Wednesday, 25 June 2008

'Summer' time is ticking...

I know it’s still June, but I am seriously getting the fear about the way summer is advancing. It’s something I’m not very good at dealing with - an uneasy feeling of time slipping by with seemingly not much happening.


Autumn is firmly in charge in Lochaber right now. It’s getting close to a month since I’ve even been able to get on Echo Wall. I figured when the bad weather hit that a couple of weeks of time away to train was no bad thing, but now things are getting complicated. With no decent weather on the forecast horizon and less than two weeks before I have to leave for the US for work. It’s looking like the final week in July will be my next opportunity to even get a session on the project. Thats not good.


That leaves five weeks through August to get enough good weather to keep working on the route and have attempts on the lead. The likelihood of it happening was slim to start with, but realistically I think I might have had it. Maybe I just have to accept that it’s not possible to project a route thats so near my physical limit in a place like the Ben. My original estimation was that I could see it off in a season if I was climbing 9a and soloing 8c. Perhaps that was wrong. 


I’ve had about 8 days climbing on the route and done it in overlapping halves (but without placing the gear which adds a fair bit). So nowhere near close basically. Bummer.


Plus points are that my fitness is getting to be not bad, I get closer yet to the monster traverse. Another traverse over at the Skeleton boulder went down the night too. About 8a I think? This time it went first try despite making loads of mistakes. A good buzz.It was really good to complete something, especially after getting sooo close last time


What can I do? Just keep training and hoping for the forecasts to be wrong. Last night I couldn’t even have proper redpoints on the monster traverse at Sky Pilot because my fingers were numb! Sottish weather - arrgghh!!!!


What else do I have up my sleeve? I won’t be able to get much fitter, stronger or more psyched, but one thing that is not good right now is that I am a heady 2kg above my fighting weight. To have the form I do with such a heavy ass is really encouraging. In the month since I have been back to hanging on overhangs every day rather than pounding up the Ben a kg has disappeared already. More work in this area might swing things a little in my direction when I do get my next chance to do battle.


By night I have been learning the world of post production video editing. Video formats are a barrel of laughs I must say. This has given some very late nights and frustration, but excitement too as Claire and I are pleased with the footage we have so far for our film.

8 comments:

  1. Anonymous26 June, 2008

    Patience Dave! When the time is right and everything will come together you'll pull it through! Just like Rhapsody!
    Cheers!

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  2. "I know it’s still June, but I am seriously getting the fear about the way summer is advancing. It’s something I’m not very good at dealing with - an uneasy feeling of time slipping by with seemingly not much happening."

    I couldn't agree more, Dave. I'm currently trying to recover from shingles and am well aware that the summer clock is ticking...

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  3. Maybe I just have to accept that it’s not possible to project a route thats so near my physical limit in a place like the Ben.

    Well, we didn't like to say, but yeah that possibility was kinda obvious from the start.

    Not so much the challenge of the climbing but the challenge of the logistics. Becoming a long-term repetitive grind to try to stay fit enough and keep ready for the rare weather window....all for a death route that the very inaccessibility would ensure it would be unlikely to be repeated. It did make one wonder, with so much stacked against you apart from just the climbing.

    Of course the "maybe it's not going to happen after all" is how it seems now and how things seem very much depend on what our crazy weather does in this country. In future months or future years maybe it will be different, a lot can change and a lot can progress...

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  4. Anonymous26 June, 2008

    Keep your head up dave as you say the weather forcast may be wrong... they never seem to have the long term forcast particularly acurate anyway!!

    hope things clear up a bit and your trip goes well.

    Angus N Clark

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  5. Anonymous27 June, 2008

    Hey Dave

    I can only imagine how psyched you are and the consequent frustration must be desperate. Most of us have been there in a less intense way.

    You're the strongest you've evern been try and capitalise when your in the states? (you can tell on the web if Echo is in!

    best of luck anyway, given a great forecast for 5 days you'll be in business.

    Alasdair

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  6. Yeah I always feel a bit bummed after it sinks in that the solstice has passed, but most places summer doesnt really hit 'till afterwards anyways.

    How do you determine your ideal bodyweight? I'm not in great shape now but the doctor's charts don't seem to ever take build into account very well. Would be interesting to hear more about it re:climbing maybe on OCC.

    Hope you enjoy your trip to the states! you heading anywhere int he states beside Wyoming??

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  7. Anonymous28 June, 2008

    Dave, head up boy, keep in there! Ever see the Shawshank Redemption, be like Andy "its a study of pressure and time" you'll get there, I'm sure of it!

    Dom

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  8. Dave,

    If weather is the only problem then what may be required is a sense of perspective, and an acknowledgement that an ascent of a route like this may take a few years. How many years was Rhapsody in the making? Don't get in the way of thinking that "it's not possible" just because it's high on the Ben - the mountain has plenty of good weather, it just depends on the year, and good summers probably come round every few years. Last year the summer was awful, and it's looking annoyingly likely that this year will be similar, but 2006 was an incredible summer - though you were still doing Rhapsody then of course.

    Maybe next year or the one after will be a good one, but until then perhaps you need to switch your attention to a quicker drying project?

    ReplyDelete