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Training and dry tooling

13 Jan 2010

Lucy and I had another big session today at the Foundry.  Probably our most full on yet. I'm sure now that both of us are turning corners.  I must say that the whole thing has felt hard work as my improvements seem so small.  Especially as falling off seems to happen every session.  My spirits were lifted though when I started reading Dave Macleod's latest '9 out of 10 Climbers make the same mistakes' at the weekend.

My friend Tom recommended it and despite the dry text book layout and lack of pictures or diagrams, there's some good stuff in it.  I'm about half way through.  The start focusses on your ego, the influence of your friends (positive or negative) and the social scene you climb in. Sheffield currently (maybe it always was this way) seems heavily bouldering and power focussed.  As a result I joined in and these areas have for some time not been my weakness.  For so long I know fitness is. Over the course of the last few weeks I've regularly glanced over to the boulderers on the 'wave' at the Foundry knowing I could 'perform' way better if I just abandoned the harness and rope.  There's my ego shouting out for some massaging.  But I set out on this mission to not get sucked into the Sheffield bouldering scene some weeks ago with Slovenia a clear goal in mind.  It's really tough going working on your weaknesses.  But Dave's book is reassuring me that I'm on the right pathway.

Meanwhile the Foundry has a new attraction - dry tooling.  My Scottish winter plodding career started and finished many years ago.  It wasn't a very positive experience for me but I was ridiculously keen to have a go today!  Ian Parnell was doing the route in front of a couple of cameras - I guess that's part of the marketing plan.  The routes aren't yet open to the public and I was lucky to get a go with some expert advice in my ear.  Well, it's certainly different.  Launching up the wall with ice axes in your hands is rather wierd to say the least.  And I was very glad of the faceguard - my axes seemed like they would whip at any minute and eventually they did.  Only when I came down did I find out I'd had a go at the hardest route in the wall!

Happy New Year

08 Jan 2010

Love and Peace in Chelsea

I really hope that you've come out of a very relaxing festive period.  Certainly for me it was.  Even though most things in London were closed over Christmas it was lovely to stroll around and take in the atmosphere.  Sometimes the extravagance of London seems a bit much.  But on a certain street in Chelsea I was very impressed how much effort had gone into front door decor. Lots of money, but we can enjoy it too!  Nothing like this in Yorkshire!

New Year was fun too - our safari meal was a hit.  Starters at Tom and Rachel's, mains at Bob and Mia's and puddings round ours.  The only new year's resolution I seemed to make was that I want to see Stevie Wonder live in concert.  Something tells me I made the same resolution last year.  If I write it down here, hopefully I won't forget it.

Wynn Hill Jan 10 

And of course headline news of the moment... snow.  Like everyone else, we've got some too.  Here's Elaine on the top of Wynn Hill with Kinder in the background.  What a truely wonderful moment.  Our heating broke the night before so the only thing to do seemed to be leave the house whilst waiting for the plumber.

I haven't even bothered to consider climbing outside.  It's easy enough - let everyone else to the hard work trawling round the Peak for dry or snowless rock, only to end up disappointed at the climbing wall. So I head straight for the wall.  Lucy and I are back to the Foundry trying to get fit.  It's the same story.  Lucy glides to the top of the wall claiming she was pumped out of her mind, meanwhile I struggle on huffing and puffing.  I guess we have different styles and ability or non-ability to recover on big jugs.  Still, progress is being made, if not very slowly. Can't wait for Slovenia...