Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Life as a boulderer.

God it's so fucking easy.

Don't worry about about actually finding trad climbers in Scotland to get out and do routes with.

Don't worry about iffy weather almost certainly ruining the routing prospects.

Don't worry about driving for hours and slogging through a bog to find out the time just isn't right.

Don't worry about whether the 3 star classic you're going for has any ascents this decade and how much moss you'll have to excavate off it.

Don't worry about seepage or lichen or having to get your mate to ab down and clean the route.

Don't worry about whether the grades and description of stuff at your limit is safely correct.

Don't worry about warming up just right and feeling fresh enough.

Don't worry about logistics of juggling your partner's climbing and still staying warmed-up and warm.

Don't worry about being mentally calm and in the right mindset.

Don't worry about getting pumped and scared.

Don't worry about being on the right line and avoiding off-route disasters.

Don't worry about whether it's right to get on that route right then for the onsight success.

Just worry about whether the skin will hold up and heal in time for the next trip (answer: it won't)
Is it really that simple? Surely there's some catch that makes bouldering not the most easy, comfy climbing option?

Apparently not. This last few months I have lived as a boulderer. Not an exploratory esoteric boulderer seeking bog and moss jumbles around Scotland, but a bouldering boulderer, just going out and getting it done by seeking out reliable accessible blocs and decent conditions. A novel idea but it might just work, and what do you know, it did. I went out, I climbed lots of stuff, it was physically hard but otherwise so easy. Mostly the County, a bit in the Lakes, the weather was very good in the former and sometimes good in the latter. Wandering around the grass Bowden in rock shoes and barely having to wipe them was a highlight - it makes a change from the 6 visits it took to get Mungisdale in the right nick for my desires. 

The usual logistical, climatic, social and mental battles get replaced by simple answers:

Where do we go? Wherever's dry. Usually the County. What if it's blowy as fuck man? Go somewhere sheltered. What if it's really cold? Do frictional problems. What if it's too warm? Get on steeper juggier stuff? What if I'm climbing crap? Put the effort into some projects for next time. What if I'm tired? Do an easy circuit it's all good training. What if my skin's fucked? Okay....that last one I don't really have an answer to...

Also, it's quite fun.

....I'm not sure that justifies it, though ;)

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