Max rolled a cigarette, letting a few shreds of Bali Shag fall into his lap. He sucked on the coffin nail, and racked up. The day before he removed an unecessary, and somewhat annoying, pin from the route. Two weeks before, he had tried the route. A year before he flailed on it. He finished his cigarette and stared at his rolling tobacco. For a moment I thought he would chain smoke another one. He reached in his pack, grabbed his lighter, and smoked some hippie lettuce instead. Nervous.
Shriek of the Mutilated climbs out a body length roof. Max moved delicately up to the overhanging section of granite, placed a cam carefully, rested for a moment then started into the crux. He bumped his hand out to the lip, stretched more, then popped to a small ledge. That's when he screamed. His feet cut. He dangled in space before quickly slapping his other hand around the lip, throwing his heel onto the rock, and pressing his body up to a tiny crack. He grunted heavily when he finally pulled over the savage roof. Tough guy, Max Hasson.
It was pretty cool to watch Max try hard on a route. Though an accomplished rock jock, with a one day ascent of Cerro Torre's Compressor Route, numerous v8 boulder problem sends, and 5.12+ sport flashes, he had not red pointed 5.12 on gear before today. So next time you see him congratulate him. Or better yet quote the Beatles and tell Maxwell Silver Hasson "Bang! Bang!"