Labyrinth Canyon became a refuge for me, and despite its name it was never difficult for me to find my way here. It became a place of certainty in its roots of adventure- an escape from difficulties in the world or in my head, from hard sport projecting, or in this case, a pandemic. Spending a trip once a year in this magical canyon functioned as a reset button of life- a time to live simply, enjoy the wild spirit of climbing, and escape the outside world.
I make it through the crux on lead for the first time on Barbie Adventure Pack, a 5.13- splitter that my husband, Chris, had just put up a couple weeks earlier. I am at the decent stance before the redpoint crux, a sequential, bouldery thin seam guarding the anchor.
I know how to climb the upper crux, I had rehearsed the pitch by solo-toproping many days before attempting on lead. I stand as high on my tiptoes as possible and get a shallow right finger-lock, stem my left foot on a slanted micro-edge, and deadpoint to a left finger-lock that bites my raw skin. I scream as I throw to a right-hand sloping jug, calm my nerves and breath, and climb the 5.11 finishing crack to the anchor.
I just sent one of my hardest desert splitters!