Summer update.

9th Aug 2011

The beauty and heat of The Verdon seem a long time ago. In fact I’m still waiting for Summer to start here, although I can’t complain too much having just spent a week on Portland where we enjoyed lovely weather- in fact I got burnt, check out the gallery.

Over the last month, I’ve got back into visiting my Chinese Doctor and the treatment seems to be going very well. My shoulder has pushed through a plateau and now feels like it is improving again. There is still some pain but it’s a lot less and the mobility feels much better too. I’ve also got an appointment to see a specialist in the rheumatology department in Sheff in September. It’s something I should’ve done a long time ago (isn’t hindsight a wonderful thing? But to be honest I had no idea this problem would be so prolonged) and now my shoulder is starting to feel better I’m wondering if I should go. It seems such an abstract problem, that up until now nobody has been able to put a name to, that I’m wondering if the consultant will be any different. But I guess you have to give these things a go, it will be interesting to see what happens.

So with the shoulder feeling better, I’ve been getting out and about, shooting some articles with Tim. I’m still not going crazy with the climbing but able to keep going at a steady level. It’s nice as I can enjoy climbing easier routes that I might never have  considered before and actually it’s great for the technique because I’m not as strong and fit as I was, I have to adapt my style and really use my body as efficiently as possible- so it’s quite fun really.

I have found it difficult to get excited about the rock close to Sheff after The Verdon, I need to get down to Pembroke and sample the delights, I’m sure that would get the mojo rising again.

Tim and I had a bit of a surge on building the van in the last couple of weeks and we now have a proper bed set-up. It’s great to finally have seating and some more storage and we had our first trip with it down to Portland. I was doing some coaching down there, we did a photo for Climber and then sampled the delights of Portland’s crags. It’s never an easy place but there certainly are some great routes down there and they really get you climbing properly. Even Tim was climbing which was nice, the dogs enjoyed them selves and I even did a little bouldering at The Cuttings boulderfield- which I kind of enjoyed!

Now we’ve got our big girl (Buis) and Kodo in the van, it’s quite a tight squeeze but it’s doable, you just have to be a bit more organised. We did have a little rain one day and that wasn’t much fun- trying to juggle wet dogs and bedding and making cups of tea without setting the van on fire!

Our next mission is to make the kitchen area, we’ve had a fridge and new hob in boxes in the garage for a year and a half waiting to go in the van and with one thing and another we haven’t got round to it. So we’ve decided after to spend the next week or so trying to get this finished. We’re on a bit of a roll now and it would be a shame not to try and get it finished.

I went out last night and finally did Zippatrocity. I’d been popping out every so often over the last few months and just struggling to string it all together, it became a ridiculous epic if the truth be known. But last night it just went really easily…and the key to it was this….the temperature!! It was a fair few degrees colder than it has been and to be honest moves that I’d really struggled with and had to warm up really well for just felt easy. In fact I did the crux move first go and probably could’ve chalked up half way through it. Whereas all my previous trys, I was struggling just to hang the hold, let alone do the move. So last night I really did see first hand how those mythical ‘grit conditions’ really do exist. Just with a drop in temps, made the whole thing feel loads easier. And to be honest I started questioning myself as to what the fuss had been all about! But it’s a very cool traverse and I’m sure I’ll go back and try and do it in reverse now- ha ha.

Right, time to do some measuring in the van and chop some wood!