Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Seven of Nine


Seven of Nine V14
I still can’t believe the Sky Pilot project went down last night! I was buzzing so much I was unable to go to bed until 5 am, and lay wide-eyed until Freida burst into life at 7. The crucial difference after all those sessions? Several small but crucial ones.
First, I had genuinely detached myself from expectation of success. When it’s at your limit, time and time again this seems to be crucial for realising true focus of energy at the right moment, free of interference from the conscious. I read with interest Chris Sharma’s comments about also having to re-learn this lesson over again during his recent project victory at Margalef. I find that in order to achieve this state, it’s impossible to focus on ‘not being attached to success’. I’m not sure you can think in negatives like this easily, if at all. Rather, I found that focusing completely and exclusively on enjoying the effort, movement and routine of each and every attempt, that I could relax and begin to really climb.
Second, I went back to the sequence. No matter how well you think you know the holds and the moves, when it’s limit and your a hair’s breadth from success, there is nearly always something new to find after going back to basics with the sequence. In this case a simple change in order of foot movements and a tweak of timing tipped it my way.
Lastly, I’d clocked up the necessary hours to be all over it. Daily training for several hours, careful diet, careful rest, careful thinking over time and the destination finally appeared.
Nothing new here, but still important.
Cubby climbed the original route here ‘Sky Pilot’ (E5 6b or these days a very highball V5) in 1981. He also tried the project a decade or so later, but didn’t do the moves. He was the catalyst for me looking at it, telling me it would be a brilliant short solo and hard compared to other short routes in the UK -  harder than Hubble, which he had done the moves on. 
It’s a funny climb, somewhere between a highball and solo. I certainly wasn’t at all keen on falling off above the crux, and had to go all out to avoid doing just that. Grade wise I don’t have much to compare it to since I haven’t bouldered much for a couple of years, except that it’s definitely harder than any of the V13s I’ve done and seems harder than some V14s I've played on a good while ago now. Or is it? I’m not sure if it’s my style or not. 
Anyway, what a great feeling to be able to pull hard on holds and do some training again for the first time in a couple of years. A big milestone for me..
A little video below from my compact propped on a stone of the first ascent and another new line just right of Sky Pilot:

16 comments:

  1. Congrats on the send Dave!

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  2. Fantastic effort Dave!

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  3. Congratulation - Also made the experience that focusing on the beauty of the movement is a good way to get rid of the whole "success- expectation- stress" on long term projects...

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  4. Awesome - congratulations on the send, it's been really interesting reading about the high and lows of this project. Makes it real, not just a finished, edited movie of the final send. I read about Chris's mental battle with a project which obviously inspired you to send this. The internet has got to be one of the biggest contributors to advances in climbing? You should film it but with discussions and interview with yourself on the thought process, it's really a metaphor for your book 9 out of 10. Personally, the thought process done intelligently would be make a inspiring film.

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  5. Great to finally read that you succeeded! Congratulations, and thanks for the great coverage, my hands always were sweating when I was reading about your efforts. I bet everyone knew it was just a matter of time ;-)

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  6. Congrats Dave, im really happy for you, its always good to seea climber at the top of their game and improving thro dedicated training. You deserve a rest I reckon :)
    Eddie

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  7. Great news Dave, big well done!!
    We saw you walking up there on Monday, laden with bouldering mats, we had just come down from Heatwave on the Styx buttress, lovely day in the glen!

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  8. savage achievement Dave, stoked for you! Also just wanted to say thanks for writing your book (9 out of 10) it was an eye opener for me, im climbing less than 6 months, but the tips have meant my progress is mercurial. Leading like a pro at the moment, much to the amazement of my climbing partners. V14 boulder problems are a while of yet though. :-)
    bRIAN

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  9. I can't imagine myself climbing at those high mountains. That would be dangerous to climb a mountain if you doesn't have any courage at all. I was really impressed with the bravery of a man to climb the mountain; I know he is really determined and courageous to take a risk.

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  10. Letting us take part in your journey was inspiring, bet you're already training again ;-)

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  11. Liked the guitar on that video who was playing?

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  12. i'm not a climber but that vid was beautiful to watch - thanks!

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  13. congratulations Dave, awesome send I've been following your progress on it for a while and once again you do not fail to inspire, in a fight between you and Chuck Norris, after this send my money is defo now on you ! all the best to you and the fam. Peace !

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  14. Congrats Dave, im really happy for you, its always good to seea climber at the top of their game and improving thro dedicated training. You deserve a rest I reckon :)
    Eddie

    hypnotherapy training

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  15. Anonymous02 May, 2011

    Thanks for sharing your struggles and eventual success with us, and congratulations. Also you may have mentioned it somewhere else, but I was wondering why you chose the name Seven of Nine. Is there any interesting story behind it?

    -Dylan

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  16. Anonymous03 May, 2011

    Cheers for sharing the adventure. I'd gotten stuck myself with my climbing, giving in too easily when things were a little hard for me. Following this has helped me focus and lead my first indoor 6a and complete a couple of V2 problems.

    Cheers Dave... I hope we both keep getting better.

    Kelvin

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