On wine and climbing – just another weekend

It was an intimate wine tasting; just six of us. With seven bottles of wines though. Spanish wines, paired with homemade paella and sausages. For over six hours, we sipped, chatted, and laughed. Some of us may have just met the other for the first time that night, some for the second time. But isn’t it delightful how wine acts as a social lubricant, such that everyone parted as friends by the end of the evening?

I woke up feeling slightly groggy, and wishing I could still snooze a little more. But climbing beckoned. So with a slightly heavy head, I donned on my sunglasses and trudged to Dairy Farm, to meet Vincent and Jack for a spot of climbing.

The boys had chosen a new area to climb this time – some unknown route at ABCD wall. Jack had spotted the route, and was keen to red point it, even though we weren’t sure how long it was, where it ended, or what rating it was.

The route started out pretty easy at first, but halfway up, he got stuck. The crux was a tricky move, on slabby slopers, without solid handholds or footholds. He perserved for a long time, but in the end, gave it up to Vincent to try. Vincent managed to advance one more clip, but was then stymied. Like Jack, he persevered, spending upwards of a half hour trying to figure out the move. Finally, exhausted, he told me to give it a go. I got to the crux pretty easily, without much effort. But then, when I had to move above the last draw, pacnic set in. My breaths became ragged and my heart started beating really fast. I could feel the beads of perspiration running down my face, my arms, my stomach. I found a handhold, and pulled. But the rope dragged me down a little. I yelled for some slack, and moved to push myself up. But the easing of tension in the rope terrified me. I haven’t led in much too long a time. I couldn’t go on. I was up on the route for all of five minutes, then I yelled for the boys to let me down. I think I could execute the move. I could see the steps; I could see safety just four moves away. But I chickened out. No leading for me. No free falling, no swinging into the rock, and bouncing off it. It was too bad; Jack gave it another go, and he nearly made it this time, but it wasn’t enough. I shall need to get back on the wall and start leading again. Conquer this fear. Still, it was a fun morning out.



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