Sunday, 25 January 2009

The Hollow Woman

Two weeks ago I got back from Font, where I scarcely did any climbing. Since then I was entirely occupied by a project for uni and subsequently I got the death flu that’s going around. This meant that I didn’t eat a full meal or sleep for a complete night in two weeks.

I finally dragged myself back to the wall and had the worst session I could ever imagine. It was so bad that I actually considered giving up completely. I felt as though the simplest moves were impossible and my body just ached.

I can’t blame it all on being ill. Yes, my rubbishness was exaggerated by being ill, but even worse I think that’s where I’m headed. I’ve lost quite a bit of strength through not regularly climbing. My course has been taking up a ton of time, as I thought it would and I have exams in exactly a month’s time, so I won’t be able to devote any time to climbing until afterwards. But will it be too late.

While I was floundering on the easiest stuff I couldn’t help but think about how difficult it would be to get back to where I was, let alone better. For the first time, I felt as though I didn’t know if it would be worth it.

I guess I always had in the back of my mind, no, I’m not good, but I can get a bit better. That has completely gone and along with it my motivation. I don’t take kindly to bimbling. I think it’s a waste of time. I have never climbed ‘for the fun of it’ (or at least not as an ultimate goal). Climbing is an all out battle. It exists only in those moments of complete intensity and sharpness, pushing - no willing myself to do what I cannot. For the moment that’s out of the question.

And to add to the joy, my shoulder is a mess from writing all the time.


And just for Peter - here's your link ;-)

Thursday, 22 January 2009

Of Gates and Doorways

Poised on the transition between the beginning and end, I am finding January rather a struggle.

It’s been a month of invoking old demons, battling wars that should have long finished but even in this state of change, an uncomfortable yet growing hope has been born. There is clarity to be had when all seems uncertain, the focus afforded by the intensity of the moment.

I question why change if it often seems too much. Paradoxically this is only ever resolved by admitting that giving up didn’t work.

Thursday, 15 January 2009

Snowy Font

I have never gotten on with Font at the best of times, but lack of funds and dictated holiday periods made Bleau in January sound like not too bad an idea.

We arrived late on Saturday and woke up to cold, but decent conditions on Sunday. Still tired from our trip we wandered around nearby Buthiers scoping out potential projects. Sadly, this was to be our best day out. It snowed on Tuesday and the temperature never got above -5C.

The rest of the week was spent attempting to clean problems and giving up in despair as you can never seem to get all of the ice off the slopers and given that this is Font, nearly every problem contains at least one requisite sloper. Also, our fingers and toes would pretty much go instantly numb. One day our car thermometer registered 12F (-11C) in the afternoon!

I did however manage to find this gem with big sharp holds way off circuit at Isatis. Yes, I found the only pocketed overhang in all of Font, but sadly, it’s just a 6a+.

Angle Incidence, Isatis

Here’s a video if you’re interested. I don’t top out in it as the last sloper was gathering a lot of ice by the time that I got around to recording it and I didn’t fancy slipping off it and landing on my back.

It was nice to get away, but equally, I don’t feel in a rush to go back. Is it just me or is Font not all that it’s made out to be? I will admit, the general style of climbing (technical, tedious, err… tenuous) was never my thing, but all those boulders… and I don’t want to climb any of them… except maybe Carnage, but I’m not standing in a queue to boulder.