11 Nov Pride, 5.13a

Saturday, November 7th, 2015…I finally got it!!!!!

Pride, 5.13a!

Sending this route was a pretty big deal for me.   Not only was climbing a 5.13 my big goal of 2015, but to achieve that goal on this route was particularly special.  You see, I have history with Pride.  A few years back, it was the first 5.13 I ever attempted.  It was also the route that really scared me away from the 5.13 grade.

At the time I originally tried Pride, I wasn’t a 5.13 climber.  In fact, I had just broken into the 5.12 grade.  My partner and I had managed to hang dog our way up a 12b that shared anchors with Pride and decided it would be fun to try a 13 on top rope, just to see what it felt like…

Hilarity and frustration ensued as we flailed our way up the wall. There were literally no feet on this route.  For the life of me, I could not understand how it was possible to climb this thing.  Was I actually supposed to smear the entire way while holding on to dime size crimps?  It seemed hopeless and I remember leaving that day feeling extremely discouraged, believing I would never be able to climb at that level.

And I didn’t.

For a long time after that attempt, I stuck to the 12a/b range. Eventually, this became easy, and I quickly added numerous 12’s to my tick list. Part of me liked it.  I felt successful. I felt strong. I sent everything I touched.  But at the same time I wasn’t progressing.  I wanted to climb harder routes, but I was scared to do so.  I knew it would mean stepping outside of my successful little comfort zone again.  It would mean days like that one on Pride; days of flailing and failing and falling; days of discouragement and going home empty handed.

I didn’t look forward to those days, but I knew the harder routes wouldn’t come without them, so on January 1st, 2015 I resolved to send a 5.13a by the end of the year, however many bad days it took! And not just any 5.13, but the very one that had scared me away in the first place. I would get redemption on Pride! In the end, it happened just like I thought it would; with plenty of hard training, some very frustrated tears, and a heck of a lot of falls. But reaching the anchors, all of that only seemed to make it better!

The easy successes are nice; they’re comfortable and encouraging. But they don’t always take us very far.  I think it’s only when we really push ourselves, when we allow ourselves to fail – and fail and fail and fail –  that we achieve things we can really take Pride in! 😉

If you want to read a little more about this route, feel free to check out this little guest blog I wrote for Synergy Clothing.