Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Comfort Zonas

So I went to Chulilla and punted around as usual. Actually despite having trained stamina over the course of exactly 1 week prior to the trip, I got it back quickly and did okay. I climbed 7 F7as, so I'm taking the F49g tick for that :). Most of these went smoothly, all that Culillan sport climbing for trad climbers bollox - I'm not bad at downclimbing to rests and shaking out into boredom. Numbers, schmumbers, whatever, they were all ace climbs so fuck you very much, ego. The point of all this is that Julie pointed out "You're doing these quite comfortably..." - I'd fallen off two 7as one due to heat and slopiness the other due to laziness - " should be trying harder things". She has a point, not because of the ever off-putting "should", but because I WANT to be climbing harder sport, I haven't pushed myself so much in that area and I'm enjoying doing harder moves on lead, slapping for holds and feeling able to go for it and risk falling off - sounds quite sport-suitable eh??

So on the last day I did. Despite it being 6th-ish day on I was still feeling good (El Altico's light dinners, wee drams of red wine and comfy beds no doubt), and went for a "mild at the grade" F7a+ - vertical face climbing with cranky positive moves between shakes, all in cool dry conditions, should be perfect for me. Needless to say I came nowhere near it, during the end of the crux sequence I just managed to clip a bolt before fingers uncurled in extremis. There was a slight user error that I'd climbed through the crux past the bolt and had to pause awkwardly to clip it, but pulling back on revealed sketchy and slopey moves to the top, I'd have had to be very lucky to have done it. Julie pissed it on top-rope despite being apparently too tired to climb anything. Whatever the strong midget.

Which made me think of my track record of F7a+s:

Axe Grinder, Creag Nan Cadhag - skin of teeth bouldering with bellowed encouragement from Tat himself. I was very pleased. Felt like a step up.
The One And Only, Brin - this might have gone down to hard 7a, whatever, tell that to someone who gives a shit. I was fully slapping for holds well above the bolt as I couldn't clip the one next to me. Soft but the experience was good.

Puss 26, South Africa - I think this is the name, it was at some tufa-y limestone crag and it's the one I'm most gutted about as it was an amazing route up steep tufas and an animal related name. Far too pumped and maybe not confident enough.
Aphrodite, Kalymnos - too hard a bloc crux, not much to say really.
Alexis Zorbas, Kalymnos - sheer crozzly cranking and not a Kaly soft touch (which I generally didn't do there). Ridiculously close, fell re-adjusting on the pocket after the crux. Cue much swearing and tantrum. Thanks JadeL for collecting my shoes after. This one should have gone.
The Seer, Moy Rock - attempted after warming up on Hoy's South Face route a few days before. Fell off with fingers and feet tied in knots on small pebbles. Could have gone, but quite chancy.
Persistence Of Vision, Dumbarton - put off for years until I was climbing well. No chance really, it's just very tricky and fall-offable. Funny that, at Dumby...
High Pitched Scream, Weem - put off for years until I was climbing well. The guidebook description and occasional downgrade are both goatshit, it is nails. If I'd spent a month training specifically on the GCC and Ratho steep walls I might have stood a chance, maybe.
Sulaco, Pena Roja - see above.

Okay I don't know what to conclude from that. Don't try Scottish ones as they are nails apart from the only 1 or 2 I've done are Scottish?? It all feels a bit like my approach to indoor problems and routes, the line between "finding this hard but can flash it" and "no fucking chance" seems a very slim one. I can usually do stuff in 1, 3, or 70 attempts. The edge of my comfort zone is a funny old place, I wonder if I need a passport and do they use Euros on the other side or just accept your soul as currency??

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