Chong Phli – Day 5 – Mad Skills

Today was going to be the day I send Mad Skills.  It hadn’t rained for a few days so the rock would be nice and dry and even though my elbow wasn’t 100%, it was feeling good enough.  But after breakfast it started raining.  I figured no problem.  It usually rains for 20 or 30 minutes in Thailand then it stops and the sun comes out.  Well, not today.  It was a near constant drizzle.  It would stop and I would think ok, now the sun is going to come out.  But a few minutes later it would start raining again.  It reminded me a lot of Seattle.  Except it was 77F instead of 55 or 60F.  Finally at 2:30 it stopped raining and seemed like it would not start again.  So I gathered up my climbing gear and headed to the wall with hope that the wall would be dry.

I got to the wall and things looked pretty good.  Better even than last time when the sun was out.  The wall is slightly overhanging so that kept things dry.  First up was to lead Zak Attack to warm up.  Then I climbed it again on top rope to clean the route and to hang the quick draws on Mad Skills.  After resting for a bit it was time to put myself to the test.  I felt ready and knew I had the physical ability to climb it but could I climb it on lead?  The doubts started creeping into my mind.

Mad Skills shares the start of Zak Attack.  It’s 3 slings of really easy climbing.  After that it continues straight up instead of heading off to the left.  Then there are 2 bolts and a sling next to a tufa.  This is my favorite part of the route.  Then reach left to another tufa, right hand to a crimp, then left hand up and over to a jug.  Work the feet up then left hand up to another jug.  Here is a good rest after the first hard move on the route.  So far so good.  Maybe I can actually send this thing.  But the crux is coming up.  Well, the crux wasn’t too difficult either.  I made that clip then went for the move and got it!  After that, it’s one more bolt then the anchor of easy not quite slab climbing.  But oops!  I forgot to put a quickdraw on that bolt.  I looked down and thought I’m already kind of high above my last bolt.  Do I really want to skip this?  A fall here would be really bad.  I thought about down climbing but quickly put that thought out of my mind.  I made it through all the hard moves on the route and really wanted the send.  Besides, I had climbed this section probably a dozen times and knew I could do it.  So a few moves of carefully placed hands and feet and I was clipping the anchor.  Happy with the send.

I have what is possibly the worst and most boring video of me climbing this route.  After watching it I had two thoughts.  First, I’m really white.  Second, I climb really slow.  Maybe I’ll post it if I can figure out how to edit out the really boring parts.

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