Sunday, April 19, 2009

Mental hurdles

For the past week or so I have been trying the East Face of Monkey Face in Smith Rock Oregon. My good buddy Charlie Long has accompanied me on this adventure, patiently hiking up to Monkey to belay me many times. Having a psyched partner is critical. Charlie has only been climbing for a few years, but he's amped, which is the most important thing.

I have been trying to wrap my head around leading the Monkey. Ideally, I would like to repeat Sonnie Trotter's '04 ascent, skipping all the fixed protection and placing all the gear on lead. Now that I've deemed myself fit enough for an attempt, all that remains is the mental prep. If I pitch at the top, I could go for a huge fall. It's safe. But punching it hard, facing a 50 footer is always a bit disconcerting. So right now I'm running the sequences through in my head, thinking positive, and psyching myself up to try with everything I have.