New Jack City Climbing
I finally climbed in Mordor. Yes, like Lord of the Rings Mordor. Near Barstow, CA there is a climbing spot called New Jack City. It is famous for its great sport climbing on volcanic rock formations which are reminiscent of J.R.R Tolkien's Mordor. A highlight of this high desert park is the free camping just steps away from the crags. Which means, little to no approach. Another highlight? A rock formation known as the crooked dick. It is so called because, well, see below. I climbed a route on the crooked dick, which ended with me letting out the most zombies-are-about-to-attack-me-high-pitched-scream I've ever screamed in my life. And all because I thought I was going to be pulled off the wall when my belayer decided to help me by pulling me up the wall. HELL NO. I wish we had recorded it, because I would like to hear that scream again and then share it with the world. I did, however, manage to complete a climb scream-free. That's not to say I wasn't terrified up there. I asked to be let down when I ended up dangling in the lying position about halfway up the route. The exposure and height had gotten the best of me and I was ready to give up. Instead, I took a moment, thanks to the encouragement of my bffl Traci, reoriented my body against the wall, and was able to get to the top. It wasn't a challenging climb as far as the physical effort. It's the mental effort that exhausts me. Especially when I see my friends totally crushing their much more challenging climbs. I still feel too happy to be back at ground level. I still need to climb more routes to get more comfortable up on the wall. But I still have lots of time to do that. And that's the beauty of this climbing journey.