My quadricep muscles burned, my lungs burned, it was just too damn hot. I hiked at a leisurely pace up the death slabs to the base of Half Dome. My intention of rope soloing the Regular Northwest Face fell in the shadows of my self doubt and insecurity. "BAIL! BAIL! BAIL!" My mind kept repeating..
I was ok with the fact that I wasn't going to climb the route. I was too tired, out of shape, and not psyched. I was still feeling the effects of a mental hangover from already climbing El Cap 5 times this season. I decided to stash my gear near the base of the route, and come back in a few days.. or next week.. or never..
"Maybe I'll just climb up part of the way up the first pitch.." I thought to myself. I knew I could easily bail from pitch 6 with a 70 meter rope.
My sweaty hands found relief with a fresh layer of gym chalk, and I turned up the volume on my iPod. I sunk my had into the first perfect hand jam of the route, and then decided to follow that with a thousand more.
Justin coaching Trevor how to jug up through the zig zags
I found myself in the reoccurring situation towards the end of the route, dry with no water. My focus diminished and my energy level plummeted. I got to the last anchor at the very last pitch, and I was hammered.
Climbing by myself takes an immense amount of motivation and willingness to be vulnerable. Soloing big routes is a way that I prove to myself that I don't rely on someone else to succeed. Half Dome was my fourth grade 6 wall in a push, I don't think I have much more to prove..
Now I'm going to go sport climbing.
Climbed route valley to valley, with a little nap in between
10 ~70 meter pitches
6 pitches free solo
10:50 On route
23:30 Camp 4 to Camp 4
3-4 hours spent sleeping and hydrating at the base of the route after I had climbed the route