Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Roadtripping, Mustang (8a)

Mustang is a less known test piece in Cadarese. It really doesn't look that hard, more like a nice hand crack on slab. At first, I actually thought it was a route called Ciao (5).

Anyway, after one hour of cursing and aiding, I was quite sure I'm on Mustang (8a). And no, it's not a hand crack. I could get my fingertips just a few centimetres in the crack. It's not a slab either. The wall is only a bit overhanging, but as the crack goes diagonally, you're lie-backing on the 10 cm overhanging ramp which makes it feel much steeper.

Once I got down, I was ready to give up with the route. I couldn't do even half of the moves. Awkward lie-backing on fingertips with super technical feet work...not really “my style”, I would say. Anyhow, after a couple of skinny Swiss guys showed me a few important hip movements I decided to try again. After all, you should always focus on your weaknesses, right?

It took me two days just to get the moves done and on my fifth day on the route, I did my first serious lead attempt. I fell in the middle, just didn't have anything left.

Two days later I came back. I got the fingerlocks perfectly, got the gear in quickly and felt like sending. For a second I believed I was going to nail this little f*cker. When it was time to put the last gear, I realized that there is no way I could hang with a one hand, not for a second. I decided to skip the last piece of gear and make a fight to the end.

It was a good fight, I got as close as 20 cm from the top jug. I hung for a second in a good sloper before I was flying. I took a 7 meter whipper to a blindly placed green #0 C3, which held, as always. Actually, I had to put most of the gear blindly, as just getting into a position where I could see the crack was easier said than done.

Just before the sun hit the wall, I did another try. Everything went perfectly and I was climbing faster than the last time. I also decided to leave the last piece of gear to the ground. Nothing is more annoying than having a gear with you but being too pumped to use it. After too many desperate moves I grabbed the last jug and clipped the anchor.

For me, this was the most awkward, technical and painful route I've ever done, including all the off-widths. I spent six days on the route, and even completely rested, every move perfectly done, it still felt pretty damn desperate.

Mustang (8a) © Anu Korosuo