What's been happening...

25th Oct 2010

It’s been a busy old time over the last week or so, quite varied too- bits of climbing, some culture; Mozart, art and some good old sightseeing in London washed down with some nice food and drink!

Firstly, Alex and I ventured over to Ramshaw last Thursday. I had my reservations as I thought it might be cold but it had been ages since I’d been and I do enjoy mixing it up a bit and going to different venues. Well…it was freezing!! I think we were both in a little shock, it was probably the first cold day we’d both been out in and our bodies just weren’t acclimatised, so it felt doubly worse. We both had frozen feet and hands and just never got into our stride. Well if the truth be told, we actually never got up our route either! It was actually hilarious, we spent pretty much all day on an E2- AN E2!- and never made it to the top. I’m giggling now thinking about it, it’s a wide crack that just seemed hard work, we had tape but no large cams; so the top was a runout too far. Alex had been on this route before and nearly onsighted it falling off very close to the top, so she was quite annoyed with herself for finding it so hard this time. I can’t really explain it either, I’m normally ok at cracks. It was a little too wide for me to find any hand or fist jams which I think made it harder but really, surely we should’ve made it up the thing.

Anyway, that was entertaining if not a little depressing. The next day we went to Turning Stone Edge with a bunch of bubbly folk. It was a great day with lots of laughs. Ian Smith was shooting pictures so John Horscroft could write a piece on this little cutie of a crag. I ended up climbing an E1 when the heavens opened and progress became somewhat hampered. Luckily we’d got in some nice routes before this happened.

Tim and I managed to meet up for half a day! We aren’t able to see much of each other at the moment. He is working away a lot (I’ve obviously been away here and there too), he’s spending time down south with his brother who has some health problems and is trying to take pictures as and when he can. This leaves the weekends for that, so it means he just doesn’t get back to Sheff much at all. When you’re self employed, it goes like this but hopefully we’ll get a bit more time in December. At least Kodo’s here now and I can spend some time with her.

Saturday I headed down to my sister’s house and early Sunday morning my Mum, Ali and I headed to London on the train. We had a lovely day out, it was perfect weather for the London Eye which we went on first. Then we had lunch in the National Portrait Gallery and spent the rest of the day going round this and the National (and playing on the lions in Trafalgar Square). I have to admit, art isn’t particularly my bag but I really enjoyed seeing all the paintings from different artists and eras, there were some real classics there too, even paintings that I’d heard of- it was great to see them in the flesh so to speak.

We then headed back over the Thames to The Royal Festival Hall, had some dinner and got ready to see Mozart’s Requiem. Mum had introduced Ali and I to Mozart when we were young and we both now love his music, also my Mum used to work for The London Philharmonic Orchestra years ago and spent lots of time at the festival hall. So, we were in for a special evening that we could all share- awesome!

I defy anyone to listen to this piece of music and not feel any emotion, it really is extraordinary. But to hear it live and see all the musicians playing and The Bach Choir belting (that’s a technical term) it out is something else. It’s safe to say that we were all truly absorbed for the whole performance and loved every second of it- it was a fantastic evening.

We finally got home around 12.40am exhausted and happy.

I came back up to Sheff and was quite keen to just stay put for a while. It’s great going away a lot but I had catching up to do in the office and it was weighing me down. So sitting in front of the computer became a priority and I managed to address lots of jobs.

Alex and I made a date for Tremadog on Thursday and Friday. I was a bit dubious about the temperature after our fateful Ramshaw experience but it turned out to be lovely. In fact on one route Alex was climbing in a vest! It was nice to be back there climbing on some classic, good quality trad routes. I’ve already done a vast amount at Tremadog, so I didn’t really have an agenda. Especially, as I’m not on top form at the moment, it’s quite nice to climb on easier routes that I would’ve dismissed or just not had time to do before. So we started on an E2 called Daddy Cool, which was good. Then Alex had her eyes on Neb Direct ( she’s a sucker for suffering that girl). So we headed over to do it. We both taped up and I led off. We got up to the stance below the daunting crack and unfortunately for Alex she was feeling pretty ill. I don’t know if it was the sight of this short but intimidating crack that was making her feel woozy and dizzy but she just wasn’t up to it. I had noticed on Daddy Cool she didn’t seem herself and wasn’t climbing as well as she normally does. So the upshot was it was me to lead again. I could either carry on up the E2 Neb, which skirts to the right or head up the E4 Neb Direct. I was quite surprised to find myself psyched for a tussle with the crack of doom. I was up here, I had tape on- ok I wasn’t feeling on top form- but I might not get up here again for a while, so I decided to go for it.

Yes, it was a fight but I did enjoy it. Unfortunately I had to have one rest as I just don’t have the oomph or power to keep going on something tough like that but I was one move away from doing it. The upshot though was that I enjoyed it and was only a little disappointed to have rested once. But also it felt a whole lot easier than the E2 (that used to be E1) we’d completely failed on at Ramshaw! Grades eh!

The next day we managed to climb an E2 on the Valerie’s Rib buttress that has a very good top pitch with varied climbing. Quite pokey for E2 but hey, that’s Tremadog for you. We got down off this route just before the rain came in, so it was an early departure back to Sheff. We didn’t get loads done but as always it was lovely to be away and over there.

Yesterday Tim, myself and Kodo had a lovely walk in the Burbage valley. It was a beautiful day cold at first but warm in the sun, a day to make you feel happy to be alive.

I’m now counting down the days to my physio appointments which start in a couple of weeks. My body is feeling the worse for not climbing much and I just can’t wait to be able to crank again- fingers crossed it won’t be too long. You can get away with having breaks here and there but not doing that much for a year and half is starting to take it’s toll.

Bring on an injury free period!