About me:

Originally from Hull, I now live in Llanberis, North Wales. Totally addicted to climbing, I work at the Indy Climbing wall and as a freelance routesetter to fund my dirty habit.

19 March 2012

You Need the Bad Times

Since I last wrote a blog, I had a peak exchange with big Stevie Ramsden. He came here first, and we spent the day in a series of dwarfing corners. Steve did Emulator (E1 5b) first, then we swung leads on Big Groove Direct (E4 5c) on Main Cliff which was totally brilliant, it felt pretty bloody hard for 5c, but I think it might have lost a flake. This would explain why it felt 6b, or perhaps we were just blind to an easy, traditional solution.
In stark contrast, the next day we hit the cave. Steve racked up a good haul of V6-V8's whilst I tried Lou Ferrino (V10). I figured out how to do the knee-torquing fourth move, so I tried to link the first four moves together and in an unexpected whirl of excitement, made it to move 8 of 12!
After a bit of a party that evening, a relaxed curcuit was in order. We headed to Caseg. The rock here is perfect, so even the crap problems are a delight. I think Caseg Groove (V5) might be the best problem I've ever done, powerful and subtle, spot on.
The next day we went to Rhoscolyn, it was cold and windy up top but once we got down there conditions were decent. We started off on Savage Sunbird (E2 5b). The climbing is mega absorbing, most holds appearing to be glued on so it takes an element of stupidity to pull away on them.
Steve tried Centrefold (E3 5c) in Fallen Block Zawn. He didn't check the guide and ended up getting pumped on Dreams and Screams (E6 6b) before trying to escape by traversing across an overhanging hobnob of a wall. Needless to say a variety of crumbs parted company with the wall before Steve became the eponymous fallen block. I tried The Viper (E4 5c) which charmed me with a wonderful array of jams, pinches and undercuts up a gently overhanging shallow groove. Loads of cams protect it and with very little venom, it would be a good first E4.
Me battling with The Viper (E4 5c) courtesy of a procrastinating Laura Perry.

The next weekend Me and Laura went to Steves in Sheffield. It proved to be a fairly fruitless trip, with the exception of a day at Gardoms where Laura got close on her Mark's Roof Left-Hand (V6) an I did Soft on the G (V8). Also at the end of the day I made a few exciting slaps for the top of Suavito (V8+), which resulted in bruised heels when I missed the mats twice in a row.
We went to the CWIF final on the sunday evening which was a great event with Shauna Coxsey stealing the show using high precision footwork and effortless technique. Impressive.

Since then, things have been pretty naff. I spent the last week trying to write my dissertation, struggling all the way, but having now realised I was going about it all wrong, I'm starting again. So one of the most depressing, laborious weeks of my life was seemingly in vain. Retrospectively though, I think I learnt a lot from it . Firstly, knowing when to cut your losses: I had a feeling what I was doing was rubbish, yet I couldn't bring myself to sacrifice two days of effort, but, it ended in me losing a weeks worth of work.
Secondly, you won't achieve fuck all with a negative attitude. I was really resenting having to acually do some work, and as a result I worked myself into a recoiling ball of frustration and hate. Now out the other side of a fairly pathetic dark-time (god knows how I'm gonna cope in 'the real world') I can see that if I could apply a bit of my climbing mindset to everyday life, it wouldn't be so bad. I need to stop making excuses for being lazy and get round to doing things. I've always just considered myself pretty poor at life tasks and organisation, but I'm never going to be any good at it if I don't try it. Basically, having to click 'forgot your password?' is no longer going to thwart my attempts to access the plethora of online accounts 21st century life demands.
Which brings me back to climbing. Of course. Since the quirk of likelihood experienced on Lou Ferrino, I've been back twice. I haven't got any closer, but I have remained positive and got the moves dialled (also I managed to get a confidence boost for the year by doing Left Wall High (V9) at the end of a session, for the first time since the first time, first time).
Lou Ferrino is definitely one of the best problems I've ever been on: technical, unlikely, power endurance and surrounded by £2.50's worth of breath-taking scenery.
Burly slapping through a roof really isn't my style and I've had to work my weaknesses to get anywhere near it. I first tried it about this time last year and each move felt like the living end, but an intensive period of steep, indoor bouldering early this winter and regular dabbles at the moves have brought it within the realms of attainability.
I'm heading back there tomorrow afternoon, after a morning on my dissertation. If I maintain a positive attitude, it might just knock Caseg Groove off the top spot on one of my many, many lists.

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