Friday night saw the first in the series of the Avertical World bouldering competitions and a great night was had. Jonathon was back climbing again after recovering from a finger injury and managed to get 5th place in the Men's Easy, I got 7th place in the Women's Easy, though was a bit disappointed with my score as I know I could have done better! However, the star of the evening was RB as usual. At first we thought she came in 2nd place behind Jaime Davidson, Scottish Youth Climber extrordinaire until we found out that Jaime had moved herself up to the Woman's Hard category which she is determined to win, and of which I have no doubt she can do! So, RB then gets first place for the Junior Girls category and what's more, this comp she managed to beat all of the Junior Boys but we also think she may have beaten all of the women in the Easy Category, drawing with the women who came first possibly.
There was a great set of problems this year, but I was a bit disappointed to see the amount of cheating that was going on. The first round of the Junior's section was discounted last year due to all the cheating, and I could see that some of the kids hadn't learnt from it! But wall owner Ian could see the cheating going on and as the folk concerned arn't in any chance of winning, then hopefully the round will still be counted. It wasn't just kids cheating though but adults too! And it didn't matter that both Mel and I had pointed out,
'ahem, but you're not allowed to use those holds!'
It's like folk were deaf! And I point blank saw the woman who either came first or not far off in the Women's Easy cheat like hell on one of the harder problems. It consisted of tiny green screw on holds and I don't know whether she's just a cheat or whether she can't f*cking read but she was using the massive green holds as well and flew across the problem like it was nothing. Well, no bloody wonder! And when you point out to these people that they shouldn't use the holds that they do, they just walk way ignoring you and mark up there scores as if they'd done the problems in question. It's a farce!
And if anybody who was at that comp and who was cheating reads this blog (er not very likely haha) well, you know who you are aye!
So, enough bitching. One of the most entertaining problems of the evening was a large swinging, wooden log suspended from the roof of the bouldering cave. You had to climb a pillar to a certain level, launch yourself onto the log and try and get yourself sitting on top of it. The folk who managed it used the technique of mantling or belly flopping over onto the log and then swinging their feet round. Wee Euan King that competes with RB in the YCS was a total champion and managed to get it as did Jonathon. Most folk were going about it the wrong way and punter after punter was left dangling upside down under the log, arms and legs wrapped around and trying desperately and unsuccessfully to get themselves over. Was great fun to watch! I'd heard that the wood was a bit rough on the skin so I left that problem until last. And boy was it rough! I didn't manage it, and was left with my arms over the log, heaving as hard as I could and flailing with my legs trying to pull up on the damn thing. Now I have massive purple bruises from my elbows up to my armpit from hanging on for dear life! And when I say dear life, that's an exageration as I probably only managed to hold on for about 10-15 seconds on each attempt before the log spat me off. Great fun, if not a little painful!
So, Saturday was spent recovering. Every bit of my body ached like buggery and I was pretty shocked to see those bruises the next day! I've hurt my calf again too. It totally cramped up on one of the problems and I tried to climb through the pain, but when your leg has completely spastic from the knee down, it's a tad hard to carry on climbing regardless. It took a good minute to release my calf, and Monday now it's still sore. I often get night cramps in that calf too. Think it's because that calf is the one that is extremely tight from the damage done to it when I had severe Sciatica. Doesn't matter how much I seem to stretch it, it seems pretty trashed to me. It's annoying! Cos Mark my Chiropracter thinks that may contribute to my knee problem from running. Och well, I shall battle on as always.
Andy came down on Saturday evening after being thwarted by his usual road due to flooding. It had rained non stop on Wednesday and Thursday, with a brief respite on Friday afternoon, only to start raining again on Friday evening and Saturday. Many roads have been flooded and are impassable. But he finally made it down via the Stonehaven road. The forecast for Sunday was a bit dubious, but the plan was to hopefully go to Benny Beg if it was dry enough and if not to go to Newtyle Quarry for a spot of dry tooling. It was dry when we got up, though still damp and cloudy but we decided to risk going to Benny Beg and if it was too wet to climb then we'd go for a walk up to Dunira to check out the crag there for future climbing.
Benny Beg was pretty seepy in places but many routes still seemed climbable and we did 5 routes each, nothing about grade 5, but I climbed a few of the newer routes that have been bolted since I'd last been there. One of which, a grade 4, was actually really, really nice and one of the nicest routes I've done there!
I was finding it a bit tough though. Some of the routes at Benny Beg have wee crimps on them and I'd been holding onto this crimp to make a clip and ended up utterly pumped due to my arms still being tight and sore from the bouldering, and just cos they are always too tight anyway from all my neck/nervy stuff. I had to sit on the rope to recover as I could barely move my fingers I was so pumped. It really frustrates me when that happens! There's nothing more humiliating that getting pumped on something as easy as a grade F5, or a V.blooming Diff! But that's how pathetic my arms can go at times. I really hope they are not too weak or painful for winter climbing this year.
I'm getting so psyched and excited for winter now, all we need is for those Continental Highs to bugger off and for the jet stream to move along a bit (er yes, very technical) and let some cold in!
Tis Monday morning. I still hurt and ache, especially my knee. I had a nasty flu bug post Ariege which laid me out for about a week and I still have a horrid cough. But sod it, this is the first day for ages where the sun seems to be peeking out. I'm off out for a gentle run in the fresh air.