On the bus back from KL and I was dreaming about the climbs that we did. Try as I might I couldn’t remove those images from my head.
I could replay that moment where I grabbed the jug on Whimper, a metre and a half left of the last bolt and thought to myself, if I were to fall, I was going to swing, and how painful that would be, before I shook my head, chickened out and went back to the chimney. How I tried to smear and dropped my knee upwards but never thought to grab the jug on the far left and failed once, twice, thrice before I admitted defeat.
How it felt to be up there, staring out at the kampung below. The kampung and the mountains in the distance. How the view was so immense and intense that your eyes struggled to take it in all. Everywhere you turned there were sights and details. It was so overwhelming it was almost painful. There was fear and that niggling thought that if the bolt or the sling were to give way now, I would fall and die. But there was also that peace and acceptance of where I was in life.
Even now, everytime I lead outdoors, my heart pumps extra fast. The blood rushes to my head, my feet shakes and many many times the fear is so close to the surface. But the feeling of suppressing that fear with calmness that brings you to the end of the route, and the intense relief that follows, is like a drug that is difficult to quit from.
And so I dream about the rock, of being scared, of being exposed, of relief, of joy, of the simplest of things in the world–being alive.