Just as I am continually amazed at the insane driving in Thailand, I continue to be amazed at how important mental strength is to climbing (and I’m sure other physical activities). It’s been suggested that climbing performance is 1/3 mental, 1/3 technique, and 1/3 physical. For me I think it’s more like 1/2 mental, 1/4 technique, and 1/4 physical. Lately after a day of climbing I think to the next time I go climbing and I’ll be stoked to climb something hard and push my grade a bit. But when that day comes I make excuses and just climb what I am comfortable with. For a long time I’ve wanted to redpoint Momentum 6b. Despite top roping it a few times I always felt intimidated by it. So yesterday I was psyching myself up to climb it today on lead. But this morning I started to get those familiar thoughts of doubt creeping into my head.
So Anong and I head out to the crag and I’m not sure what to expect. First, warm up on EFZ 6a+ like usual. I decide to push my comfort zone a little bit and skip over half the clips and used only six quickdraws to climb the whole route. Anong climbs it on top rope. Now I have to decide what I’m going to do. Try something new or revert to the familiar and comfortable. Despite still feeling a little unsure of myself I decide to try for the redpoint.
So I start up the route. It’s got a bouldery start and a sort of awkward move but with really good feet between the second and third bolt. There’s very fun easier climbing in the middle but the best part is near the top, climbing up some tufas, slightly overhanging with big juggy holds. I almost went the “hard” way at the top which would have surely led to failure. Recognizing my mistake I down climbed a few moves, rested, then continued up the “easy” way and clipped the anchor just as the burn in my left arm was starting to get intense. Hurray for adding a new route to my redpoint list!
A couple more laps on top rope for fitness then it was time to call it a day. There is one more 6b I have not sent at this crag. If the weather stays nice for a few more days I’ll get it. But if not then it will probably have to wait until the dry season.