Mind Stream 8A+ by Chloe Pay (18)

Wednesday, 1 July

Chloe Pay, who has done her first three 8A's in 2020, has also done her first 8A+, Mind Stream in Smugglers notch. During the last three months, the 18-year-old had done ten routes 7C+ and harder which can be compared to just one previously.

I’ve been climbing for about 5 years. I was introduced to climbing after joining the local youth climbing team, and instantly, my passion for the sport soared. Up until last year, I had only climbed inside. When I ventured outside for the first time on a team trip, I was disgusted by the knife-like crimps of Vermont climbing and the lack of colorful, plastic holds. However, in a couple of short months, I have come to appreciate the outdoor sport for what it is and it has quickly become my preferred method of climbing. This summer I am hiking the long trail, a 273 mile trail in Vermont that goes from Massachusetts to Canada, and I rope climb during the sport/speed season, but I prefer to boulder.

I don’t think I have ever been quite as obsessed with a boulder as I was with this one. I had never truly projected a boulder before, so it was very cool to see the linear progress with each session. I had trouble managing my skin throughout this process. The climb consists of small, sloping crimps, the warm weather caused my skin to become soupy, and the volume of work put into this sharp, schist problem ended up puncturing and wearing down my skin often. I sent this boulder on my last go of the day at 11:00 pm. My mind felt empty and I was completely in the moment, a feeling I had never experienced while climbing, prior to this attempt. This climb, twenty feet from the parking lot, had been one of my dreams since the first time I went to Smuggs. I never thought I would be capable of climbing a boulder of this difficulty, so this was a big achievement for me.

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