Sunday, 17 October 2010

Teetering time

Loch Ailort looking like glass in the October sunshine

Since pulling super hard on the tweaky little sidepull crimp on the crux on Muy Caliente the other week, a ligament in my index finger has been complaining. A week or so of doing pretty much no climbing seems to have given it time to calm down a bit, and some careful training has resumed. At least it's been good for making progress on my next book, 'Rock 'til you drop'.
It’s quite scary how a week off makes a real dent in your form. Mind you, if there’s anywhere you need to be firing on all cylinders, it’s my board. I’ve never climbed anywhere so unforgiving of lack of form, energy or confidence. So long as you take it the right way, it’s good for you to be slapped so convincingly. 
As always, when injuries demand a rest for the fingers, slabs are a good idea. I did make one last attempt to climb a nice slab in the mountains. But the unseasonal high temperatures didn’t last long enough to finish the job. 
Instead I headed to another tip off from Donald King. The latest in the King line series is a lovely compact slab near Glenfinnan, with two hardcore projects. Yesterday, in lovely sunshine and the company of Kev, I had a session on the easier one which will be a bold E9 7a. I brushed, fiddled a lot with tiny microwires and tried some very teetery moves. By 4pm, it was time to either lead or go home.
The prospect of the lead meant a very balancy crux, swapping feet on miniscule smears with one hand on an undercut and the other doing not very much at all. Prognosis in case of a fall; two rather dubious microwires that could hold...or not, and a landing on a razor sharp spiky embedded rock 30 feet below.
I opted for going home. On my return, I’ll bring some more tools for the job. Ten minutes with a spade will sort out the guillotine landing. A handplaced pecker should add another runner to the rack, and fresh toes and fingertips should bite into those little ‘holds’ a tad better.

Can't wait...

Kev enjoying the gloaming on the walk out

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