Loving the Weather Over Here
Funny how the weather can alter your motivation no end. Last Tuesday, I went off to Swindale for a spot of evening sunshine climbing with a mate who I realised I’d never shared a rope with! Known him for years in the outdoors but never actually shared a rope with him - weird! But I gues that’s just the way that a busy life takes us. At Fang Buttress there’s a route that I’ve followed years ago and found perfectly OK, but several times in the past 10 or so years, I’ve geared up at the foot of it but shrunk away in disarrray after the first few moves.
This year I’m not really that fit but I’ve been dragged up a few harder routes by one of the lads who was a real cutting edge climber years ago, and after 10 years “gardening leave” he’s decided to get back into it. Travelling the harder ground makes a huge difference. With the result that I turned up at the bottom of Fang Direct on Tuesday evening with a totally different attitude. Even though I was less fit than at any other time in the last 10 years, I set off up the route with a totally different attitude. Climbing is after all 70% a head game. I literally floated up it with barely a wobble and enjoyed the thing immensely. Even the crux section went smoothly. Now this isn’t some super hard modern test piece- it’s just a HVS / E1 but for me it wasa bit of a bogey route for years - but with the right program installed the head was on track. It was astunning evening for other reasons as well.
Just round the corner a couple of lads who we became really chatty with in the course of the evening, were taking on the challenge of the direct route up the Bloodhound slab, - Bloodletting E2 which they managed with style. My partner Tinny, managed to flail his way up Sostenuto, which features a particularly bold start.
Marvellous stuff when you live so close to the English Lake District.
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