Watch Quebec crusher Annie Chouinard send Sha Sha 5.14a at Orford in Quebec, click on the subtitles for English.

“As I reached the last crux, I could hear the encouragements of my partner, but his words weren’t clear to me, like a distant echo,” Chouinard said about her Sha Sha send. “I clipped the anchor, closed my eyes for a few seconds, turned around and had a look at the scenery behind me.”

I recently sent what I consider to be one of the best route at Orford, Sha Sha, 5.14a. The route is a direct line up the cliff and starts with a tricky and technical boulder problem to a rest, the only one on the route. You then engage several moves that test your resistance, leading up to the final section, a powerful boulder problem and long moves on bad slopers. I had the day off from work and had gotten up at 4:30am to do the 1h20 drive between Montreal and Orford to try to get the best possible conditions on the rock. For different reasons, I definitely wasn’t feeling at my best on that day, but as I got on the route on my first go of the day, my body and mind entered a state that doesn’t belong to this world. Every movement was fluid and precise; I didn’t feel a moment of hesitation. My mind was free of any thoughts: it was just me, the rock, the present moment. As I reached the last crux, I could hear the encouragements of my partner, but his words weren’t clear to me, like a distant echo. I clipped the anchor, closed my eyes for a few seconds, turned around and had a look at the scenery behind me. A scenery that is familiar to me, but that looked particularly unique at that moment. Then I came back to this world and smiled. It’s for moment like these that I work hard, fail more often than I succeed, but carry on. It’s moment like these that gives a meaning to my life. Ultimately, this is why I climb. This picture was taken by Philippe Lacroix as I was working the first part of the route at the end of May before the closure of the park this year. Now, time for Rumney to work other inspiring lines! @allezupmtl ; @metoliusclimbing ; @arcteryxmontreal; @fiveten_official

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