Saturday, 24 May 2008
My fitness is obviously not there yet. I found myself completely unable to get my body to take me up the Ben for the third day in a row beasting myself on Echo Wall. Getting out from under the duvet felt like a good E7/8 in fact. It was a good call anyway with the cold winds one would normally expect of a highland spring returning to the glens.
So I went to Sky Pilot to work on a mammoth traverse project. The moves were done - a good feeling to hang from crimps for several hours. Today we we set off to return there, but after five I got the hesitancy and sensed the chilly wind might be cold enough for redpoints on the Skeleton boulder's big traverse instead. So we turned on our heels and headed for that. It was bitter up there in a howling gael!
The traverse there gets steadily harder all the way until some real gut busting tensiony moves on perfect crimpers bring it to a breathtaking culmination. I say breathtaking since I seemed to be unable to breathe for the last two moves (and the foot moves between them). There was so much tension, both physically to will my foot onto a distant foot move, and mentally, soo see if I could manage it - I could only hold my breath. Until, that is, I fell off in a heap and released all that tension in a big scream. People sometimes laugh at climbers who scream when they hit a move or fall off in climbing movies. When you see this one in our film, you will undoubtedly think it's ridiculous! But when you really concentrate hard and give a brutal, grinding physical effort on a climb, it's sometimes hard to make soft noises. The tension just has to come out, and sometimes it spills into your voice on it's way to be delivered at the muscles.
At the very last move I had a moment of intuition to change my sequence and use a different foot position, but stupidly I stuck to my usual way and fell off. Of course I pulled immediately back on to see if this new idea for the move that popped into my head worked - of course it did! A lesson learned. For now I have to wait until the next cold day before I can hang those razors again.
Tomorrow morning, the Allt a' Mhuillin pilgrimage begins again...