10 March 2012

Unusual Items at the Crag and a Personal Best

We've just got back from an afternoon at the Bowderstone. I've been slightly apprehensive about returning to The Stone; my last visit was back in early June 2011, and I've not been climbing much since then. However, I have been racking up the hours on the Beastmaker so I had some confidence in my finger strength, but was still concerned; The Stone isn't the friendliest of venues for someone out of climbing shape.

Phoebe exploring the Bowderstone and it's surroundings.

Phoebe came with us, so the walk-in from the small lay-by, off the Borrowdale road, was fairly brutal. The Mountain Buggy doesn't cope that well with bedrock steps and microwave size boulders so we had to carry Phoebe (in her pushchair), Phoebe's accessories, my rock shoes and bouldering mats the five hundred meters or so to the base of The Stone. I suppose we were lucky that we could also carry the V-Tech so Phoebe could be kept entertained for the two hour session, by exploring the base of The Stone, whilst pushing it along.

Phoebe is looking at the ladder to the top of The Stone whilst Daddy climbs Statstick (V6). She's probably thinking the ladder would be an easier way to get to the top.

At the start and on the second to last move of Picnic Sarcastic Sit Start Right Hand (V8).

I did however surprise myself, despite all my apprehensions. I ticked, what were my five warm-up problems a year ago, on my first attempts and then got Statstick (V6) on the third or fourth go. This problem had previously taken me countless attempts over several sessions to tick. I then moved onto Picnic Sarcastic (V7), which I got on the first go, again, a problem that took me several sessions to get, and then the tour de force was ticking Picnic Sarcastic Sit Start Right Hand (V8) on my first go. I did get on this problem during my last couple of visits, and probably only had ten attempts at the line, but had little success.

I certainly surprised myself, and perhaps I should have a bit more confidence in my abilities. I suppose the countless sessions on the fingerboard, has been the key to maintaining a base level of strength, so I can make the most of those small windows of opportunity to try something that requires you to pull hard on small holds.

Tomorrow I'm back to work and who knows when I'll be back out on the rock.

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

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