Friday 6 June 2008

Nice Feeling

Normally I get accustomed to actually getting to the top of climbs from time to time. It doesn’t matter very much at all to me, but as a slightly shallow but nonetheless pleasant feeling of completion and satisfaction, it’s a nice feeling to have. When training hard, like now, I get to the top of nothing. All climbs become ‘links’ or ‘sets’, subordinate to the big goal that really matters. And all days on the real project consist of getting slapped over and over again. Most of the time I try to train for hard projects by trying hard projects. It’s not always possible to access the ‘ultimate’ project every day, but it really helps if your training sessions are on real projects at closeby crags and they really matter too.

One of these I have tried for a couple of sessions is an extension to Cubby’s Beatle Back traverse (V9) at Sky Pilot. You might remember this problem if you saw the film ‘Stick It’ with footage of Cubby looking his usual graceful self on the crux, with just a brief moment at the end to see he is human after all with some shaking and a fall from the final move. The exit problem is about V4ish in it’s own right. But to it’s right I did a new problem years ago called Burning the Candle (V8ish). The obvious challenge (and handy endurance circuit for Echo Wall) was to extend Beatle Back into this little number.

Tonight, in excellent conditions, it went first try with some strength to spare. It was a very strong confidence booster, and a real spur on to keep working hard on my endurance in the coming few weeks. I am starting to get excited. In the morning, it’s Echo Wall time again.

It’s really worth knowing about Sky Pilot if you visit Glen Nevis – you can boulder there in the pouring rain and it often catches a midge defeating breeze when it’s midge death everywhere else in the Glen. The topo is in John’s bouldering guide to Scotland.

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