“Just kind of stack your fingers in there and twist them till they get stuck”
I’m learning the masochistic art of crack climbing and nothing makes sense anymore. My once-articulate fingers have morphed essentially into meat-cams, and my toes are contorted sideways and wedged into the crack. Even on toprope my panicked head is acutely aware that nothing more than their combined friction is keeping me attached to the rock
Above, I see two endless sheer walls of blank red stone; below the same. I feel like a speck lodged improbably at a strange vertical crossroads, and the crack is getting smaller.
Up, down, left, right- I breathe to myself and finally just jam my mangled fingertips into the seam above, grappling for some sense of security. No dice- my hips swing out and I’m off.
It’s a pretty typical introduction to this side of the sport. You’re given something impossible, and then you flail at it and try to make it something else. All signs continue to indicate that “impossible” is indeed the case, but then something happens; your body finds just the right way to jam or friction or in some cases just brutally will itself upward, and impossible begins to change. It’s that easy.
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