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Random thoughts

Monday, June 27, 2005

Weekend Recap - Mt. Williamson and Shopping

At long last Saturday rolled around. I had been planning a Saturday trip with climbing friends and family friends (but Danny's kids couldn't make it), and I was really excited. I'm always restless and jittery the night before a trip that I'm really looking forward to, and this was no exception - I think I only slept about four hours. I suppose not everyone can relate to my excitement but it was going to be my first time lead-climbing outdoors. I couldn't wait to get on the rock. The plan was to meet at my place and head out to Mt. Williamson from there, at 8:30 in the morning. I set my alarm to wake me up by 7:00 but I was really awake by 6am.

As it turns out, Danny, Marc and I drove up together. Douglas, Mike and Garrett took a separate car, and we met up with them at the base of Mushroom Boulder. Cecile had called to say she wasn't sure if she could make it, and I was a little disappointed about that.

We warmed up on the rock facing Mushroom Boulder, Marc leading the route, Danny following, and me cleaning up afterwards. After a couple of climbs, we moved on to Mushroom. When it was my turn, I decided that it would be my first lead experience. Mushroom Boulder was a little overhanging, but it looked like a lot of fun to climb. I hopped on.... and flashed it!! I don't think anything could compare to the elation I felt as I was lowered off, knowing I did it, no falls, no resting. Granted, it was a 5.8, and shame on me if I fell since I've been climbing for so long now, but this was a different experience and I aced it. :) Whoopee!

We went to Stream Wall next, and I became a little disconcerted when I spent 15 minutes on a 5.9 climb, and everyone else around me seemed to be doing laps on the wall while I got stuck trying to figure out what my next move would be. I consoled myself with some chocolate (half of which I spilled on the ground), and then spent the rest of the afternoon on other climbs. At one point, I was left on the wall with Danny belaying me, and that was a bad idea - Danny had no experience belaying a climber, let alone a lead climber, so I felt very anxious while I was trying to get to the top of the rock. I knew I didn't have the liberty of falling - I didn't want to take a chance. I'm still alive though so it wasn't so bad. Lesson learned!

We ended the day with a couple of last climbs at Waterfall Rock, where we bumped into Jean Michel and Cecile, who made it after all. Cecile was urging me to get on the wall and do a 5.10, so I did, and I actually almost made it to the top, but I knew I was taking such a long time and it was getting late so I signaled Marc to let me down, and that was that.

After coming home, unloading and showering, Cecile, Marc and I met up for dinner at The Nook in Santa Monica. I had heard about this place from John so I thought it would be a good idea to see what it was like. It was a blast hanging out and chatting with Cecile. The waiters had already been eyeing us discreetly for a good half an hour, waiting for us to leave, when we finally got up and called it a night.

Sunday after mass, despite a massive lack of sleep, I took my grandmother shopping in Santa Monica. I haven't been spending a lot of time with her lately so I felt that I should reserve that day for just the two of us. We left the house at 9:00 to hear mass and didn't come back until well past four in the afternoon. Her legs were aching - mine were killing me (that hike out of Williamson did me in! I didn't even make it to the gym this morning and going down the stairs is a nightmare). So it felt so good to crash in the couch that night. Marc and I rented Raising Helen, which turned out to be a very big mistake, and switched to the Scrubs DVD before we lost our minds.

I barely remember getting into bed and didn't even realize it when my grandmother crawled in after me - I was out like a light and I slept through my alarm this morning. But it was a great weekend, one that I would like repeated frequently and very, very soon.

Pics from the weekend

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