I was fired up and had even gone sport climbing throughout the week to hone in some face climbing skills that aren't exactly my strong suit, culminating in my first 5.11 sport lead. After T-Pain and I were done with our sport session, we met up with Cholo Kranky at the upscale pizza bar he works at in Tivoli Village and enjoyed what may have been the best pizza I had ever had as well as a few nice, cold IPA's.
At the end of the evening, Jon and I agreed upon our meeting time and spot and were set to meet at a fairly casual 7:00am for a run up Dream of Wild Turkeys.
I wake up very suddenly, with the sun at the angle it is at this time of year I feel that I may have overslept my alarm. I bolt over to my cell phone and see that it is 5:40, 5 minutes before my alarm. I also see that Jon shot me a text around 1am indicating he had to bail. His little sister was flying into town from Reno to surprise their Mom for Mother's Day on Saturday, not Sunday as he had thought, and by virtue of that he had to bail. He apologized for the late notice and while I was incredibly frustrated, I understood. I had everything packed the night before in the truck ready to go so all I had to do was throw ice in the cooler (for victory beers), hop in the truck, and head to the Late Night Trailhead in the morning. So much for that.
How to recover from a day nearly wasted. Temperatures were set to be quite warm in Las Vegas, hovering in the mid-90's in town and high 80's at my house at the edge of town. A beautiful, sunny day and I wasn't going to let it go to waste. I quickly start thinking of long routes I can rope solo where the climbing itself would be casual but being the rope soloing neophyte that I am, it would keep it interesting. Tunnel Vision comes to mind because of the fact that it has a short approach and a walk-off, and I hadn't climbed it yet. Fueled by caffeine, stoke, and a high level of determination to accomplish SOMETHING on Saturday, I load up the truck and take off.
Except, five minutes into my drive I forgot my wallet (with my pass to get into the park).
Wallet in possession, I take off for the park at a high speed. 5 minutes later, I show my pass and get to the White Rock Springs parking lot. I promptly take my bag out and am getting ready to load my rope into it when I realize the only ropes I had with me were my twins for the planned climb of Dream of Wild Turkeys. Somehow in the process I spaced on bringing the most important part of the whole rig - my 10.2 mm rope that works with my Soloist. Momentarily I considered free soloing the route but quickly decided against it - I still have huge trust issues with the sandstone here after being brought up a granite climber.
Fast forward a bit in the day and I'm back, with rope, hiking in the heat to the base.
The first pitch flows pretty quickly, but dealing with the system is somewhat awkward in the sense that the longest route I had rope soloed before was a 3 pitch 5.6 I had free soloed numerous times back in Reno.
The incredible thing about the rope solo was how in the moment I was, the entire time. I guess I'll shut up and stop rambling and share a few pics and then some thoughts at the end:
All in all, TV was a pretty mediocre route with a very cool and novel pitch in the famous Tunnel pitch. The process of rope soloing the route was quite exhausting - climbing a 700' route twice, but very fun. I loved the way that it kept me in the moment the entire time, kept me occupied, and I moved at a fairly decent rate considering my near-noon start. More water would have been a very good thing, but man having to bring a pack up seconding this bugger was a pain - especially when you are already tired!
I wish I had more to say about the actual process of climbing the route, but I just got into such a zone of climbing, reclimbing, paying attention to my rigging and the systematic fashion of progression that nearly every thought had cleared out of the grey matter between my ears. That was nice for a change.