18 May 2014

Scone, not forgotten

I'm a little behind on a few sessions, and while some of them went by without notable incident - or indeed with poor form - there were a couple of decent efforts here and there, and all were good sessions with the gang. My reasons for blogging are as much about keeping the memory of the overall experience alive as mere tick-tick-tick, so a catch-up is in order.

First, there was a Tuesday night at Caley. I joined late, having been working till some ungodly hour (but then, aren't they all?), and the hardcore of Louis, Rob and Dave were throwing themselves at some pinchy technical nightmare. My arrival urged Bryn and Cosmo to head down to the Flapjack, where Cosmo impressed by ticking the scoop, and inspired by suggesting I miss out that problem's pebble. First, I did so by applying pressure elsewhere - my right hand pushing down on my right knee, arguably the most legitimate patella move. Next, I proceeded to miss out the starting handholds and anything on the right until the top (which was admittedly a bit of a stretch).

My left shoulder had been giving me gip, and the day after Caley I was due a physiotherapy appointment. I was up front about my climbing, and the physiotherapist was pragmatic about the fact that I might not stop climbing. She gave me some exercises to do (which I should be doing more than I am) and, for my part, I said I would try to take it easy, though the follow up appointment we arranged fell right next to the Fontainbleau trip that will be happening, no matter what!

The first climb after this appointment was Brimham, where we were doing a session with a young photographer working on his university studies. The models were Bryn, Cosmo, Dave and his boys, Louis, Ellen, Rob, new girl Emma, and myself. We climbed casual, not being too posey, though I admit it amused me to play to the crowd a little when Emma phoned me to find us, and I was half-way up a solo at the time. But then, the only photo of that was taken by Bryn. Once the photoshoot was over - including some rock-top juggling from Bryn and unicycling from yours truly - Louis, Rob and I remained behind for some last efforts. I got the top half of the - very chossy - problem next to cubic block, but really need to put together the transition from the sit-start to make it count. So half a tick there.

There was a session at Almscliffe on Wednesday night. A hot day turned into just a hint too cold to be comfortable night, and I wasn't on great form, but still good to get out under the sky.

And yesterday was a glorious summery day, on which we - just me, Bryn and Cosmo this time - elected for the shady glades of Caley. The usual warm-up slab became an impromptu deck-chair for some extended baking in the sun, before we descended once more to the Flapjack, again blitzing the scoop, and this time several of the problems to the left.

Next, the Scone. Hadn't been down this way in some time, and we eyed up the rock thinking back to previous efforts - I recalled taking on the sides, and seeing Dave go straight up the middle. I couldn't remember the details of Dave's climb, so all we had to go on was the look of the rock. I locked the middle fingers of my right hand into a tiny pocket, shored up with the left and angled my feet left of centre, making for a smeary subtle layaway. Established on the rock, my left hand went up and worked with what little was there. Right hand went from the pocket to a mini-mantle, soon to be replaced by the right foot. Now both hands were high, with little to play with. Little, but enough to allow weight to go through the right foot, in turn allowing a less than 100% confident left hand to gain the top. The right hand joined in, finding a better hold, and the feet padded up behind. Very pleasing that it went on essentially the first attempt. We played with the sides, and the huge rockover round the corner - one for another day, a day further away from physiotherapy appointments - and then moved on. We aimed for the Creme Egg, but when we got there we realised we were done, and we moseyed on out of the woods, back to the car, and on to a quest for well earned ice lollies.

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