24 November 2011

My feet are killing me


You hear it a lot.  "The secret to good climbing is footwork." along with "John Dunne was 14 stone and on-sighted 8b because he could use his feet" etc. I have been concentrating on my own footwork recently and it is  paying off, I think. After getting beyond the I'm not strong enough mental block. Thinking about my feet has really helped. Also being prepared to pivot from the hips and so get my feet into places were they are more use has helped even more. I'm struggling to get the high steps that seem to be important if I want to move beyond 6b on grit. I think core strength is probably important here too. So that is being improved one unpleasant crunch at a time. Oh and I saw John Dunne at the foundry once and I was amazed how "well clad" he seemed and how good his footwork was.

Here are some other peoples thoughts on getting better with your feet:

Rock Climbing for life

Climbing.com

Just Climb
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13 November 2011

High tide at Shipley Glen

With humidity levels at 100% and a steady drizzle falling the plan to meet Stu at the glen looked laughably stupid. We both arrived, declared it crap and decided to ignore the conditions and climb anyway.
First up was the first underwater ascent of John. If you did it enough times you could eliminate the holds in the crack and pretty much climb it properly.
Next was a silly overhanging traverse,ringing wet but strangely compelling. We broke it in to sections and eventually it was linked. 5c in the wet maybe and a steady four in the dry no doubt.
Oddly I Laughed more than normal. At our desire to keep going despite the weather and at the fun that can be had if you want it enough.
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6 November 2011

The Prince and the Pommel - Series one episode 3


The sun was in the sky so why oh why would I want to be any where etc. November spluttered into top form with a day of thermonuclear splender. Team Crome pitched the idea of Brimham last night and in my semi-drunken stupor I was all warm enthusiasm. In the cold light of day it still seemed like a great idea so by 2.30, 3 adults and assorted offspring from 1'ish to 6'ish were picnicking on bouldering mats with the Pommel sitting there daring me to have ago, I looked away. I had excuses to spare: I'm a bit hungover, hurt my back last time I was on it, just recovering from another back problem, need to look after the kids.

Eventually Andy got to the point "Are you having a go at the Pommel then?" I was, obviously.

First few thrashes got me nowhere. Andy had a go and he didn't get it either which was good for my Punter's ego. Nothing like an 8+ climber stuffing it up to make you feel better. Anyway Andy had another go as a crowd of bemused toddlers gathered. They looked on with bits of melon and chewy bars in their slightly grubby hands. Keen to see what on earth their dads were up too. Andy then demolished it with a different sequence to me. Looked hard his way.

Fourth go something clicked for me and it wasn't my back. As ever I got my feet right and I got the top and then the "jug" which I was sure would finish it. Alas reality intervened and I was out of power to haul myself on to what feels like a life-size, glass elephant. So back down to earth I went. That sequence is embedded now though, I felt the neurons burn in.

All good though, no injury this time and real progress. I'm stronger than earlier in the year and there will be cooler days this year in the 54 that remain.  This one is in the crosshairs now.

We finished with a mass sunset watch and Ginger cake and the kids found a few boulders to bimble on. As we drove home the world seemed a nice place to be. I haven't had such a nice time failing a problem for as long as I can remember.
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