8 March 2015


Some weeks really drag. This week dragged me, kicking off with a proper dose of the flu. From whence it came I do not know but it slapped me upside down and left me pretty much bed ridden for 4 days. 4 days of sickly inertia, whilst work, family, climbing, reunions, and life in general passed me by. However, as I finally emerged out of my onesie I felt like a butterfly breaking out of its chrysalis. The sun shone, birds sang, the wind was actually rather pleasant- Spring had arrived! My limbs started moving again and I, blinking, staggered out into the light. It was Friday night, and the final of the Depot Bouldering League and I started to think I could actually get there. Now I'm not normally a competitive person, but I had set myself a goal of trying to get into the Top Ten this year. As a post-40 year old Veteran, old but not necessarily wise, this was actually looking realistic due to diminishing numbers. Two things stood in my way 1. I still had my last score sheet and as such that round currently stood at zero, and 2. The last round offered a one-night-only deal of double points, a chance to boost me up from my current standing at #12. So, joints creaking, I popped some ibuprofen, grabbed plenty of juice and Lucozade tablets, and headed off to Leeds. Surprisingly I turned out to be climbing pretty well, although there were moments I thought I might need resuscitation. Maybe a week of physical collapse with lots of water and little food is just the preparation you need for a competition. I never did find out if I made Top Ten by the way, but I didn't really care by then.
Spring sunset, standing on a chockstone. Almscliff

Saturday morning offered the chance for some more sedate climbing, as plans were in motion to continue the work on the low-grade Caley Crag circuit. Temperatures were forecast to hit double figures so it would have been rude not to go, and sure enough it was very fine day. We spent a good hour or two cleaning and climbing the slabby and rather mossy face of Yule Log, much improved after the blitz the top got back in January, and had some fun remembering how to smear again by climbing the left arete. Amazing how quickly you forget after a few months indoors. Then it was back over to the Ice Cream slabs where the group grew in numbers, Paul cracking the sit start. Caley at the start of Spring is such a different place, you can feel the vibrancy of the woods coming back to life yet still actually see all the boulders and orientate yourself. I could feel myself coming back to life too, with the moves of the climbs and the laughs that we shared. Back home for some rest and food, then it only felt right to finish the day up at Almscliff. A gentle scramble up around the top revealed a stunning sunset, and as I rested I felt the strong Southern wind blowing through me, rejuvenating. Spring has sprung, have a good one people!
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