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Dandelion - Thursday, Jul. 30, 2020
Wednesday, Jul. 01, 2020 @ 12:21 pm
We take the day off to make an attempt at Diedre. The weather is cool for late June, and we watch the rain fall on the mountains across the valley. Perhaps there is time to climb the six pitches before the rock becomes wet. In the parking lot, we rack up. I try to eat something but my stomach heaves with nerves; I’ll have to do this on an empty stomach.
We hike through the woods and scramble up a series of granite ledges until we find the base of the climb. The first pitch is a low angle run out slab.
“I’m going to lead the first pitch because I’m scared of it.”
“Good,” he says, “you know how much I dislike slabs.”
I ascend the slab, finding large mineral crystals on which to cling with my fingers or smear with my feet. I sling the tree and continue up the crack system, crossing another unprotected slab, to the anchor.
He leads the third pitch. I watch him climb up the dihedral and find myself thinking about us. About how we do these things together that we could not accomplish on our own. About how much I trust him. My heart races. I’m going to tell him that I love him when we are at the top of this climb.
The climbing is easier than expected, and I begin to relax. My stomach rumbles with hunger, which is a welcome change from nausea. I lead the fourth pitch easily and quickly, nearly running out of gear but finding nut placements along the last ten metres.
More climbing, and then I lead the last pitch. I protect the crux - the hardest move of the climb, and wrangle my body up the slick, mossy chimney and onto the Broadway Ledge. He follows, and I belay him from a tree. A light rain has begun to fall, and the slab is slick, making the crux more challenging. He emerges from the chimney and continues past me to safety at the back of the ledge. I coil the rope and remove the anchor and join him on the dramatic viewpoint.
A screeching call from a raptor riding the updraft. The air redolent with mineral and salt. We are alone. We did it, climbed Diedre, and we did it clean on our first attempt. A light rain falls on my arms. He rummages for his phone and takes photos of me, photos of us. He pockets his phone away safely.
I turn to hug him. We hold onto each other, and he kisses me gently.
My heart races. Now is the moment.
I pull back and take a deep breath and jump into a glorious abyss.
“I love you very much.”
“I love you very very much. More than you love me, I’m sure.”
We kiss and he presses his face into my neck. I can feel the pulse of his heart, strong in his chest against mine.
I am loved. Deeply and truly, I am loved.