So, the traditional listing of all those aims one has for the coming year is here. Grades, routes, classics, competition etc. Well, for the first time in my life I can honestly say I don't give a shit about grades. I don't care if I onsight E6 or E7 or HS. If it's about your own improvement then grades don't matter and if it's about competing with others then you might as well give up now, as there will always be someone who has totally lost grasp in the point of climbing and trains like a maniac and is hence better than you.
No, my climbing aims this year are far more spiritual. I want the North York Moors to become monogomous, perhaps sharing themselves only with dooge et al, but certainly focused on me, like I am with them. Relationships are nothing without monogamy and I feel the lengths of adventure I was prepared to go to with the moors, deserves a little respect back. So more talking to the stone me thinks.
Once we have bonded and the Moors lets me explore that mythical state of ultimate friction, where every gram of possible resistance is available to me for upward propulsion, then it's time to abandon the no hands problems and strangery; and head on to the routes.
When it comes to routes, I am interested in the obvious new discoveries, such as the Smuggler's Terrace, but I am not looking for huge quantities of 'fast food'. In general I'll be looking for those really unique routes; routes like the magic scoop at Highcliffe or the footless rib at Danby. These lines are special. They are absurdly difficult, but not in terms of numbers, in terms of what your head and body has to do to climb them. It's not some equation you can work out and rationalise; and to climb them as such is risking seriously pissing off the moors gods permanently- which is never a good move.
So my aims this year are a bit less egotistical, but probably totally unobtainable:
*To climb a mythical line in the moors. Something that makes the first part of my life complete.
*To finish my apprenticeship with the moors and finally feel at peace with them.
*To climb those last routes that I never got round to doing- especially things like Stratagem
*To climb some of Ramsden's and Waterton's routes ground up.
I see a good year this year. I've had a great life so far and if I can avoid the dangerous moments it seems to just be getting better and better.