This alluring boulder sits like a motionless eye deep in the canyon, it's light tones strange and intriguing among the dark green brush. Most of the slog from the parking lot is done on pure faith that something incredible awaits at the end. It isn't until the final minutes of the full hour march that the boulder reveals itself as the greenery parts and reveals a smooth face carved with the slightest edges, just enough.
|Approaching the mouth of Juniper Canyon.|
|Lichen on a trailside boulder.|
It's just sitting there! Nothing remotely decent to warm up on in either direction, and behind you through the visible heat waves is the parking lot, a million miles away. I guess there's nothing to do but talk about the conditions and swing my arms around absentmindedly.
|Looking up from the Stand and Deliver boulder.|
|Adam Seely readies himself under the looming wall of sandstone.|
I had been out here twice before, once to scout and admire, and once to climb. I had maybe five attempts or so on my first warm day back in April. Looking back I'm glad I didn't sent that day.
This time out I nearly climbed the boulder first try. I'm very happy that I didn't send on that attempt. I knew that I would likely only climb this boulder once and I wanted to spend more time experiencing the movement and put more of my skin, energy, and heart into it.
As it turned out I tried five or so times before taking a long break. I had the cliche last burn doubts, walking the line between packing up and booting up before stepping on for one last try. I felt an incredible amount of satisfaction and pride upon reaching the lip physically tired and mentally fatigued, much more than I would have felt had I sent on the warm up burn.
All this might seem overly poetic for a chunk of rock. A scarred up marble compared to the giant walls surrounding and creating the canyon. It could be, but I rarely take time to think about the overall experience of a problem, about the process of climbing it. As with a lot of climbers I like to send, log, and get on to the next one.
With this boulder I felt the need to just linger in the rearview for a while.