Thursday, 9 April 2015

Boiling Bollox and Sterile Strengths.

I went out roped climbing. It was all a bit difficult.

Easter 2013: After a winter of exploratory bouldering, I started my best trad year with my best Easter, perfect North West cragging in perfect weather, and I was climbing very well.

Easter 2014: After one trip to Pedriza and two months recovering from a tweaked wrist, I started a very good trad year with a very good Easter, exploring around the Duddon Valley, and I was climbing pretty well despite two months of weakness.

Easter 2015: After a winter of continuous bouldering, a reasonable amount of general conditioning, and a few reassuring stamina sessions at the wall, I start.....I don't know but it better be a damn sight better than a pretty mediocre Easter struggling to get back into roped climbing.

I had two days climbing at Giggleswick - not the most inspiring choice but it did offer a good amount of mileage and a mixture of trad and sport (the latter being my potential partner's preference). I did a bit of both although not quite enough of the former and a bit too much failing on the latter. Things perked up on a single day at Buckbarrow, again not a major crag but worth a visit for reassuringly traditional Lakes climbing in a nice and fairly accessible setting, where I managed a few perkier routes and got some psyche back.

On reflection it seems although I am physically not too weak, my general form is based on the sterile strengths of the gym, wall, and highly controlled bouldering with optimum resting, preparation, conditions etc. Thus I am currently emotionally weak at coping with all the usual adversities of trad climbing: Sore feet, sweaty fingers, obscure route-finding, and dodgy grades. Cue being hot and bothered and generally stroppy at it all - first tantrum of the year is not the milestone I was aiming for.

Still it gives me stuff to work on: Get my feet used to regular tight shoes, milk rests to cool down as well as de-pump, choose my conditions well, get better at route-reading, and generally get a bit more focused.

No comments: