Es muss nicht immer der „El Capitan“ sein. Am 17. November gelingt Nina Williams die erste freie Begehung der „Father Time“ (VI, 5.13b) am „Middle Cathedral“ im Yosemite. Gesichert und unterstützt wurde Nina von Katie Lambert, welche selber das Projekt im Auge hatte, sich aber am Finger verletzte. Die Route wurde von Mikey Schaefer im Oktober 2012 von unten erschlossen und ist über 600 Meter, verteilt auf 20 Seillängen, lang. Die beiden Mädels versuchten sich im Frühjahr das erste Mal in der Route und statten die schwersten Seillängen mit Fixseilen aus, um die Route einfacher probieren zu können. Im November stiegen sie dann von unten kommend durch die Wand innerhalb von 6 Tagen durch die Wand.
Nina zur ihrer Begehung im „Sozialen Netzwerk“: Father Time is a 20-pitch gem on Middle Cathedral, established ground-up by @mikeylikesrocks over the course of two years. There are three 5.13b crux pitches and five 5.12’s, with the remainder being runout 5.10-5.11. @katiebirdlambert and I tried FT earlier this spring but got bouted by the tricky sequences combined with the effort of hauling 5 days worth of gear during the send attempt. This time called for a different strategy.
Over the past two weeks we fixed ropes to the bivy (pitch 10) and hauled our porta-ledge with sleeping gear and a couple day’s worth of food/water. We recon’d the moves and figured out beta, building confidence for the upcoming 6-day push. We rapped down after one night and rested for two days. In that time we had a friend @allen_climbs haul the rest of our food and water for us in order to save energy.
On November 12 Katie and I set off from the ground, alternating leads for the initial 10 pitches. @joolyhart came along as well, filming for @nevernotcollective. We worked through the 5.13 cruxes over the next few days. Unfortunately during this time Katie caught a finger between two carabiners which forced a gnarly blood blister 💉 The blister ripped, exposing a raw hole on the tip of her index. This freak accident cost Katie a day of climbing as she waited for it to heal over, and continued to plague her on the nails-hard crimping.
After giving it her best effort and trying hard to push past the circumstance, Katie put aside her send so that she could support mine. The amount of planning and physical labor, on top of the actual climbing itself, is what makes big walling equal parts satisfying and insanely frustrating, and I know the decision was not an easy one. I can’t thank Katie enough for making this sacrifice so that I could have a chance to push on.
‚One of my biggest weakness in climbing is efficiency. In bouldering I get away with ‘strong’ beta by muscling through 5-15 move problems. But for 20-pitch big walls, every move counts. I reached out to renowned mental and movement coach Arno Ilgner of @rockwarriorsway, hoping to learn techniques that would stack the odds in my favor.
In climbing, and in life, there are two types of mentalities: analytical and intuitive. I’ve always considered myself an intuitive climber but after one day with Arno I made a startling realization. In moments of hesitation, instead of listening to my body and going with the flow, I start to over-analyze and doubt myself. This leads to a waste of energy and a willingness to say “Take!!” as opposed to trying hard. Arno worked me through movement drills, breathing, and mental practices that helped harness my analytical energy and translate it into intuitive movement.
On Father Time, in these moments of hesitation, I remembered what Arno taught me. In moments of rest, allow the mind to analyze and plan. But in the moment of climbing, turn the mind off and execute. Don’t say take!!
If you’re looking for a different kind of training, I highly recommend the @rockwarriorsway clinics. Even better is a private with Arno. I’ve been climbing for 16 years and still learned valuable information. Check it out!!