Thursday, 22 March 2012
Greg Boswell working on Leopold, 8a.
A great three days at Steall with Michael and Greg. The first morning started grimly wet after 24 hours of heavy rain. All the streams were in spate, and that was just the ones coming down the crag. Nevertheless we worked our moves and got sequences dialled on our respective projects.
Today the sun was out and spring was well and truly in the air for the first time. The crux of my project was still seepy, so it was simply time to put in the reps on the first half. To get steely strong and fit on the moves. This bit is both hard and easy. Sore fingers, pumped arms and tying right back in for another burn right after you lowered off. On the other hand, there’s no stress. Hard work is not scary on it’s own. You can’t lose; just put in the hours in the knowledge that the big progress happens right here, not on the eventual redpoints, which are just the very end of the process.
In the last week I’ve gone from bouldering strong with zero endurance to almost getting through the crux of Ring of Steall 8c+. It’s a great start, but just a start. I have some killer beta for the crux, but could do with a bit more. The bit above Ring of Steall gets properly hard. It feels good to be able to rep the easy lower part without getting pumped. But to even get close to redpoints, I’d need to be doing the same on the upper half. I couldn’t even imagine that right now. About a month or maybe six weeks of uninterrupted power-endurance training on the right sort of terrain will be needed.
Soon I’m leaving for a long trip with a fair bit of bouldering. So I’ll rack up some more sessions on the crux, and hopefully get a confidence boosting link before I go. While I’m away I can continue to build up some iron crimp strength and the sort of fitness you only get from trips. Exciting stuff.