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[personal profile] lawnrrd
Last weekend’s theme was frustration.

As planned, I got up early Saturday to drive to the Gunks to climb. I hadn’t felt like going when I signed up, and I didn’t feel like going when I got up, but I went anyway. I do really enjoy climbing, I knew that if I didn’t go, I’d get annoyed with myself for pissing the day away, and I figured that I’d get in the mood once I got out there. I figured wrong.

The drive up was uneventful, with an excited stop at QuikCheck along the way to buy lunch and snacks. I was the last of the group to get to the parking lot, but the others didn’t seem to have been waiting long, so I didn’t feel bad. One thing I noticed was the absence of the more experienced climbers from the club.

This turned out to be relevant. The plan was to top rope at the super-secret climbing area that’s not listed in the guidebooks. I’d been there once before and had a great day of climbing—one of my best, actually—but I remembered only vaguely where it was and couldn’t have found it on my own. As it turns out, our organizer herself had only a vague idea where it was, despite having been there three times before, including once in the past week or two.

After about 90 minutes of hiking this way and that and some really scary scrambling over boulders, we found the crag. It took another half hour or so to set up the top ropes, and then the rain came. I climbed one route, one that I had really enjoyed on my previous trip. While I enjoyed it, I decided at the end that I had no further interest in climbing that day.

Still, I felt obligated to stay until the others were done, so I could help break down the anchors and carry the gear back to the parking lot. Frankly, I also was afraid to scramble back over the now-rain-slicked scary boulders by myself: if I got in trouble, I wanted to have someone there to call for help.

So I stood there in the rain, offering the occasional belay. My rain jacket and a rock overhang kept me dry, but I was still chilled. I never get cold, yet, despite wearing a decent fleece, I was shivering.

I was not especially impressed with most of the climbing I saw. I admit to having been in a shitty enough mood that it would have been hard to impress me.

At about 2 PM, the others decided that we were done, and we scrambled up a side route to the top of the crag to take down the anchors. After more scrambling, with slippery boulders all the way down, we made it to the parking lot. The others went to a brewpub in town, while I napped in my car for about 45 minutes.

After napping, I went to the club’s picnic. I barely climbed at all this season, so it was good to see people I haven’t seen in a while. They asked after me and K and congratulated us. I gave someone a ride home to the city afterward, stopping at Fairway for some necessities.

On the frustration meter, though, Saturday was a minor blip compared to Sunday.

To go into it fully would take a post that by itself would be much longer than this one is already. K and I had plans for a chunk of the day that we had discussing for some time. It was something that I had been looking forward to for a while, both as something I had wanted to do for its own sake and as something that was an incredibly important symbol to me. I saw it as a step towards finally beginning to unravel a knot of frustration that has been growing for literally decades.

But I slept terribly on Saturday night, and I never really woke up on Sunday despite coffee and a long nap. I also had a bad headache all day. When I thought about our plans, I couldn’t see any way to do it. And my frustration, rather than starting to ease, just got worse.

This sounds oblique and abstract and dramatic, I’m sure. Writing about it at all is as hard as writing less than the dump that I don’t have time for. But I need to record something, both as spur to writing it in full and as a marker in case I don’t.

It’s been two days, and I still start to shake when I think about it.


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May 2017

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