Wednesday, 17 October 2012

End of Frustration

At the start of the year I set myself a couple of climbing goals related to grades I wanted to climb.  After a long trip to El Chorro clipping bolts, I felt in a good position to push things further this year and started my training with a solid foundation.
But, as with all plans, there are always a few hurdles along the way that slow or stop progress.  Although, I've had a much busier year due to venturing into the world of freelancing as well as continuing with a full time job, it is the various little tweaks and injuries that have proven the biggest hurdles to over come and the most frustrating.  This has led me to climb very little this year with next to no routes/bouldering throughout the summer and a significant affect on performance.

Frustration over.  Lonely skyhook far, far away.
With a few weeks of regular training and a healed broken hand I finally managed to get out on some dry rock on Sunday with Kev and Scott.  We headed out to a beautiful slab out by Lochailort with the intention of trying Frustration E5,6a and also to look at getting the 2nd ascent of Kev's route Rebellion E6,6b.
After a couple of top-ropes on frustration I felt happy to get on the sharp end.  The route is protected by a solitary sky-hook about a third of the way up the climb.  Having selected not to tie it down it basically became an aesthetically pleasing piece of kit and would not stop a ground fall from higher up the route.
I felt very comfortable on the route and therefore wasn't too bothered about the gear.  The route has a lovely flow to it and I felt that my moves matched the this flow and the boldness became much less significant.  It's been a long time since I've found this feeling of fun and freedom on the rock and has definitely ended a feeling of frustration I have become far too aware of.

Scott toproping Frustration
I managed to send Frustration and had a top rope on  Rebellion.  Kev was able to talk me through the route move by move.  Quite impressive since it has been several months since he climbed it.  The crux is the very last move and proved a sticking point for me.  I decided to leave it for another day as I didn't fancy the potential fall onto gear at half height.  I am constantly amazes at Kev's ability and technique when it comes to these routes.  It's easy to see why companies are willing to sponsor him.  He is a very accomplished athlete!

Kev looking for a new route
I have another couple of weeks before I head out to El Chorro for my annual escape to sunshine and I'm starting to feel more and more positive of where I am now in regards to my climbing.  Although, I am not yet as strong as I was I am enjoying playing on the rock a lot more and I'm starting to feel less rigid and am making strides towards climbing the way I like to climb.
The goals might not be realised this year but the playful nature of climbing and the feeling I seek from it have re-established themselves.  You often hear it said, "the best climber is the one having the most fun", which make me pretty damn good again!!

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