17 December 2009

A recurring theme...

A slightly moist, but in the most dry, Sandy Bay Area at Armathwaite.

It seems like my Thursday's have become devoted to scratching around on moist rock in the hope of finding something dry enough to climb. Again, I failed, which is very similar to the Thursday of last week, but I did boulder out the starting moves to The Exorcist (E4, 5c), which I have done on many other visits to Armathwaite's Sandy Bay Area, before dismissing the holds as slightly too moist. I then spent some time fixing a rope down the line of Glenwillie Grooves (HS, 4b) in the hope of using my new toy to solo the route, but again I dismissed this as a lost cause as the crux of the route was one wet, greasy mess of Permian Age, red desert Penrith Sandstone.

Some delicate sandstone features around Ituna (S) and Flasherman (VS, 4b, 5a).

Today's failure was even more demoralising than last week's damp rock at Carrock Fell as I was hoping to get in a long day on the crag 'shunting' up some E1's and E2's and call it training. If this had come off, it would have been the first time that I had trained outside, since starting training back in the middle of October, and would have probably been the most beneficial training session of them all; I would eventually be able to see what E1 and E2 climbing is really like and therefore be better prepared mentally for my project route I aim to send in the summer of 2010.

I'm not that strong yet, but it's an aim (Picture: James Pearson's blog).

All the training I have done to date has focused on stamina, power endurance and limit strength, and yes I have seen an improvement, but there is the other side of training: the tactics and the head game, which I was going to focus on today alongside some limit strength stuff. I am more than confident that my physical skills and attributes are now ready for climbing in the E grades, but it is the two things I previously mentioned, which are now holding me back.

I suppose its back to putting my head in some books to research these points and implement them in the next phase of my training plan, which is scheduled to begin when the second semester of lectures begin in January. However, I think I'll get some limit strength stuff done at home today and try again tomorrow, with training outside, otherwise I might just reside myself to one final wall session, before a weeks rest, and then three weeks of 'performance' climbing to test the rewards reaped from the first phase of training.

Obviously that's all weather dependant!

Good lines, stay safe and see you on the wet stuff...

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