Wednesday, 17 March 2010
I’ve been away from home a week and already winter seems a long time in history. Some time out of immediate goals for climbing and working has been great. The never-satisfied obsessive in me is trying not to let me just be chilled and happy with recent superb quality bits of climbing done on the icy Scottish cliffs. Anubis - a big idea in my head, in the bag. Although it was much easier, getting the Tempest nailed before I left was quite satisfying too. More just because everything came together neatly, with the help of my friends.
However, I do have a habit of looking for the problems and holes to fill in the future. And so I’ve had my first few tentative sessions of rock climbing, the first in a couple of months (when you have a winter like we’ve had, one has to feast). I’m in poor shape for it. It’s not all bad. My base level of fitness is high and fingers still have good basic strength. Plus my head for leading is quite good just now. But I have lost so much of that ‘snap’ - the confidence to grab small holds and pull immediately. A kg of superfluous muscle bulk is only much use for carrying wet ropes and gear through snowdrifts and not for my boulder projects. So that will need to go.
Starting afresh is nice though, many mountain trad routes and boulder projects in the mind for this year and strong motivation to go and climb them well. I want to go to them when the time comes, feeling confident, fit and positive. So the foundations for this have to start now.
Went for a run yesterday, only intending 40 minutes or so but ended up running for a couple of hours and didn’t really want to stop when I got back. Encouraging. I think it’s going to take some time for the rock confidence to show through again. The thought of the moves I was nearly managing in September on my highball boulder project seem a mile away in my imagination. Even if it’s not really like that, it’s good for me to think I’m a mile off that level. It’s energy for the work ahead.