2017.11.12 - Climbing Cob Rock

     This morning we climbed my first multi-pitch route. This was Cob Rock in Boulder Canyon. This route was called “The Young and The Rackless”. It was rated a 5.9+, had 4 pitches to climb, and was a 300’ wall. 

    By this time, I have been climbing in the gym regularly since February. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, I go with my buddy, Eddie, at 6am. There is a major difference in climbing indoors vs. outdoors. The head game you have to manage outside is a whole other level. Indoors, you feel safe. You have a top rope already set for you, the floor is padded, and the top rope is even double wrapped for extra protection. Outside, there is exposure, overhangs with a 100’+ drops, and real life situations.

    By this time, I have been climbing in the gym regularly since February. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, I go with my buddy, Eddie, at 6am. There is a major difference in climbing indoors vs. outdoors. The head game you have to manage outside is a whole other level. Indoors, you feel safe. You have a top rope already set for you, the floor is padded, and the top rope is even double wrapped for extra protection. Outside, there is exposure, overhangs with a 100’+ drops, and real life situations.

    This is an absolute test for your nerves, body, and your awareness. There is nothing like it. Trusting your equipment and feet are the first two tasks you need to learn and learn really fast. In the gym, you're more focused on your hands and using those as leverage. In the wild, you cannot always reach a hold and must trust your feet to stick and get you there. This is a real mind obstacle. 

    This is an absolute test for your nerves, body, and your awareness. There is nothing like it. Trusting your equipment and feet are the first two tasks you need to learn and learn really fast. In the gym, you're more focused on your hands and using those as leverage. In the wild, you cannot always reach a hold and must trust your feet to stick and get you there. This is a real mind obstacle. 

     Pitch one and two came quite easy. After the second pitch, I was warmed up and ready to take this thing down. Little to be known, pitch 3, the crux, was about to crush all my dreams. Getting started on this point wasn't bad. I was getting into the flow, until I hit "the point". I was simply 1" too short, couldn't get my left foot high enough in the crack and didn't think I could pull through. Fear started kicking in. I realized I was already 130' up, started doubting the equipment, and acknowledged that if I missed this dyno, I was going to be swinging far to my right over the overhang. I didn't want that. So here we go...

     Pitch one and two came quite easy. After the second pitch, I was warmed up and ready to take this thing down. Little to be known, pitch 3, the crux, was about to crush all my dreams. Getting started on this point wasn't bad. I was getting into the flow, until I hit "the point". I was simply 1" too short, couldn't get my left foot high enough in the crack and didn't think I could pull through. Fear started kicking in. I realized I was already 130' up, started doubting the equipment, and acknowledged that if I missed this dyno, I was going to be swinging far to my right over the overhang. I didn't want that. So here we go...

     I shoved my left hand in the crack as far as I could, crimping my thumb underneath, lifted my left leg as high as possible, shoved that in the crack and went for the jump. Boom, missed... I was able to grab the crack enough to hold myself from flying over the ledge. Phew, I got another attempt. Repositioned myself, slammed hand and foot and here we go. Got it! Right hand grabbed the jug I was slightly too short for. You get to the ledge and get a nice break. The fun isn't over yet. Bigger overhang with no ground below in sight. Here we go again. This section had great hand holds for a short while, but you need to get your foot up fast, otherwise the hand holds go away quickly. Made a few moves and boom, game over. Pitch 3, I owned you. 

     I shoved my left hand in the crack as far as I could, crimping my thumb underneath, lifted my left leg as high as possible, shoved that in the crack and went for the jump. Boom, missed... I was able to grab the crack enough to hold myself from flying over the ledge. Phew, I got another attempt. Repositioned myself, slammed hand and foot and here we go. Got it! Right hand grabbed the jug I was slightly too short for. You get to the ledge and get a nice break. The fun isn't over yet. Bigger overhang with no ground below in sight. Here we go again. This section had great hand holds for a short while, but you need to get your foot up fast, otherwise the hand holds go away quickly. Made a few moves and boom, game over. Pitch 3, I owned you. 

    Pitch 4 didn't look nearly as bad. It was all slab scrambling, but, with my nerves already rumbling, the thoughts came back and fear set in. I worked myself through it and made it to the top. 

    Pitch 4 didn't look nearly as bad. It was all slab scrambling, but, with my nerves already rumbling, the thoughts came back and fear set in. I worked myself through it and made it to the top. 

     All in all a really good day. A reality checker and adrenaline boost. Reflecting, now a day later, I am craving some more, and bad. These feelings and experiences you experience on the rock are like nothing else in life. It isn't easy. You challenge yourself in ways where you learn who you are. You cherish what you have. You really get to appreciate the team aspect of this thing and how much of us, as humans, rely on each other to get through some of the toughest struggles. Appreciate your friends, companions, family, and even complete strangers. Live life and don't stop. When you stop, it doesn't end well. Go out there, explore, follow your passions, try new things, leave your comfort zone, and enjoy life. Be kind and humble. Make it all count. 

     All in all a really good day. A reality checker and adrenaline boost. Reflecting, now a day later, I am craving some more, and bad. These feelings and experiences you experience on the rock are like nothing else in life. It isn't easy. You challenge yourself in ways where you learn who you are. You cherish what you have. You really get to appreciate the team aspect of this thing and how much of us, as humans, rely on each other to get through some of the toughest struggles. Appreciate your friends, companions, family, and even complete strangers. Live life and don't stop. When you stop, it doesn't end well. Go out there, explore, follow your passions, try new things, leave your comfort zone, and enjoy life. Be kind and humble. Make it all count. 

Brandon Nicklaus