Sunday, August 12, 2007
Elvis was at Devil's Punchbowl
Okay, so it wasn’t actually Elvis, but Elvis was invoked by my legs as I found myself run-out on a slab route in the blazing heat at Devil’s Punchbowl, a conglomerate crag outside of Los Angeles.
It was so hot the other day when a climbing partner and I went out to no man’s land to get a change of scenery from the local crag. The sun was beating us down and the dirt was so dry it felt like we were walking in an ash tray, but the climbing was still excellent.
We got our warm ups in and even sent a stiff 5.11 with a slabby crux before heading to the true 5.10 slab routes. We were super dehydrated and worn out from the sun when we decided to test our balance and mental strength. As I cruised through the bottom section, and even through the crux slab section leaving me a little over five foot run-out I was fine. It was when I got about 15 foot run-out when Elvis started playing.
I had made it through all the hard part and was on pretty descent sized holds when I decided to look down and see my rope blowing in the desperate wind leaving me to believe a fall would deliver me about 30 feet down and about 10 feet above the ground (before rope stretch). All of the sudden those big holds didn’t seem good enough. I have to give myself some credit, the rock wasn’t as solid as you would like, but still, I feel like I should have the experience to hold it together and not get the Elvis Leg Syndrome in that situation.
Since then, most of my training has been mental. Went out to Tahquitz and Suicide Rock to run-out some trad routes on easy grades (more on the successes and failures of that trip to come), have been pressing for hard top-outs at the gym and went bouldering today at Horse Flats where there were plenty of high-ball bouldering problems. So far it seems to be helping, but if anyone has any other tips for strengthening your mental…please comment with your beta.