Friday, 24 July 2015

God loves a Trier

Summer holidays are upon us, and my little windows of climbing have become sparse and infrequent (rather like the Welsh summer sun). Yesterday was my second outing this month, my first being on what was to become Burning Bush, and apart from one routing session at the wall was I've managed in terms of Training. My personal perspective on training is anything I've put enough effort into in an area to risk failure, but have learnt enough and performed enough to actually improve.
I'm not doing enough folks..
In a month where I had hoped to get some progression, I was lacking the fuel of training to make the gains. Could I progress without training?
Yesterday I was given a window of opportunity from my patient wife to find out.
As is often the case when presented with such an opportunity I took myself to Dyffryn Mymbyr, my bouldering equivalent of a well lived in study, or family Dojo.
As is often the case when presented with such an opportunity it started to drizzle.
Undeterred I pushed on up the hill (I love wellies) to the Quack Crack bloc, which provided shelter and dry rock. However, the warm ups were wet or too hard and I found its teaching a bit stern.. too hard a task master to start today's lessons. So I hoofed up to Bari Island:

Once under its sweeping prow (although the weather was sorting itself out) I warmed up on the up bit of Big Bad Bari, and the up bit of the Miss Boo Boo project. The later was a bit hard really, but with rests and a bit of general hold fondling I was ready to throw myself at Trixibelle (also still a project, but practically a family friend..)

Progression without training is merely an act of refinement, and I have sorted some of my sequence and have some further clues for the way ahead. So maybe this was progress? or was this in itself an act of training? I certainly need to increase the training frequency to succeed, but I don't see that happening easily in the next couple of months.
I turned my attention to the start of Miss Boo Boo
As you can see I'm not boring you with a video this time as I barely made it of the deck. My core and limbs were so punished by the attempts on Trixibelle, that I couldn't generate the contact strength in the foot lock to plank up to the roof. All needed to stretch to the backhand fingerlock in the crack above. Poor show. I followed this with an attempt on the start of Big Bad Bari to confirm my suspicions. Couldn't get of the deck. Tiny training equals tiny tank of reserves to play with.

Trudging back down the hill I accepted that the big boulder ticks are going to keep fending me off until there is enough slack in the system to allow training time. Now the Haston in my head says there's always time to train, but the beer in my hand says be kind to yourself. I'm not dead yet, these things will pass. 
Also, trudging down the hill I found new treasure, or rather, pretty things to spur me on to completely drain my tank.
First up was the cool scoop in the right hand side of the Man Like Me boulder.
I'd nicknamed this feature the Egg, as it seemed like someone had half smashed open a giant easter egg. I'd sort of written it off as I couldn't find a decent start to it. Today I just thought "why not just start squatting on the ledge at the back"

It proved to be a really interesting problem, this version is Egg Exit Left, and is about 6A+. it took a hell of a lot of head scratching, and Egg Exit Right is going to be way cool, possibly even Tubular.

Buoyed up with this I returned to the start of things at Quack Crack Bloc. Here to try the last remaining up line. At least the only one that followed a strong feature.

This is Teal Appeal, and is probably 6B. I tried Quack crack shortly after this and couldn't pull on, and happy that my tank was drained, I pootled home to help with bedtimes.

The next day out with the kids, I embarrassed myself by not being able to do the monkey bars, my arms were that wasted. Ethan showed me how a pro does it:

I intend to spend the rest of the Summer having fun and not being too pushy with myself.

Hope the sun comes back...

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