Friday 9 March 2012

Important link

The other day, I mad a massive breakthrough on the Skeleton Boulder roof with the ‘2 halves’ link. I couldn’t quite believe it happened after seeming so, so far away. It’s quite strange how a few different strands of progress combine to propel you forward such a long way.
Although I was pretty sure that a poor kneebar was the right beta for me to get through the crux, I was desperate to sort out something for my left foot to put myself in balance and with a stable base to slap the pinch on the lip without my feet cutting loose. Out of a lot of options, I’ve finally homed in on a sequence that I’m sure works for the whole link. The catalyst was losing a couple of pounds last week and a good stint of sessions on different boards.
I has simply improved my strength/weight ratio enough to feel what the solution would be. You might think ‘why didn’t you get light earlier’. I don’t think that would really have worked. Short of a drastic weight loss, which would be seriously counterproductive in the longer run, I wasn’t ready to trim up until now. I needed to put in the hours on the line first, getting stronger on the moves and homing in on the best sequence for most of the moves.
Now I feel good and confident on many of the moves, and since I’m starting to round off my fitness state with a pound or two lost, I’m getting closer to thinking about going into link mode and really going for some big attempts. I did actually climb from the start to the crux too, so you could call it overlapping halves. But I wasn’t tight enough on the third move to get my knee pulled right up to the best bit of the kneebar, so it doesn’t count. That can be my immediate goal now.
The buzz of the breakthrough link from the second hard move to the top kept me up for most of a night. Pointlessly starting to imagine rest day/redpoint day planning despite the crazy Lochaber weather, which if I may say has been irritatingly crap.
The feeling of having made an irrefutably clear breakthrough in strength and climbing ability isn’t something that happens all the time, except in the easy first couple of years of climbing where you just have to show up to get stronger and better. I’m aware of how special it is. So the prospect of trying to build on it and adding three more moves onto the start of my link is a little scary. But I’m sure I’ll get over it.


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