This past Monday was a holiday in Chile thanks to some random Catholic saints, so obviously I wanted to go climbing. Nevermind that I had also gone climbing the day before, or that it was raining all morning, or that my hands were already torn open from a combination of crossfit and pointy rocks. It’s not a real holiday if you’re not sending it.

Despite the continuous drizzle I convinced a couple of friends from my crossfit gym to come with me to a climbing area called Monster, which is a rocky point only half an hour from La Serena. Since it is right on the coast, the climbing area is eternally wet. In the summertime it generally dries out around midday, but sea spray and cloudy days make winter climbing tough. Not, however, impossible.

The rain stopped around noon and then promptly started again when we got to the wall an hour later, so we spent some time contemplating the wet climbing holds and our life choices before deciding to just go for it. I was with some newbies so we stuck to a couple of easier routes but they definitely felt harder with all the water. It’s quite unsettling and a little gross to put your hand in an undercling and hear the squelch of gooey chalk that has formed into a paste with the rain.

On the bright side (heh), the sun came out just after we actually started climbing and it turned into an absolutely gorgeous afternoon. I mean, the rock was still exceedingly slippery but at least we weren’t actively getting rained on, and the views were pretty spectacular. Some may call it luck but I call it forcefully willing a successful day off of work into existence. I think the saints would approve.

An example seen on my no-longer-black pants of me trying to get said chalk goo off my hands