Training: Build Mental Climbing Strength

Training: Build Mental Climbing Strength

Dark clouds filled in as my friend Eli and I arrived at the last difficult pitch of The Honeymoon Is Over, a 1,000-foot 5.13 on the Diamond on Longs Peak in Colorado. The climb begins at 13,000 feet and has four pitches of 5.13 up overhanging granite with flakes, tips laybacks, and tiny edges. After six weeks of obsessive work and with the three hardest pitches redpointed, I was so close!

Then, snow began to fall. We hung at the anchor, wiggling about to keep warm. “We’ll wait it out,” I told Eli. Snow turned to sleet. The rock was soaked. Out of options, we bailed. By the time I sent, last September, I’d put in nine trips over two months. Even as my body remained fit, my head also needed a constant tune-up. With any big project like this, I know that where I put my attention will greatly affect my motivation and subsequently the outcome. I’ve had to learn how to build resilience and focus my attention.

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