Sunday, 17 June 2012

Confidence materialising?

That’s the fourth session on my project this week, every one with progress to speak of. So I can’t be close to my limit yet. Yesterday I was with Michael instead of alone on my shunt. I made the big step of linking from the start of the Ring of Steall crux to the top of my project. It’s the first time I’ve felt like I was linking on a route instead of doing hard bouldering moves on a rope, if you know what I mean.
I know that to have proper attempts to complete the route, I need to be at a stage where I’m really confident on the moves and don’t feel that they are low percentage. So now I’m getting the Ring of Steall crux static which is good progress. I can’t be fully confident until I’m actually getting highpoints on the headwall above where the route leaves Ring of Steall. Although I’ve got very overlapping halves on the route now, there is still one more big step to make before it’s time to get properly serious. I must get myself through that desperate cross through move.
The other thing is that conditions have been perfect. Yesterday it was 9 degrees on the drive up the glen! Windy too. Warm weather has to come sometime and that might put me back a bit in the coming few weeks. Although I feel strong (for me) and climbing not bad, my power endurance still feels about 50% of what it could be, maybe less. The past week has been great. Totally the right decision to take advantage of relatively midge free windy conditions to get more time and confidence on the route. 
Although my more dedicated power endurance training on the circuits has been delayed, it will be all the more useful when I’m finally forced indoors by the weather. If wet or midgy weather comes next week and I have a stint of circuits and runs, I could be in good shape for starting redpoints after that. If conditions stay windy, I have a backup plan of trying a new link up of Fat Groove (8a) into Maxwell’s Demon (8b+) which is pretty much perfect endurance training. It has some good rests so it might be 8b+/8c. I can have two or three good attempts on my project and then get a workout trying the link-up.
Today I can see the midges outside my window as I write (they are after the CO2 from my boiler exhaust!) and the trees are totally still. Board time!


  1. awesome! keep it up Dave. I've been following your progress on the route for the last few blog posts, and it's very interesting to read deep introspective posts on the mental game that a project like this brings along.

    It's also interesting to find out that this mental game takes place among awesome experienced climbers like yourself, and not just wannabes like myself.

    Keep up the positive spirit and know that the internet is rooting for you. You'll crush this thing.

    Keep it up and I hope you continue to write these blog posts about your future projects as well.

  2. Hey Dave, after around 10 years away from climbing I decided to go to the new academy in Glasgow a few weeks ago. You were there that night & watching you climb around has inspired me to get back into the sport. Thanks, im loving it again.

    Ps. When will you be speaking in Scotland !?!