After work I had a session with my trainer at the climbing wall. We were doing an assessment of my abilities, which meant going and trying four climbs that I didn’t have much hope of doing, and seeing how I got on.
These were graded 19, 20, 18 and 20; as a comparison, a few months ago I would too out at 15 and be surprised if I could do anything above a 12 without a lot of effort.
The first one was pretty horrid: one tiny foothold and two little holds to pinch, after which you had to grab a small hold to the side of a volume without falling off the wall. I spent half an hour on this problem last week, and never progressed beyond the third hold. Today, I concentrated on keeping my body close to the wall and somehow hauled myself to one hand away from completing it. So that’s something to go back to.
The first 20 was on an overhanging wall with some tiny handholds – I could do the start, and then fell off, because I’m not bendy enough.
On the 40° overhang there was a hard 18: it went straight up the wall and so I failed to keep my hips close, and spent most of my time dangling from my hands, until gravity took its course. But I made it to within two holds of the top.
Finally, another 20, with two awkward little holds, a sloper, and then a volume I fell off. After these, my arms fell ruined, devoid of any strength, but I was at least convinced that these were within reach. It’s heartening to see how my strength has improved, even though I need to spend a lot more focus on reading routes more carefully, rather than just gung-ho charging them.
And so to bed