New Routes = New Project

May long weekend is one of my favourite long weekends for the simple fact that it usually is the weekend that marks the beginning of summer (even though summer doesn’t technically start til the end of June). This weekend is usually when people open up their cottages or go camping.
We went up to my boyfriends cottage to open it up for the summer. We had asked one of our friends to come and check out a nearby cliff to see if he could put some routes on it. If you are from Ontario then you know how bad the bugs are on the May Long weekend, with that in mind, we set out with bug jackets and our friend was able to bolt us a route. It was hot, sunny and buggy so we decided to save trying the climb for the next day and we headed back to the cottage for some wakeboarding and wakeskating. We spent quite a bit of time on the water until our arms were too sore to continue.
The next day we woke up and headed to the cliff for 6am in hopes of beating the bugs there. They tend to come out around 8/9am. We were successful with the bugs but not with the climb. My boyfriend, Mike, got half way to the top (it has 14 bolts/90ft) but was unable to finish it. I didn’t even make it past the first bolt. This was quite frustrating for me as I went into it hoping that he or I would have our first ascent! When I looked up at it, I thought, I can do this! But when it was my turn, i got to the first bolt but couldn’t quite get the move to reach the second bolt. I am a stubborn climber and will usually sit at that bolt and try and try, fall and fall until I get it or give up finally because my arms have nothing left in them. I felt like my arms had nothing in them right away. Maybe it was the wakeboarding from the day before? Or maybe it is just too hard of a climb for me…
We let our friend ascend it because he bolted it and he also hit a moose on the way up. It could have killed him and his wife but luck was on their side and they just clipped it. The damage to their vehicle will cost them quite a bit so it ended up being an expensive route. He named it MOOSE JUICE and put it at a 5.11b. As soon as he said that I felt much better. I have been leading 5.9’s consistently and have done a 5.10a but that’s where I am at right now. I still was disappointed in myself for not being able to do the climb because I just want to be able to climb everything. I am stuck right now. I am at a point where I am finding 5.9’s fairly easy but anything over a 5.10a is too hard. So now this 5.11 is going to be my “project”. I need to understand that projects are a good thing. My goal is to be able to climb Moose Juice by the end of the summer.
Regardless of our friends hitting the moose and the bugs being so bad we were in bug jackets all weekend we had an amazing weekend. Any time spent outdoors with friends is a good time.