Thursday, 27 May 2010

All the small things

The past two weeks have passed by in a blur of work and climbing and sore tips. Caroline has been trying her project whenever she’s had a chance and it’s awesome to see. It’s re-defining my ideas of what makes a project. Up until now 5 goes would represent an epic battle… Belaying Caroline for the 14th attempt last night, it was interesting to see the affect coming so close so many times can have on a climber. She wants it real bad now. But the drive to climb it is causing her to want to send it any chance she gets… unfortunately the nature of the crux means Caroline has to pull damn hard on some tiny crimps and hike her feet up high for a deadpoint to another sharp edge. Her skin just can’t take it but her need to finish what she started won’t let her take a break and recover. Catch 22. Last night after a rest day Caroline punctured her tips during her first try of the evening – feeling fresh and having a route dialled was not enough it seems. Logistics and patience. It really is all in the head. It’s also brought the old grade debate into my mind again – does size matter? Obviously it does! It’s clear to see that Carolines sequence is a solid couple of grades harder then the one I use but she still gets the same grade for all her effort. Similarly Neals sequence through the start of Elite Syncopations looked about right for the 8a grade while mine (reach dependant) feels far, far easier. Caroline cut through the bull and put it simply – I don’t care, I just want to do the route. What have I taken from all this? Well in an attempt to avoid hypocrisy I have kept trying the 8a+’s despite feeling like little or no progress is being made. But I can’t NOT try them while Caroline is pushing herself to go through the project process – it’s inspiring. The problem with only having two 8a’s, two 8a+’s and three 8b’s at the crag is that they’re damn hard and can be very specific and/or conditions dependant. All too easy to sack them off as being impossible for me, my style, my height (Yes! Sometimes even being tallish can make a Dinbren move hard!) or being out of condition. Well I’ve done the 8a’s so I’ve no option but to work on the others. Last night marked a milestone for me. The realisation that after 9pm the temps dropped sufficiently for the first crux to be held on El Rincon, kicked my brain into fighting gear and I managed the route in two big overlapping links for the first time. From the deck, through the crux to above the 3rd bolt – and from below the crux (around second bolt), through it and through the bulge, past the rockover and on to the chains. Totally unexpected and marking a huge leap forward for me. All of a sudden it seems possible to me.

I want to get to other areas more now but funds and the cost of diesel are keeping me close to home. Hopefully over the coming weeks we’ll make it to LPT more often and I can start to play on a crag with a bit more variety in the 8’s :o)


Neal said...

nice going on El Rincon, you'll have it soon :)

Dave said...

Cheers dude... feels within reach alright - Off up to it now actually :o)