I was 50 feet up my Rifle project, Gay Science, a steep and burly 5.13d on the Project Wall. I’d been working on it for a month. This time, I had somehow slapped my way through the first, slopey-sidepull crux and slammed my rubber-covered knees into the rest. I could let go with both hands and take a breath. This was my high point.
I threw my head back and closed my eyes. I needed to lower my heart rate and depump my forearms before facing the last, powerful crux before the chains. Then, I felt the weight of my necklace shift to the back of my neck. I heard my husband and belayer, Chris, yell up, “Nice work!”
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