That rare and elusive moment finally came to me last Saturday. After three different sessions spread out over two months my V5/6 project finally went.
So what was different this time, well a lot actually. I had been in North Wales for a week fitting in easy classics between rain storms and even more menacing clouds of midges. I felt that I built up a decent base over this period. My climbing was limited much more than I would have liked, but actually it was probably a good thing as I most likely would have worn myself out.
I put off trying my project until it was nearly time to leave. I don’t think that I would have coped with another failure well and I wasn’t convinced in my mind at this point that it would go, yet I still felt that I ought to be able to do it. It became something of a chore, something to be worried about, rather than enjoyed. Also running up to my trip I was in a rather pathetic state. I had the flu or something and it seemed to take weeks to get over; weeks that I could have spent training.
The time gap between my last two sessions really seemed to benefit me. I actually forgot my old sequence and devised a much better one. The first time I tried it on Saturday, I knew that it was going to happen that day. The holds actually felt less painful and I was more in control of the crux section.
The problem consists of a series of pockets up a steep prow / cave thing. The pockets are decent enough, but I was struggling to reach across with my left to get the next pocket that I have in the picture above. Gaining this pocket with my left hand was the crux for me.
I found a less powerful beginning sequence and I was also able to better steady myself through the crux. This combined with the discovery of an intermediate minor sidepull led to my success.
And it felt great. Finally, I had a modicum of strength back and my shoulder injury hardly gave any complaint over the entire week.
Of course me being me, the happiness was quite fleeting and I was soon left with thoughts like ‘why couldn’t I do this last time’ and ‘I’m nowhere near as strong as I need to be’, etc.
Oh well… it has to be a step in the right direction. Even I can’t argue with that one.