Exactly four years after her first attempts, Angie Payne of Boulder has completed her long-awaited project and second V13, Freaks of the Industry in Lower Chaos Canyon of Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado.
Payne tried a few goes at Freaks in 2010 after becoming the first woman to ever climb a V13, sending The Automator, also in RMNP. She worked more than 20 days in 2011, continuing to fall near the end of the problem on a crux that requires a tricky match on a crimp and a deep drop knee on to a few more hard moves.
A mental battle ensued with the coming of 2012 and a different kind of battle came with the flood in 2013.
“It was sad to see what was going on in Colorado, and it made me feel like throwing myself at a rock was pretty inconsequential in the grand scheme of things,” Payne wrote in an e-mail to Rock and Ice.
Knowing she had the ability to do this problem since August 2010, Payne finally felt mentally ready this season, falling because of slipped feet and hands, not for lack of trying like previous seasons.
“Going into this year, I had much more confidence, and that only grew after two good days of fast progress on the problem,” Payne wrote. “On the send, I didn’t really think it was done until I passed my old ultimate high-point.”
Payne said she wasn’t positive she had it until reaching for the jug before the easy top-out.
“I grabbed the jug, and it all hit me at once, and I just turned around and looked at Meagan [Martin] and Rachel [Meyers] and screamed,” Payne wrote. “Looking back, it probably sounded pretty funny, because all three of us were making quite a commotion.”
After completing The Automator, Payne said she wanted to climb something of the same grade before attempting harder problems. After figuring the moves out on Freaks early, the problem had her hooked.
“I absolutely love the process of projecting,” Payne wrote. “Even though the process was full of insanely frustrating moments, this boulder never stopped teaching me new things, and I never considered not seeing it through to the end.”
Progress came every day for Payne, even if it was subtle. This progress and the opportunity of escape kept her coming back for more.
“It’s hard to not keep going back when progress keeps happening, be it mental or physical,” Payne wrote. “I also loved being up there at that boulder, and I really became accustomed to escaping to the problem to just be in the mountains and enjoy the beauty of that place. I loved the routine of it all…it really became a home away from home.”