Clouds looked dark this morning, but we wanted to climb and the weather said 0% chance until 4pm or something like that. We go to do a 3 pitch 3 star 5.7 called “White Whale” on Bookend crag in Lumpy Ridge- we pull up, pack up, and go around 11:30am.
The approach is long. Really long, and up a mountain. Walking up a set of stars at this altitude is exhausting– the mountain definitely took it out of us.
We arrive at the base and rack up. The route is slab city with left facing flakes for days. The first pitch is easy and classic. Luke leads the second pitch and just as I start to un-clip my anchor a couple splashes of rain fall. The middle aged climbers next to us laugh and tell us not to panic, it’s only a couple drops.
The words barely leave his mouth when the sky decides its time to wreck some climbers’ day. The rock is incredibly gritty when its dry, but suddenly it becomes a polished water slide. I’m halfway up the 55+ meter pitch and the rain turns into a thunder storm. I am covered in metal and on a mountain at maybe 9,000 ft above sea level. No longer am I enjoying the climb- I just want to get the fuck down.
Finally, we finish the route and start the walk down. I’m freaked- I’d a) never climbed in the rain, and b) never been in a situation where I could very conceivably be struck by lightening. Suddenly every downed tree (of which there are many) looks like it’s been struck by lightening. Every burst of thunder sounds closer.
I am alive and perfectly fine. I don’t think I was ever in very real danger, but I do NEVER want to be climbing in a storm again.
In other news, the fish burritos at Ed’s continue to be outstanding.