “This time we are going to do it.” Unfortunately, a few steps later, I was stuck again, but this time not like a shrinking octopus but a seemingly elegant yoga performer. Another climber approached me from the left, bouldering, and he wanted to pass. After few seconds of freezing moment, I yielded to him, with a reluctant sigh.

Of course, I planned my third ascent attempt. This time, I was stuck, AGAIN, at about the same spot. I didn’t want to give up; however, I had no way to push myself up. After, maybe a century long, another lady said, “Try to push your left foot, and move your right foot little by little. Your right foot doesn’t have to step on the anchor right away; it’s okay to use the wall.” I tried accordingly, and I managed to move my right foot upward twice and then it dropped down to the original spot. I exhaled heavily. “Your left foot! Don’t push with the center of your foot. Imagine your toes are wrapping around the anchor and push out with your toes.” I shifted my left foot a little bit, wiggled my toes to feel the contact area with the anchor, and rehearsed the push a few times.

I took a deep breath, my left foot was pushing steadily, and my right foot bit the wall up step by step, and eventually it reached the anchor. I did it. Excitement almost exploded my mind. After that, I applied the same strategy and climbed up for another several feet until the next barrier.

This barrier could be attacked by the same strategy, I knew it. However, the surface area of the wall on which my right foot was supposed to grab was smoother than ever, and no matter how hard I pushed my feet, my fingers couldn’t touch the anchor, although it was so close. Damn close.

I rested there involuntarily for another century. Before I almost gave up, I decided to give it another try, and this time, while I pushed my left foot, I pushed my right foot against the wall instead of using the friction between my right foot and the wall to make my right foot stay in place. The end result? I got back to the ground, after I touched the top. Fascinating!

It’s not always the same how we reach the top, so is the taste of the fruit of fulfillment.



圖:網友sniper作品「A backpacker」

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