Saturday, 6 September 2008

Climbing over for the summer? Sat 6th Sept '08

It has been a mixed couple of weeks on the climbing front. Bad weather has meant I haven't been able to get outdoors midweek and last weekend saw Chris and I climbing at Clova. Would you believe it, forecast hadn't been too bad but the morning dawned a tad grey and there had obviously been rain. Clova+Me=rain!! Thankfully the rock was dry though (just) as Clova is quite unpleasant when wet. Chris started off on Central Crack and was going quite slowly at the low down crux. It was one of those problems that looked easy from below (don't a lot of them!) and it's so easy to dish out advice when your stood belaying and not on the sharp end. He sussed it though and climbed the rest easily enough and then it was my turn. I quickly found out what the struggle had been about. It's not the nicest of routes (IMO) in fact it's the sort of route I hate where the holds and the rock keeps pushing you out of balance, gggrrr!
Next it was my turn and I decided to try the severe next door, Flake Route. What a faff! Firstly Chris forgot something down at the sacks so had to go back down, then I couldn't get my head into gear for leading whatsoever! I'd get up to the chimney but the chimney kept trying to push me out and again, it's that sort of move I hate and I couldn't commit to doing it. So stupid as I had 2 hexes in I tell you! I kept trying it though and each time the move pushed me out and I would step down. Chris seemed to lose patience with me and pulled on the rope telling me to come down. I snapped! Don't f*cking pull on the rope!! I was annoyed. Sometimes I don't think I'm cut out for climbing. I just wish I could have some consistency. I try not to let it get me down though. I find it really difficult to lead routes that have moves like that in them and seem to be more drawn to climb only the routes that truly inspire me.
Moving on, Chris led Beanstalk. Now there is a route to inspire! The line looks far, far nicer to me than the severe and the HS. Up a lovely flake, and then taking the variation on the arete above. The flake is lovely climbing and here is a VS that inspires me to lead. The move off the top of the flake and onto the ledge above and to the left of it is simply sensational. Only problem is that to get to the arete you have to get into this corner first and I just couldn't seem to suss this bit out. It involves a mantleshelf (at near enough chest height for me!) and there are no holds on the wall above (that I could see/use anyway) I fell off here about 3 or 4 times before finally sussing it. Damned if I can remember how I did it though! And glad I didn't lead it as falling off that move on lead would have meant hitting the ledge below. Once up into the corner, you then move round onto the arete. And what a move!!! Utterly amazing! Totally blind, exposed and committing, fantastic :o) I simply have to get that move into the corner sussed and do this route on lead!
That was us for the day, and it was good timing as the rain came on again!

I'd been at the wall during the week previously and when I'd been trying a corner route, and was palming back (or trying to) I couldn't seem to do it as my wrist was too painful. I've been getting aches/little darts of twingeyness in my forearms for some time but just been ignoring it really. I'd been given stretches to do as Mark, my Chiro reckoned that my Ulnar nerve was a bitty trapped. I'd been doing the stretches when I remembered and any time I'd been getting any numbness in my fingers. Anyhoo, at the start of this week I woke up with a sharp, stabbing pain in my elbow. Oh shite! My first thoughts are of Tennis Elbow or Lateral Epicondylitis as the pain is on the outside. It hurts to pick things up with my palm down and it hurts to try and twist things open. It's now a week later and I have been diligent with stretching, using a Metolious Gripsaver (a squidgy ball, with hoops for your fingers. You squeeze the ball, stretch the fingers and extend the wrist) and using a dumbell (with no weight) for wrist extension exercises. I've been out running and out on the bike for Cardio (improves blood flow to the poorly supplied tendons) No anti-inflammatories as I'm not a believer in them really. I'm sure just a week of doing this, has given some improvement already :o) and it's making me hope that it isn't Tennis Elbow that I have, but just a strain of my Brachioradialis muscle as that will heal alot quicker!

So, I'm laying off the climbing till it's better anyway as there is no way on heaven and earth that I am risking not being able to swing my axes this winter! So, weekends (for the next few weeks anyway) will see me out shamelessly Munro bagging :o) Started off today by driving up to Drumochter Pass and bagging Geal Charn, A'Mharconaich, Beinn Udlamain and Sgairneach Mhor. The forecast was for gusty NE winds, possible shower or two but with cloud lifting. Phah! The cloud lifted for all of a few seconds once in the day to allow a brief glimpse down to Loch Ericht and then it was dreich and gusty for the rest of the day. Good training though :o) And I had to get the old compass out a couple of times. Made a navigational blip just before the 1st top though. Took a bearing from the top of the munro when I wasn't at the top! That was a bit dim! But I quickly realised my error when the lay of the ground wasn't as it should have been and was able to contour round to where I wanted to be. There was 3 other parties out on the hill but I left them behind after the second munro and one party after the 3rd. It was blowing a hoolie on the last top and I had to brace myself walking off. Had wet gloves (reminder not to use those gloves again if there is going to be wind chill factor) and a wet arse from sitting on my wet rucksack. 6hrs to car and back. I had parked my car in a laybye where I was going to come off the hill and walked down the road at the start of the day, to save myself an hour(ish) slog back to car at end of the day and was quite thankfull to get back quickly. Knackered though and it was a struggle keeping awake on the drive home, after a good walk, but with only 5hrs sleep! I really need to get my sleeping habit sorted out, as 5-6hrs each night just isn't proving enough!
No photos this week, dimwit that I am, I forgot my camera. Not that I could have taken any nice photos today anyway.

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