Karen is strapped into the climbing gear. She has a little trouble getting the hang of the technique, as well, and as she starts off, Kim continues chanting, "No Colin and Christie, no Colin and Christie." "It's killing me," Chip whispers to himself, "but I got to do it...for a million dollars." Hee. I love that Chip is motivated by Jesus, and also by the big toy check. Karen gets a little way up and, as Linda urges her on, she says, "I'm so tired, Linda." "Karen, you're already halfway," Linda calls back. "No Colin and Christie, no Colin and Christie, hallelujah, hallelujah," Kim chants, looking out at the water. Colin and Christie approach on their boat, with Colin loudly hoping that the Moms will at least still be at the wall when they get there.
Here are Brandon and Nicole, paddling toward the pit stop.
Back at the wall, Linda is trying to get Karen to do three pushes on the ascender at a time, which is actually a pretty good idea. Chip continues to pull, and he finally gets to the top. He gets his clue and starts to drop. Linda cheers for Karen, and Karen says in a raw voice, "I'm trying, Linda." "I could not do this. I could not do this," Linda quietly says at the bottom. "So if she does it, she's Superwoman." Aw. Karen takes another pull. Down at the bottom, Kim notes that she sees a boat approaching that she suspects is Colin and Christie. Not good news for anyone waiting at the dock. On the boat, Colin can see the folks on the wall through his binoculars. Chip drops to the ground, passing Karen on the way. A tired, tired Karen tries for another pull. It occurs to me that part of what happened to her is that she never really felt comfortable with the motion, so I don't think her strokes were very efficient in moving her up the rope, which made her more tired. Also, not to put too fine a point on it, this is clearly hard as hell, and I wouldn't armchair it for anything, because I have absolutely no doubt that I could not do ten feet of it to save myself from a snarling bloodthirsty cougar. Just saying. Colin and Christie approach. Chip and Kim leave in their kayak for the pit stop.
And here are Brandon and Nicole now, running up to the mat. They are welcomed by the friendly greeter, and Phil tells them that they're team number one. And moreover, they've won a vacation to "the sunny Caribbean." Where Nicole can refuse to do anything except float around in the water.
Back at the wall, Linda is doing her best "Go, Karen, go!" as Colin and Christie arrive. "Linda, that's all I can do," Karen says, resting on the rope. "She's resting," Colin says hungrily as they get off the boat. "I'm gonna pass her." Colin gets his gear and his helmet on. In a moment I found completely barfy, Christie gives him this big "I love you, there's no one I'd rather be here with than you" speech, which Colin completely ignores, because he's thinking about climbing, and does not require encouragement. Near tears, Christie's all, "You can do it, you can do it." Enough, seriously. There's just not enough distance between this and the ox for this to have any credibility, at least to me. Unsurprisingly, Colin takes to the rope-climbing like...well, a crazy person climbing a rope. He starts to fly up immediately, to which Linda comments miserably, "Oh, my Gawwd." Heh, word. I mean, he's such a jackass in so many different situations, but you can't argue with the fact that he unleashes some kind of Intensity Monster at moments like this. If he weren't so very, very difficult to like, he'd be very, very easy to admire.