Well sort of. The finger is still knackered and not meant to be climbing but I couldn’t take horizontal life any more. Gentle 6a+ for now!
In the meantime I did the Yorkshire three peaks, Derwent valley, planned a van conversion, moved jobs to Leeds so I’m closer to climbing on a night and my other half is moving in so doing a lot of DIY (just how many clothes can one woman have… 3 wardrobes later)
Nat, my partner, isn’t a climber but is a free spirit who is more than happy to sit in the outdoors sketching while I boulder.
So coming back from Font I found myself stronger than I ever had been, walking through some V5 and V6 boulders then cleaning a couple of 6b+ and starting to look with interest at 6c/7a. Then down at the depot on the new black circuit I was crimping through a few decent holds and ready to reach for a good right hand when there was a loud pop. Loud enough for a dozen or so people to turn round and watch me hit the mat in pain.
As is now clear, I’ve ruptured my A2 pulley in my left ring finger, a bit of googling shows the all too common nature of this, there’s nothing to predict it but it means months out. I can#t really lift weight on it, not do pull ups, so currently in the post injury slump. Planning to start running, I have the Yorkshire Three Peaks happening in a month or so and a new job but disappointed to lose my new found form and feeling a little lost as to what to do with evenings and weekends.
I guess it’s time to sort some new goals out, lose that fat that has been hanging around, ge some cardio fitness, learn to run, bash out those situps….. any suggestions people…..?
And boy did it come as a shock. Hoping to be climbing in the region of 6a by the end of the week I was happy to top out 4c+. Climbing on POF smeared polished holds is something new and took days to get used to and confident on even though sticking to chalk may have been a mistake.
The forest itself is magical. We sampled the twisted shapes of rock at Isatis, Rocher and L’archant. The shapes inspire creativity and wonder as you spend hours working through the circuits, a boulder, a single move.
All the climbers we met were friendly and helpful. Even the French guy who told me the climb I was doing could only be started dynamically to walk away muttering when I got a static move dialled in.
Cheese was eaten, wine was drunk and more than a few patisserie. And who knew. The French have Emental crisps!
There’s been a long silence on this blog, things going well, sending climbs harder than I every had and bouldering with style rather than just throwing myself at a wall. The CWIF was coming up and I had signed up for the first time.
Then this happened
Now trying to recover, whiplash, bruising and a dislocated thumb. Feeling pretty low, as I can’t go to work and can’t train, any ideas would be good!
The last day of Spain was just me and Chris, Gunny was dropped off in the morning at the airport and we headed out to Reconco on our own. After scrambling around on the wrong path we made our way up the hill. Perfect weather, perfect temperature, warm but not too hot, no wind fresh rock. Chris had looked up a few climbs with a steady 5+ planned as my first lead.
Hitting the first few bolts fine I tried to clip the 5th, quickdraw in, reached for the rope and my left foot blew, I still don’t know the reason, it had held perfectly for the draw. Worst time to fall, the maximum rope out at the bolt, unexpected, belayer giving more rope out, everyone’s nightmare . Chris caught me perfectly, textbook belaying, the fall was bad with burns across three fingers and my arm along with a few knocks and cut knuckles but nothing serious.
It’s made me think more and more though how much trust we put in our belayers, I climb with a group and will often climb with new climbers who haven’t belayed before. I’m trusting these people with my life. I find with Chris I can climb harder, faster more difficult, I trust him spotting me and his judgement when he says I need to change something or watch my gear placement. It leads me to consider…. how many other people in life do we have this relationship or bond with. Maybe our parents or partner but we never put them in a situation holding our life on the end of a rope.
I feel rather like I am copying a post from Senna’s climbing blog as he followed me today before I could publish this post. His blog is amazing and here : http://thelifestyledirtbag.wordpress.com/
However since I came back from Spain so many people have asked why I risk life and injury for sport. Beyond the physical aspect and the adrenaline I think the following photos sum up why I do it. I get to see the world at it’s most beautiful, I spend my free time in the remote countryside with friends to whom I trust my health and life, and have an existence away from the turbulence and stress that most people live in.
No E11's, no Yosemite, no hair-rasing solos, just the beautiful art from an average climber