Some say that a week off is good for one's climbing, but I really don't think my body responds well to it at all.
Today I was psyched to get out on rock after finally getting over my back pain. The rain fell in fine misty sheets as it so often does in Glendalough Valley.
Quite honestly, I'm sick of sitting under boulders waiting for the rain to stop.
We chose our problems well though and I had a smart little tick at the beginning of the day.
We warmed up in the Ruins area which is composed of some nice warm up boulders scattered in amongst the ruins of buildings inhabited by god knows who, god knows when.
The lake that began to form about a year ago beneath the 'Plum' boulder seemed today to have expanded, but it's not actually a permanent feature, so it's a case of see how it is on the day.
I started well actually - the aretes of the Plum boulder caused me little bother and I was quite psyched to head over and try 'Another Duffy Problem' (6c). I tried it a year ago during a night session with Diarmuid, James, Dave and Ped etc and was shut down totally...
The aretes of the Plum boulder are nice balancey vertical chilled out climbing... not too taxing and nice little warm ups -
'Another Duffy problem' is an over hanging monster of a first move and I realised just how out of shape I am. I felt like a sack of spuds.
Barry and Kev sent the problem like it was childs play and it left me eager to get back to the board and get strong. I want off these pain killers and onto getting in shape again.
Shane was eager to try Quality Control (6c) so we headed over in the direction and the lads set up camp. Kev immediately went over and got on White Arrow (6b). I almost flashed that problem on the same night I'd been shut down on 'Another Duffy Problem'.
I was keen to get on it again and dragged my boulder pad over. Paul followed and the two of us worked the problem. I seemed to feel sluggish on everything - lock offs, throws, tension... the lot... I've to regain it all.
I had 3 attempts and said I'd leave it, I felt pumped and didn't want to throw the rest of the day away on that one line. Paul then sent the line and admitted himself to a dab brush of the pads - but in no way did the dab aid his send and it was enough to spur me on for one last attempt. I had to crank at every move but I did it, and had to wonder about the psychology of seeing someone do a problem right before one sends it oneself.
We moved over to the Egg boulder and Barry tried his as yet, unrepeated 'Egg Traverse' (7b/7c?). He did well on the first attempt, but came off as the rain ruined the holds.
Shane had stayed over at Quality Control (6c) and Paul went over to see how progress was going - Shane had sent the line!! Fair dues!
I was psyched to try Tims Mantel (6c) - I know I can do it, and I thought it would be a good little confidence booster for my first session back.
Then it really started raining.
Barry got back on his traverse and fell between the pads onto a rock off some wet holds. I was worried about him, but he walked away ok in the end.
We all huddled under a rock and waited for the rain to soak everything and maybe pass over. I just thought, GIVE OVER!! This Winter season has been marred by rainfall at the weekends, which is the time when most people are out and about to climb.
Piss off rain!
After a muddled session on 'The Cherry' (during which I went off to establish the moves of 'Afro Left (7a) in my head) we all ended up over at Big Jane and some of us worked Andy's Arete (7a+)... in the wet and some of us worked 'The Grove' (7c) ... in the wet.
Finally we went home.
This week is going to mark the start of a major effort at the board to improve my climbing further - today has only been fuel.