Perhaps my proudest ascent to date. I don't think it had anything to do with the rating, but rather the fact that I'd seen guys doing this climb in a climbing video! Granted, they were doing it one armed, but I figured I didn't need to show off like that. If I could do it (two armed and proud), that meant that I was good enough to be in a video! Er...something like that.
Basically a three move problem. First move is to a pinchy sidepull hold that isn't actually that great. Move your feet up as high as you can get them, and launch. Looking at it, I was totally intimidated and didn't think I could send it.
The first attempt I didn't even get close. I came flying off and probably wouldn't have tried more than once more except I knew that I wouldn't be back for a long time because summer was approaching and it was already too hot to climb. That's why we came at night during a full moon. This was the last climb of the night for me...as the sun rose in the distance.
The second attempt I got closer but was still probably a foot shy. On the third attempt, my right hand went skidding across the hold (which is a large, flat ledge with virtually no lip). Lord knows where the left hand was.
Since we would be leaving soon (Joyce had already been sleeping in the car for hours), I knew I only had a few more attempts left. On the fourth try, I sincerely tried to focus. I had been thinking about how impossible this route seemed, and how far away that hold was. So I stopped. Took a few deep breaths. Slowly got on, and threw for the hold with everything I had.
I'm not sure who was more surprised that I stuck it, myself or my faithful (albeit shorter) onlookers. Whatever I did differently worked, because I landed it solid with both hands. Then hanging there, I realized that I'd have to mantle up this thing with no other hand or foot holds.
My mantling skills were pretty non-existant at the time, and I was just beginning to realize this. I pulled, then pushed, and just didn't have the strength in me. I lowered myself back to a hanging position, relaxed for a few seconds, and gave it another go.
The only thing that got me up and over was me thinking about having to do it all over again. I wanted it now, today, and so it went. Perhaps my first successful mantle, and V5, all wrapped into one. I sent Saturday Night Live, and to this day it remains my proudest ascent.