I was back to walking again today, which meant an 8ish mile walk to the Jesus Project. It's a bit much, but it has to be done - you can't be wasting days like today.
It feels weird to be even on the Jesus Project - so named, because "you would have to be able to walk on water to be able to use those footholds". It was the impossible line, the route with a crimp so small, it ripped your tip every time you pulled on it - and pull on it you had to, with the steepest smear you could imagine, just a vertical wall.
So trying it seriously was not something I ever thought I'd do. When I managed to do the crux in isolation the other day, I couldn't believe it. Small sidepull with the right, razor with the left, horrendous smear with the right and then up for the top. It's a simple sequence really that should be a bit boring, but you really get a feeling of flying on it. There is something a little other-worldly about yarding your entire body up a cliff, powered only by the smallest of crimps and some congering smearing.
Today I got back and just stared at the holds - for about an hour. You have to get to know the holds. With these BEYOND THE BUBBLE style routes, you have to really dial the line. It may well be too hard to know you will do it on the solo, but you have to know, when you set out on the crux, that you are giving yourself the best possible chance of doing it. You decide that you want to climb it - that you wont be content until you do climb it. Then you get to know the holds and have a bash! Micro cleaning. Micro Observation. It's a bit weird, but it opens up another world - a world where these bizarre things are possible.
And then onto the philosophical. For doing this is going to be something special. It was not just something that I thought was nails, but something I really thought was not going to be possible, ever. Open mindedness is so important and is possibly the reason why people climb well at their limit in the Moors. There's an attitude of 'why not?' and none of this calculated stuff about "well, I boulder 8b, so soloing a font 7b+ is probably my limit". Just go for it - try and solo above your normal boulder limit! Yes!