Wednesday 6 May 2009

We have moved

We have moved. We now live here:



PH34 4DZ

Claire and I have both been working like hell since last autumn to save up for a house move. We managed it. We are fatigued, but very pleased.

I like the fact that things have a tendency to work out when you really put your back in. And with a bit of cunning, stuff that would otherwise be a pain can coincide nicely at the right time, so as not to be a pain. At certain times of the year, working very long hours can be a right drag, less so when you have a good goal like a nice place to live. But still.

Rehab from a nasty elbow injury can also be a right drag, requiring everything in your training to be structured, measurable and at times, laborious. But laborious and structured training fits well with laborious and structured work. And both of these fit well into the highland winter. Good timing all round.

So winter has passed, new house got and sore elbow complaining less often, if not completely there yet. As is often the way with rehab done right, I have got significantly stronger in the process and climbing better than before the injury, despite still being in the mid stages of the rehab after 4 months. I’m not yet able to operate at full volume so I can’t get really fit, but small holds are certainly feeling bigger than they were. 

All this indoor training locked away in Lochaber’s bouldering rooms has swung my current motivation very much in the direction of looking for an adventure. So although I write from the limestone of Catalunya on a short sport climbing trip, my plans for the coming months are very much centred around trad, in places I’ve never been to. Lets see where all this takes me...?

NB: I wrote the above a few weeks ago. Since then I have been.....

Building for later

Between mad bouts of travelling about doing lectures and coaching, we have been getting used to our new house. Some serious DIY jobs have been keeping me busy into the wee small hours each night. Happily, one of these is to build a home training facility. It’s the first time I’ve had the room for anything more than a fingerboard, so I’m pretty excited about that. Actually thats a bit of an understatement really...

The quiet here is really nice, exactly what I need between the bustle of travelling for work.

Update: Learning more about making some fairly significant alterations to our new house has been an uphill struggle for me. Like most things, I’m pretty useless at it, so waste impressive amounts of time on faffing and correcting earlier blunders. Nevertheless, one loft conversion and a half-built climbing wall later, I have learned some things. The hard way as ever.

Claire and I had a good time travelling to Stockholm and Birmingham with Claire for lectures and coaching. I learned once again from the strong people I’ve coached lately how much you need all the ingredients to crack hard climbing. I met many more climbers much stronger than I’ve got after a few years of trying, but without the same climbing level. The difference? Sometimes it’s naturally light and strong bodies, sometimes it’s teenage life locked in indoor boulder walls, sometimes both. Even the young are stuck in their ways, and can’t get out of the groove of thinking of climbing limitations in terms of strength. For me, it’s the opposite problem. Many years learning to be a wily cunning crag tactician, but sadly lacking in finger strength to get to V15 level. 

But in possibly one week I will have a killer 45 board, right there, in my house. No excuses, nothing in the way, no distractions, just getting down to business. Crags, be afraid...

(can you tell I’ve been a little starved of climbing during my moving/self-build stint)


  1. Nice to hear from you again Dave, it's been a while: but now I know why! I hope you'll both be very happy in your new home.

  2. There's been rather a dry spell in quality climbing blog land ... congrats on seeing the end of your move draw near.

    For what it's worth, I've spent the last 15 years renovating two 1900s-era houses, each of which I lived in during the project. Like you, I've learned much by making mistakes. Here are my two favorite statements about home renovation that I picked up along the way:

    "Most of building is just common sense."


    "If Man built it, Man can fix it."


  3. Dave,
    good to hear that you are now in a good place with good energy all around, even if it did take a few hammers to the thumb. Sounds like the dam holding back the climbing psych has reached its breaking point and is currently in flooding mode. Can't wait to hear more, and am excited to follow your adventures.
    Nagging question: For your elbow rehab., or any injury rehab for that matter, have you ever taken supplements? Like a mixture of Fish oil, MSM, Glucosamine and Chondroitin? If so what is your opinion on this matter? Do you think these things can really make a difference, or do they work more as a placebo?
    Thanks for your time, which I understand is short. Keep up the good writing and sending!

  4. Anonymous07 May, 2009

    Good to hear what you've been up to lately Dave (its been a bit quiet) and best wishes for the new pad.


  5. Anonymous08 May, 2009

    Hope you both are settling in well Dave. Let's see some pics of the training board in progress.

    Keep up the great blogging.


  6. Anonymous08 May, 2009

    At last a blog...unlike you dave! Glad you hear youve moved sucessfully and things are going well. Hope the elbow is recovering fast! Look forward to hearing more! Any info or pics from your E8 winter atempt?

  7. Hi Dave!
    It would be nice if you posted some pictures of your indoor training facility when it's done! I'm currently struggling myself what I can do, but with more limited space - a fingerboard will probably be the only option...


  8. Good luck with the new place brah