First visit to the Red River Gorge was a success! Despite not having any guide books or cell reception we managed to figure out our way around. Thank god for Miguel’s Pizza wifi. I was able to access mountain project and redriverclimbing.com to screenshot everything we needed. Not that I couldn’t just buy a book, but this made it more interesting.
Starting with my mood: It was a pretty stressful few days. I was excited the entire week after I found I had the time off but once we got there my mood shifted. It was probably anxiety, or stress, but I just couldn’t snap out of it for the entire time. I had high hopes sleeping it off would do the trick. I passed out really early the first night and got to sleep in. It was nice not being rushed around or on a set schedule. Something I rarely get to experience. But as the day went on I still felt off. I guess you could describe it just as a low (depressed) and irritable state. It really sucks trying to explain to someone that this is just what happens and no matter how hard I try, snapping out of it is nearly impossible. Mostly happening at inconvenient times too. Like this time, when I’m surrounded by people almost 24/7 and I usually don’t want to talk or be around anyone when I’m in that state. I feel like sane people can tell when they’re in a bad mood and just change it. They put on a face, and go on with their day. I simply just don’t have that talent. My face tells all and so does my attitude. I’ve tried ways to hide it but my bipolar is apparently stronger in that sense. I’ve also taught myself to be comfortable and not feel I have to hide what I’m feeling. So when I’m sad, I’m sad and when I’m mad you’ll know it. Its better to be blunt about whats going on in my opinion. I’m thankful for people like Eliott. The ones with patience and understanding. We ended up still having a great trip. How could you not? Its beautiful down there, we climbed strong and got to experience something new.
I think its really hard to find a partner you climb with that you feel not just physically safe with, but emotionally and mentally. Like, yeah you’re life is in there hands so if you fall they better catch you. If you’re making a mistake they better notice and vice versa. The relationships between climbers is all about trust. But what about your mental? Yeah they can catch you on the rope, but what happens if you start panicking? Are you comfortable enough with them to let them know? 50 ft up a wall and you’re at a sketchy crux terrified to make a move or you get stuck and frustrated. What about the times you’re not climbing? When you’re feeling low or angry at yourself for not exceeding or succeeding. Does your partner have what it takes to snap you out of it if you can’t yourself? Because I’ve been there, on both ends on most spectrum’s. That’s what I look for in a partnership, not just if they can catch my fall or how much experience they have.
This is something I’ve thankfully been able to find in Eliott, which is why I’ve decided to have him join me on my long trip around the country. Something I asked him a little while ago but have not updated the blog or gofundme about. I think this trip was a nice little glimpse to what the future holds. It was our first trip alone together, in a new place, everything packed in my tiny car. The only thing missing was my Jessie girl. (who was deeply missed)
Eliott got to see first hand I think how frustrated I get when I don’t know where I’m going. Which is actually amusing to me… after its figured out. The first day we ended up getting lost looking for emerald city and ended up at roadside. We didn’t realize this till we had already tried to climb a couple routes and knowing none of the beta made sense. Found a few climbers to help us get on the right path. Made our way to emerald city which was beautiful but we were running out of time. We ended on Whiteout and Whiteout direct which is an 8/9- multi pitch climb. First pitch is sport, second is trad. (Eliotts first multi and trad pitch) Something for him to remember. It reminded me a lot of the Gunks, the scenery at the top was of course stunning. We lucked out on the weather the first couple days. I’ve heard people say it never rains at the Red, – you’re crazy. The second day we spent most of our time at flank and a little at military after it started to rain a bunch. I really liked Left flank area. Got to talk to a lot of nice people and get this sweet pic (gloating) of me on the classic route “To defy the laws of tradition”. It ended up raining the entire night and next day so we called it early and headed home. I spent the morning at Miguel’s researching a lot of the other areas. Planned out what walls I wanted to hit up on the next trip. Muscle beach and Pebble Beach are very appealing with those off widths and what I’ve read about the approach. You’ll learn I like the secluded areas. Ones not crowded with people and preferably hard to find. I get classics are classics, but I go after the less taken paths- literally.
-More RRG photos have been added to the gallery, including more from our trip home-