10 June 2010

Familiarity breeds frustration

I have just got back from a short bouldering session at Armathwaite's Sandy Bay and this has put me in a foul mood. This should not be the case; climbing should make you feel happy, but I have come to the conclusion that the familiarity with the problems at Armathwaite, and at any venue for that matter, breeds frustration when things don't go your way. This would not be the case if the venue was unfamiliar to you as you could justify, no matter how ridiculous the excuse, why you didn't make that move or send that problem, but when the venue is familiar to you and you can't make a move or send a problem, which you have done in the past, you have no real justification for your failing. It just leaves you frustrated and I suppose this hypothesis can help support the 'yes' response to the question posed in the previous post.

Problem 7 (V6), Sandy Bay Area, Armathwaite taken in February.

It is worth driving 3000 miles to experience Switzerland's rivers when at times they are similar to their British counterparts. This is because they are unfamiliar and thus every paddle stroke can be seen as an education, every rapid can be seen as a thrill and every meander can cause apprehension and thus heightens the experiences gained from the trip.

I also mentioned in the previous post that their was a simplicity to the trip and by this I meant that there were only four key elements: eat, sleep, paddle and drive. This meant that we were flexible throughout the adventure and this allowed us to experience a larger geographical spread of rivers because we were not based in one location. This again heightens the experiences gained from the trip as you have a better impression of Switzerland's rivers.

At the start of the Dranse.

On the first day of the trip we obviously drove down to Dover, caught the ferry to Calais, and then made our way south to the Alps. This continued into the second day and we eventually pitched our tents at Thonon-les-Bains, on the shores of Lake Geneva, on the Swiss-French border. This meant that when we awoke the following day we could get a couple of cheeky runs in on the Dranse before carrying on over the border into Switzerland, where we based ourselves for three nights at Chateau-d'Oex.

Back on the Sense after portaging a log jam.

Floating along the Simme.

This allowed us to get on two more rivers, the Sense and the Simme, and we also inspected a third, the Saane, which was littered with fallen trees and this forced us to move on to a different area of Switzerland.

Paddling through the Ruinaulta Canyon on the Vorderrhein.

The first point of interest, a 60m long man made weir, on the Hinterrhein.

We settled for the night in Thusis, which is near the confluence of the Vorderrhein and the Hinterrhein, and it took us two days to paddle sections on each of these rivers and then we started on the long journey home.

More pictures from Switzerland can be found here.

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

No comments: