Sunday, 6 May 2012

Going Nowhere in Glen Nevis

A flying visit to Glen Nevis, testing out my single day trip theory. It worked fine time-wise: I had a reasonable and non-Alpine start (although the weather had some Alpine potential....snow storms at Crianlarich, but glorious from Glen Coe onwards....and then exactly the reverse on the way back), climbed on 3 different buttresses across the Spectrum of Polldubh (Road > Scimitar > Nameless), recced a few other buttresses, was back in the car at 7 and back to Glasgow in daylight. Thus one can easily fit in plenty of climbing....or plenty of dicking around being a punter, if one is so inclined.

I am NOT that way inclined but it is the situation I find myself in. I have strong and genuine desires to push myself on some challenging and exciting routes, and once again I feel a world away from the physical and mental state to do so. This time, despite a winter building up finger strength, a reasonable transition into stamina training, plenty of trad mileage recently, a good top-up session purely for finger stamina this week, and a relaxing active rest Friday, I failed utterly on having enough finger stamina to do an easy but bold route. I lowered off (skyhooks!) and was disappointed not with failing to do the route, but just being so physically weak and pumped.

On the plus side, I did one pleasant warm-up route, and one very good steady route on Nameless (Diode, a brilliant hidden classic), usefully recced some other routes, and now have the opportunity to ponder on why I am climbing so mediocrely and what I can do about it. What springs to mind is:

1. Relative lack of climbing specific training: Although I have been gymming and walling okay, I have been taking it a bit easy due to my elbow, and think I have lost some pure climbing strength/endurance/stamina.
...Last week's TCA finger circuit session felt okay on my elbow and seemed to be a good training balance, so I will do more of that, more regularly, to keep my fingers strong whilst hopefully avoiding overtaxing my elbow.

2. Reduction of Citalopram dose and possible increase in anxiety: Not sure if this is a factor but it could well be affecting my confidence overall.
...I will keep up with the falling practise down the wall, and also maybe outside IF I fail on a safe route I can practise jumping off onto gear (not skyhooks!). Regular climbing mileage might help too.

3. Other distractions: Maybe!
...Am working on sorting those out, and in the meantime, easing the pressure on myself to progress and keeping my hand it should set up a good basis for pushing myself later on.

I think in general getting some mileage in should be pretty useful and pleasurable at the moment, and luckily there are still plenty of places for me to explore and enjoy - Reiff, Skye, Sheigra area, even back to Glen Nevis and Ardnamurchan - without restricting myself to major challenge inspirations. So that might be the best plan for now, while keeping aware of when I feel ready to push a bit harder.

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