Sometimes my body still surprises me!

Since October last year I have been plagued on and off with tennis elbow, It got really bad in July and I hav ebarely been able to climb which is one reason why I have not had too much to blog about. Today my arm was a little sore but after warming up for about half an hour everything seemed to loosen up and my brain seem to switch to actually trying hard.

So having not really climbed let alone bouldered, I was glad to make it up to oranges at the beacon tonight as well as climb a good selection of other reasonably hard boulder. I suspect that the pain will return tomorrow, but I am back home doing my exercises and stretches.

Rain, Rain go away….

Given the weather this year, myself and many climbers linke me are in dispair, although I would argue that my elbow has been a bigger problem than the weather. In my 15 years since moving to North Wales I don’t think I have known a ‘summer’ like it. This year we have managed one 10 day stint of dry weather in March and another slightly shorter period in May/June. Other than that I have watched in horror the unending waves of frontal systems charging in off the Altlantic.

In total I have managed to climb outsode for pleasure about once in the last three months. So last night a friend suggested that we all pick a new sunnier place to live other than Llanberis and move. So where would you move to? I have often thought Chamberis a nice place to live but it cost far too much. Spain seems nice but I am not really into sports climbing, Aosta in Italy was suggested by another friend. However given my inability to master any language. In that I include English as any reader of this blog will recognise, which puts non-english speaking places out, although Chamberis sounds like it is an English enclave of france.

So recently I have  been applying for jobs in America. For which I give myself no hope, but we can all dream of sundrench rock. Combined with the road trip attitude to rock climbing states side.

Maybe I just need a holiday, but I usually get away without one because the climbing in north wales is usually better than this. I can’t remember a time when actually heading up the Pass to climb would have been the best option. I don’t deny it has been possible but recently only the quick drying routes have been in condition.

So please if there is anyone out there who can make the rain stop. Then do it for me as a personal favour.

School Boy Error… or 9 out of 10 climbers make the same mistakes….

I saw over on Dave MacLoed’s blog that he is recovering from being lowered off the end of the rope whilst sports climbing. Other than the embarassment he appears to have got off lightly, as he was carried away by a friend and has no broken bones. However stupid this may seem sat in the comfort of your home or office this is one of the major errors that many climbers have been guilty of making.

I know far too many people who have done this both in the UK and abroad. I have two friends that fractured their femurs in Spain lowering off a 30m route with a 50m rope (different years and palces!), meaning they fell nearly 10m. When I first started climbing on the Slate a good friend lowered Leo Houlding off the end of his rope, luckily he was only 4 metres up and being young bounced well.

Another of the UK’s leading trad climbers recounted a story of taking some massive air off a peak limestone route and when the belayer finally held the fall he was still 15 metres off the ground and there was only 6 inches of rope left before he would be in freefall.

Top tip is to always tie into the end of the rope or leave a good knot just over a foot from the end of the rope everytime you climb or better still get the belayer to tie in as well. Having known too many people make the same mistake I can sometimes seem like a OCD candidate when I tie a knot in the end of a rope before I leave the ground on a crag I know or think is longer than half the rope.

Anyway, the main point of this post was to make the joke that ‘9 out of 10 climbers make the same mistake‘. Although I don’t recall that being one of the mistakes in Dave’s book. I hope Dave gets well soon and forgives my humour at his expense.