Monday, 4 May 2015

Does Place Matter?

Not quite as dangerous as I first thought
It's a commonly-held view that the amount of progress made on a route is pretty much dependent on how much time you spend on it. This seems to make sense - to practise something you need to grapple, chew-upon and mull-over. But wait a segundo- that last bit - What does that mean?

Also a better route now the bolts are out
To mull, to think, to ponder. This is important with sport climbing and bouldering, but with bold Trad surely it's an even greater part?

3 star boulder problem start.
The photos above are of Luke Hunt - my old pal who I like to stay away from, as most of the times I climb with him I nearly get killed. So it was with some trepidation that I plodded up to Kay Nest with him. After fighting Ebola in Sierra Leone, he's now living in a van and proudly refers to his nomadic lifestyle as "the dream". Sipping coffee (no sugar though) on his sofas after a days climbing, with the new lambs bleating their heads off nearby, you can sort of see where he's coming from. Anyway...

He was his usual encouraging-self and was Tim Emmetesque in his " 'ave it Franks" attitude. "Get on it man, you have it wired". Tempting as it was and now with the crucial skyhook (see above photo), I decided I was a bit ill and would leave it for another day.

What I found particularly interesting over this bank holiday weekend though was that I felt no need to get on the shunt again on Monday. I drove straight back to Sheffield to do some work, reasoning that any progress I made from visiting the cliff, I could make back in Sheffield in my head. It got me thinking again about how much of these routes are manifestations of the mind. Indeed, the routes themselves do not exist at all without interpretation, simply being a collection of rock features without.

I left the route for another day and now every section is dialled, I'm simply waiting for it to become a necessity for me to climb the route. I need to feel like I can't not climb it. That feeling isn't very far away.

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