Wednesday, 1 October 2008

Plans for winter

Although my time recently has been so hectic with our work on the Echo Wall film, things have been more relaxed in my climbing, which makes a nice change really. Relaxed in some senses, but not in others you understand. I have been ruthlessly attacking Kimber’s campus board every night and mixing this with loads of bouldering and endurance training ready for the winter season of valley level rock climbing. I’ve not had enough time for any flexibility work which has been irritating me, but I will have soon.

Since doing Echo Wall I’ve gradually come to enjoy the feeling of not having any particular looming focus of a big project right now. It’s something I obviously had a lot in past years, but have been really focused on big hard redpointing routes over the past couple of years. This winter I’ll be bouldering a lot and onsighting much more too, mainly on mixed. People sometime ask me why I don’t do more onsighting, but I think they forget that I do all year long, just that it’s on winter mixed. I have three big winter lines at the top of my hitlist. One is just so laughable it’s ridiculous, but in a funny sort of way, I could see myself doing it. So the ice axes will be featuring in my training during December too.

My goal here is to do something of the order of Echo Wall, but in the discipline of winter climbing. I have the projects, I have the psyche and some availability of partners (the Shields is particularly psyched this season). So all that’s left is to get amongst it. Looks like some early dustings of winteriness are hitting the highlands over the next few days too. There is nothing like that anticipation if you are into winter climbing!

Kev Shields soloing Sweet Little Mystery E4 6a, Glen Nevis last week (the film of this is in the Echo Wall extras).


  1. hi Dave,

    I note your irritation about lack of time for flexibility training. As you've not updated the OCC section in ages, how about a post on how to improve climbing-specific flexibility. Flexibility is something i think lots of climbers dont really know how to approach improving (myself included), beyond the vague idea that we should be 'stretching lots'. Specific exercises/stretches (especially not requiring a wall) would be very helpful in addition to general principles of flexibility training. Cheers!

  2. Hi Dave,
    Regarding that photo of Kev Shields on Sweet Little Mystery. Where does he go from there? I soloed it after a few goes on top-rope a few months back, and wasn't really sure where I should go. I ended up a bit left of Kev, and used that dark triangular niche up and left of him. It really is as sweet little mystery. Good fun though.

  3. We weren't sure either. Kev went rightwards along the break and then up into a niche. We didn't take the guidebook so just picked the line of least resistance. I think there was a wet hold up left too on the day.