March 7-9, 2013 – My First 5.14a at Red River Gorge

I’ve always been told that it’s best to climb hard routes in cold weather. I tested this theory and it was an EPIC FAIL! My first day at The Red, I headed to the Motherlode to climb in 39 degree weather. After “warming up” I attempted to climb Omaha Beach.  I climbed up past the first beach, and then went for a big move and found myself heading towards the ground.  I thought I had the move, but in reality, I couldn’t feel my fingers or toes so I had no idea what happened. After 45 min of climbing, I decided to head back to the room for heat. This NC kid can’t handle cold weather!

                The next day the temperature rose to 50 degrees, so I returned to the Motherlode. After warming up, I got back on Omaha Beach and sent it first go of the day. This route was special to me, considering that it was my first 14a ever. I was so excited! My goal for 2013 was to send a 14. I was surprised that I achieved this goal so early in the year.

 On the last day of this trip, I sent Ultra Perm. I sent this route on my first attempt (for this trip). I had been on this route the year before, but it seemed impossible.  This trip, it felt like a totally different route.  After sending Ultra Perm, someone convinced me to get on a route nearby.  When I asked the route name and grade, they said they couldn’t remember, but it was very similar to Ultra Perm.  I got on the suggested route and took my time working out all of the moves bolt to bolt.  After reaching the anchors and being lowered down, another climber told me that the route was Southern Smoke.  I was very surprised because I actually thought the route was sendable!  I got back on and finished the route again with 2 takes.  I really wished we were staying one more day to climb.  I can’t wait to return!!

Overall my trip to The Red was great. Not just because of good sends, but I'm learning to be more comfortable and confident climbing outside. Weekend at The Red=AWESOME :)

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