"Hey, here's an idea. We should climb 23 pitches on my 23rd birthday."
That was probably the best and most creative [climbing] idea that I have ever had.
When will I be able to do this again? The Nose on my 31st? Salathe Wall on my 35th? I'd have to learn to aid climb...and big wall climb. What about The Scariest Ride in the Park on my 40th? Nope. That sounds scary. Well, maybe I'll do that one...
Basically, this was my best opportunity to be successful. Infinite Bliss is a grade IV route with 23 pitches of climbing, 2,800 vertical feet of ascent and crux pitches that go at 5.10c. Oh yeah, and it's all bolted.
So there it was: 5 months before my birthday, Emily and I planned on climbing this route. I was excited and I thought about it more often than I should have. In the midst of finishing up my last semester at college, finding a job, moving, climbing, studying, climbing and figuring out Life - all I could think about was this endeavor.
No one knew how exited I was. I have been climbing for 5 years and I have never been so dedicated, excited and confident on doing anything. This was it, this was going to be the apex of my climbing career to date. This is noteworthy, remarkable, and serious. It is the longest sport climb in North America. I mean, it's only 200 feet shorter than The Nose on El Cap and you do it in a day! Epic.
The plan was set: graduation took place, I moved, started a new job and said goodbye to my girlfriend as she went to spend her summer in the Saskatchewan. With all this change happening, there was one constant: Infinite Bliss.
"I think we should break up," is what I was told mid-summer.
Ok? But what does that mean for Infinite Bliss?
What does that mean? It's not like Infinite Bliss was the name of or hippie love child. It's a climbing route. I was more concerned about loosing my climbing partner for this endeavor than loosing someone I saw myself spending the rest of my life with? What does that mean?
There I was 2 months before my 23rd birthday: I got dumped and my Infinite Bliss looked infinitely impossible.