Since we arrived back in the UK after our trip to Australia and New Zealand, I have seen an awful lot of the inside of climbing walls. I feel a bit like I’m in Groundhog Day, looking up at the fingerboard and thinking – wasn’t I just here doing this? It’s all been thoroughly exhausting and a bit surreal. I’ve been at the mercy of Alex Barrows and David Mason; seems I’m quite the masochist. I’m approaching completion of four months of solid training with a few flurries on rock here and there. I’ve got around five weeks left before I start resting more, climbing on rock and seeing what has changed. Yep, Malham season is approaching.

For those of you who love it as much as I do, you will know the bubble of excitement I’m feeling that the spring season is getting closer and it’s nearly time to smear hopefully, grip holds that consistently face the wrong way, tense all the muscles in your body at once and squeal with the effort that this style of climbing notoriously demands. I can’t wait! Malham Cove is very much my happy place; even a bad climbing day is still a good picnic day on the catwalk.

Having said that, I am also nervous. I’ve put in some serious effort to get stronger. Endless fingerboard sessions, weightlifting (with awesome help from the guys at CPC), weighted pull ups, campusing, core workouts, board climbing and endurance based climbing is just some of it. I feel like I have done everything I can with the time available. But….what if it hasn’t worked? Or what if, after hours of toil, I’ve only marginally improved? I know I’m physically stronger but by how much? And will it translate to rock? I suppose this is the risk one takes with big efforts and maybe I’ll never be good enough to climb the things I want to…… but you don’t know unless you try and, well, as a back up, complete failure is probably quite character building.

I’m playing the long game on this route. This spring season has bite size goals attached. I don’t envisage that any red-pointing will be happening, let alone any sending. I’m hoping for improvement, for moves to feel a little less desperate and links to be a little longer.

If nothing else, I’m gunning for the final Simon Lee versus Austrian Oak belay tick. Now that will be historic.

See you other keen beans on the catwalk soon!

Some training pictures and videos:

Fingerboarding at the Schoolroom

Endless therabanding

More fingerboarding…..

Lifting weights with the hero that is Jill Whitaker


Woodology at the Schoolroom 🙂

This was my project move on the board at the Climbing Works for some time – finally I can do it!!

More weightlifting….

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