August 26th, 2009

Oh, and this climber's awesome.

Tuesday I went climbing during lunchtime with a couple of friends.  If you're climbing hard, it's nice to climb with two others because that'll give you a couple of minutes of downtime when one of them is belaying the other.  Still, if you want to climb more frequently, it's better if you can pair off with just one other climber.

A female voice came over the PA system: "Attention Planet Granite members and guests.  There's a climber at the front desk who's looking for a belay partner.  Come by the front desk if you can help."

A slight pause.  Then, "Oh, and this climber's awesome."

We looked at each other as our bullshit detectors pinged.  What was that last bit for?  Was this climber so terrible or repulsive that he needed that obviously insincere recommendation?

Whatever.  My buddy Charles decided to toss the loser a line.  I (jokingly) reminded him, "We'll decide who's awesome around here, and if he doesn't cut muster, he's out."  Honestly, the three of us are no great shakes, but it's fun to cop an attitude if you can.  Charles headed off to the front desk (behind the wall), and later came back alone saying, "He wasn't at the front desk anymore.  They'll find him in the bouldering area and he'll come by."

A little bit later, a tall and strikingly beautiful co-ed walks up and asks, "Are you the three climbers who're available to belay another climber?"

I was the one not tied in to a rope at that particular moment, so it fell to me to pair off with her.  I'll take one for the team.  They can thank me later.

She allowed me to climb first, and I went up a 5.10b with no difficulty.  A 5.10c would have been trouble, though.  She made some appreciative comments, then decided to warm up on a 5.11d, and waltzed up that thing like it was nothing.  (If you're not a climber, that essentially means I was revealed to be an amateur in the presence of a genuine athelete.)

Climbing turned out to be excellent.  She was strong, graceful and fun to watch on the wall.

Aww, geeze.  She was awesome, after all.  The P.A. announcement was no lie.  I was the one lucky to be climbing with her.