domenica 26 gennaio 2014

Meadowlark Lemon

The first time I saw a picture of "Meadowlark lemon" (red rocks) was I guess two years ago, when the news about Paul Robinson's first ascent came out. I still remember I was impressed by its looking: at least from the pictures it apperead amazing ans it suddenly tickled my interest. I didn't know when, where, how or with who I could have gone to US for the first time, but I was sure that in the future I would have checked that line. The opinion by the first repeatitors was excellent, and It quickly became a world class bouldering problem.

My first trip to US was organized months ago and Red rocks wasn't casually the first part of my trip. The place is amazing, as I said, with a lot of stuff to do, but my pricipal goal was the problem that lead me to check Southern Nevada i.e. Meadowlark.

Last week, after two years of waiting, I was finally able to see it and touch it. The true looking is better than every photos and my eyes sparkled the first day I saw it. The first session went pretty good for the stand start, but not for the link of both sequences. The problem regarded the technique, since from the bottom I reached the crux point a bit more tired and my hand where not in the same exact position that they should have had. The second session had negative feelings too. I climbed well the first part, but the body didn't answer where I need a surgical precision for my hands to be in the right angle to go up. It drove me crazy and I started to think it would have been too hard for my possibilities.

My beta develops in some tricky moves. Once I had the upper left sloper I had to move with the right hand into the slopy gaston, keep the right toe hook solid enough to get up the left foot. After this, I had to take with the left hand the askew undercling below my hip (used for the first part), put my right foot on a small edge, bring back my left foot in an high foot hold and get up my right one close to the left hand for match the hands in the gaston. This turn of feet and hands was crazy and I usually missed the foot moves.

I did other attempts. Every time it went worse. I slowly felt that I should have quitted this goal and postponed it to another visit with maybe more experience. The more I tried, the more I failed. I was dissapointed. I thought about the hours of flight, the training I did for this, the dream I had for this and I felt a bit beaten.

I took a final decision. I opted to don't try it anymore until the end of my stay in Red Rocks. My aim was to climb as much as I could on other problems, in order to take confidence with this sandstone and to have the better skin  to try it in a better way.

I took two days of rest at the end of the week and today was the unique good change I would have had. After the morning in Red spring sector, we moved in the kraft parking. We walked and I was a bit tense. Fortunately I was more relaxed than the second time. I went  under Meadwolark and it looked great as always. I felt more positive. I took with me an old Jet7, it saved me many times in some toe hooks problems. I tried and I felt the crux going better. I gave a try from the bottom and  I miserably failed once more at the same point. I reached the crux point tired, with the hands in a bad positition. Moreover, the only thing  I rested for, i.e. the skin, was terrible. I felt everything slip off from my hands. I got nervous and I became negative again. This boulder was frustrating and I started to be tired to have any good attempt.

I rested and Giulia went to walk around let me alone with my troubles. I was alone in the pink canyon, in company of some usual tourists that pass close to the boulder. I arranged a bit the first part, changing a bit the foot beta. The little modify gave me the possibility to reach faster and more precisely the crux. It started to work a bit but again my skin became full of water after two holds. I understood I should have let them freeze a bit before the attempts and dry them before start.
I reached the crux. I did the feet turn and I fall matching the hands, the last hard move. I said WOW, I could do it. Maybe not today but I started to see some progresses.

Second attempt with the cold hands: I reached the crux, I did perfectly the foot work. I was grabbing the hold with the other hand and I was solid as I never was before, but my right hand slipped really fast and It crushed me on the pads. It burnt a lot. I felt again out of this game, at least for that day. I put my normal shoes and I went to check another problem just above this, resting my body. In my mind the planning were already to come back on Monday, before leaving, to give the last effort. I went back to the problem and Giulia too. I rested more then I started again. Everything went perfectly until the same point. I put my feet well, I felt my skin good despite the previuos accident, I macthed the hold and I still was on it. I tried to stay quite, I knew it was almost over. I got up on my feet, stretching on the good right crimp. From there the possibilities to fall are low, but I remained focused. I took the last slopy pinch and I grabbed the lip with the right hand. I was at the top. What an incredible moment for me. The emotions started to grove high and I was fucking happy. My biggest desire of Red rocks went down and I couldn't believe. I remained on the top for few minutes than I went down to take some photos and remove for the last time the tickmarks on this awesome piece of rock. Meadowlark Lemon was done.

The boulder Is one of the most impressive I have ever seen and it is for sure at the top of the high quality lines I sent. I felt to say hats off to Paul Robinson to have put this stunning line, it is defenitely a materpiece of bouldering. I also had to say that I used a different beta from him, Since the new ways are easier. I just tried a bit with the sequence he used and I quickly understood how much harder it would have been.


Meadowlark Lemon V14, Red Rocks. Photo Giulia Paoletti

Meadowlark Lemon V14, Red Rocks. Photo Giulia Paoletti

Meadowlark Lemon V14, Red Rocks. Photo Giulia Paoletti