Monday, 10 August 2015

A summer cocktail of weekend rock climbing

Limestone, grit, plastic and wood - a recipe for a great cocktail of weekend climbing. We mixed it up and hit it hard - drunk on fatigue by the time Sunday came to a close.

The weary walk along Rivelin reservoir back to the van

I had an enforced 7-days off climbing last week due to laser eye surgery. The recovery demanded it. I needed to avoid getting chalk or grit in my eyes while they were healing. But that meant the psyche was high come the weekend.

Like many of Sheffield's residents touring its bars on a Friday night, we hit Raven Tor, Cratcliffe and Robin Hoods Stride, Rivelin and the Climbing Works. It was a bouldering orgy of the first degree.

Climbers emerge from the green, atop the Rivelin Needle

It is summer so there were no expectations of climbing projects and, for the most part, I was content repeating problems I had done before. We moved around and simply climbed on rocks for the pure enjoyment of it - both the lime and grit slippy under sweaty hands.

Saturday: Raven Tor was fun, although far too hard given the conditions, and I quickly realised the boulder problem I keep attempting to complete was a no-go. At Cratcliffe and Robin Hood, ace boulders such as The Cave, The Kid & Razor Roof kept us occupied between spells of relaxation under a canopy and atop a carpet of green. So many vibrant colours in summer.

Simon "Kook" Newstead eliminating holds on The Kid at Cratcliffe

Sunday: Leigh-Anne wanted Rivelin so Rivelin is what she got. It was harder getting to the desired boulder than it was to actually climb it, as the fauna had ascended skywards to a height of over 6 feet, intertwined and hard to break through. Eventually, we arrived at Mini Beak, which was repeated before we departed. Wearily, we made it back to the van on the other side of the reservoir, legs and backs sore from the effort and the sun now beating down from the day's highest vantage point.

Rivelin Reservoir

We decided, with little else to occupy our time, and because there is little else I would prefer to occupy my time, we'd continue our climbing indulgence with a dessert of plastic and wood. 

The Climbing Works was warm and sweaty. Climbing was hard, but with the same inclination towards enjoying the act rather than attempting to reach goals, we had a corker of a session. A week of rest will make you feel strong, and I spent the majority of my time monkeying around without my feet on the wall. I do enjoy campusing boulder problems. And as show-offy as it may be, there are pure power training benefits.

Then, without expectation, I managed to do my first 1-5-8 on the campus board. I've never felt so strong on the campus board before.

Climbing has been in my life for a long time now but my enjoyment of it seems to continually grow. There are ups & downs of motivation, of course, but as the years advance my passion and/or obsession just rises. A week off, although not long in the grand scheme of things, just made me want to climb more.

The next year should be a VERY exciting one in terms of climbing. We're going to Fontainebleau at least once, hopefully twice, as well as Rocklands for the 2016 season. Psyched! is an understatement - even with an exclamation mark.