Monday, 30 June 2008


Sending Fagin

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.


Sarah Clough said...

You look really happy in that last picture, glad to see! If the happiness doesn't last, just look at how much you're smiling there and try to remember the moment :)

Jenn said...

Cheers Sarah. Yes, I was very happy about it.