Division Bell

Howdy Folks! My summer so far has been full of unexpected twists and turns. My original plan for the summer was to move to Squamish and climb from dawn until dusk. Unfortunately, I was only able to stay for the month of May until I realized that no jobs were in sight and I was down to picking out the dust from my pockets. So I scouted around and landed a job in the most unexpected place: Chilliwack. That's right, right now I'm working as a nanny for two girls in the 'Wack. This job meant that I would officially become a weekend warrior in Squamish. Originally, I was worried, because this would mean I would only be able to work on my project a couple of days a week.

Division Bell, a classic 5.13d on the impressive Big Show wall at Cheakamus Canyon, had been on my mind through out the entire winter. I was originally awed by the route when I first visited Chek four years ago. I remember watching Jamie Chong and Sean McColl running laps on this intense piece of rock. I started working the route last September, and was forced to quit for the winter when the rains started and water continuously dripped down from wall. My first few days back on the route this summer were awful, and I felt like I wouldn't be able to get back to where I was in the fall with only the weekends to work it. But the another suprise. The next weekend, I went up and was able to do the route in 2 falls. The weekend after that, I was down to one fall. I was shocked and excited, because I then knew I could do the route. But then I got stuck on the one fall attempts for quite a while. Even though I was physically able to do the route, my mind started working against me, as I wanted to do the route so badly that I wasn't able to relax and fire the moves. Instead, my mind would race, I would get distracted, pumped, and fall off with a great sense of disappointment.

Then it happened. Last weekend I was up at Chek once again. On Friday I came achingly close, falling off on the last hard move. The next day was a scorcher, and it wasn't until 8pm that I scrambled up the 5.4 approach to the base of the Big Show and tied in. I felt tired and thirsty, but content. I was up with my friends Jamie Chong and Sarah Austin, as well as psyched Edge team kids, Laura, Ryder and Sean. I was with my friends, in a beautiful setting, with a great route ahead of me. I tried to keep that happiness in mind as I chalked up, breathed deep, and set about to enjoy a wonderful journey. Every move felt smooth, and I soon found myself at the last hard move, my previous high point. I didn't stop to think as I surged upward and hit the hold perfectly. I was pumped, and exhausted, but there was no way that I was going to give up now. 3 moves later I was at the chains, ecstatic and sad all at once. I had finished my longest project, but I always feel a bit deflated after finishing something that so consumed my thoughts and time for so long.

Summer's not even close to being over though, and I have made it my goal to top this achievement. Might as well go all out right?