Monday, 22 September 2008
Finally, after this dismal summer of chronic injury and chronically rubbish weather, I have done some good climbing. Finally I have gone on a good weekend to somewhere interesting and exciting. Finally I have got the pure pleasure and fun that comes from following one's personal inspiration.
Within Wales, the Meirionnydd area is a particularly fascinating area, consisting of a bewilderingly epic and varied collection of separate mountain ranges and climbing areas, promising both high quality climbing and a large amount of exploration, adventure, and uncertainty.
Within Meirionnydd, the Rhinogau is a particularly fascinating mountain area, consisting of a substantial and broad area of upland, scattered with vast numbers of crags and craglets and little trace of civilisation, promising hidden gems aplenty and a healthy dose of mystery.
Within the Rhinogau, one route out of many is particularly fascinating, one of the unsung and rarely repeated classics that was so highly regarded it was worth not one but two guidebook photographs showing it's seductive allure. That route is Rock Steady and it seemed to promise an exceptional slab climb - I'm sure any mid-grade leader seeing the photos would add it to their "must do" list. I know I certainly did and was inspired by it for the last couple of years.
(Rubbish photos of guidebook ;))
Finally I have done it! Nothing special nor outstanding in challenge nor progression, but definitely special in both the quality of the climb and the day out (which included a couple of lovely warm-up routes, good company, fine weather, and a good appreciation of the tranquility and peace of the area), and in the relief and reassurance of at last climbing something that genuinely inspires me, after many months of mediocre "treading water". This is what climbing is all about for me - inspiration, exploration, quality - and I'm happy with it.
And my elbow?? It had the usual tenderness afterwards, but the next morning (without any icing nor painkillers), felt the best it had for a couple of weeks. Go figure.