so after a fantastic trip to Yosemite last Autumn is was very difficult coming back to the UK. After long or successful trips I’ve found its pretty usual now to have a dip. However I wasn’t quite expecting to have so much of a dip through last winter. I came back from Yosemite pretty broken. I’d put a lot of work into the trip, a lot of training and even more effort when I was out there. From freeing three big walls I was completely knackered.
Last route, last pitch, toasted
Back in the UK I didn’t feel like much climbing, inside or out and I certainly didn’t feel like training. I had no projects, no objectives and minimal psyche. I’m a very goal driven person so this sort of drifting state felt pretty hard. What’s even worse is the continuous question of, ‘so…whats next?’ nightmare of a question that. basically I haven’t got a bloody clue! I did other things like complete my drawings, but in reality I should have done some more productive stuff away from climbing (probably should have played more table tennis).
Anyway, December, January and Feb all plodded by, and I virtually did no climbing. In mid march I got offered a last minute 4 day trip to Spain. minimum pressure, I thought it would be good to go and get boxed. I got dreadfully pumped, it was brilliant fighting to absolute max. On the trip I fell short and managed a tick list of …nothing.
A trip to Norway to speak at the Ballenstein (thats Ballsack) Climbing Festival was offered to me and Tom, which cheekily offered the chance to go and try Nico’s route ‘Recovery Drink’. I thought i’d better do some climbing or else i really would be a flop when it came round to pulling hard. Where better to go then the Tor. I hadn’t been for 3 years, so a little bit of a shock to the system first time back. In the end I managed to polish off Mecca Extension and Kaabah, I think thats me done for a further 3 years, i can never seem to stick to difficult sport climbing for sustained periods of time, I ride with the motivation when its there, but it usually disappears or gets distracted by other things after a few months.
Although I’m sure the sport climbing would have helped in Norway, I didn’t really get to test it out due to Norwegian conditions. Basically, baltic, wet and windy…oh and Tom getting us lost, as usual
So through dabbling with the sport climbing stuff I’d realised what I really wanted to do was head back to Yosemite. Tom wasn’t keen so I had to find someone else who would be stupid enough to put up with my stupidity. Dan was the man. I actually didn’t know Dan Mcmanus that well, but decided to ask him anyway, he was keen. So we were left organising a big walling trip having never climbed together…
Back in June we headed to Ireland for a week of trad climbing, to test the water. No point in chilling on a big wall for 7 days if it ain’t going to be chilled! Ireland was a result and before we were even back , flights to America were booked. We seemed to be a pretty good team, racking up a good ticklist by the end of the trip. Probably the highlight for me was onsighting The Complete Scream. Hooks, Gaffa Tape and Blue-Tac rack, an interesting combo.
5 hooks :(
So thats 2015 in brief. I’m psyched for in 2 weeks time, but also worried at the fact that Yosemite seems to be falling apart at the moment and its predicted to be a massive El Nino year (and unfortunately I’m not talking about the route, but the rain…)
Lets see what happens!