I had a weekend at Creag Dubh, a crag I'm usually both surprisingly comfortable with and unsurprisingly inspired by. The latter hadn't changed at all for this trip, but I found little comfort in my climbing.
Acapulco - I had seconded Wet Dreams to warm up, and felt pretty confident and happy about getting on this route. At the roof I stalled due to the lack of good holds / protection, and had a few times climbing back down and back up from the rest. The last time I felt slippy on a finger jam, checked my pink damp fingers, somehow decided not to chalk (?!), and slipped out of the jam onto the gear, and thus failed before even getting involved with either the crux or the quality meat of the route.
Bratach Uaine - Despite the above infuriating cessation of climbing a quality route, I also approached BU with a lot of positivity, not least because the reasonable protection and general situation is evident from Wet Dreams. I ended up going up and down to the crux roof - 2 times to sort out protection, and 4 times to try the crux. Somehow I neither had the strength to pull the crux move nor the confidence to trust my weakness anyway. Eventually I cleanly downclimbed and backed off.
The second day I stuck to easier routes to get some mileage (which I did) and regain some confidence (...) and they felt consistently hard, although manageable.
Yesterday I tried to get any local climber to go out somewhere in/near the Central Belt on a lovely sunny, breezy and bone dry evening before rain during the rest of this week. No-one seemed to want to get out, so I went to Ratho bouldering to train strength. I started off fine, feeling fairly energetic, but soon felt weak and my skin got so sore I couldn't pull properly on it.
Today I wanted to train again but my new shoes created such a painful bunion at Ratho (I'd successfully taped my toes over the weekend) that I can't even look at rock shoes. The forecast is now bad for the foreseeable future so I will have plenty of time to train though.
This few days, in conjunction with the last few weeks, has confirmed that I am consistently climbing at a lower standard than usual and a much lower standard than a couple of months ago. From feeling as good as I've ever felt on bouldering, then sport, then trad over the spring, I have kept training, kept getting out, and watched without comprehension as my climbing has consistently deteriorated. I'm not climbing "bad" (although it sometimes feel that way, as I don't enjoy having the climbing I love marred by doing it badly), but the current low period is definitely lower than before and lower than I feel comfortable with, and I need to work out ways to deal with this period and progress out of it.