Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Back to the Wall

After a week of not riding in to work at all, I'd put on a bit of weight - about 3lbs - which is a bit disconcerting really as I should be losing more. As an excuse the weather has been pretty bad so biking in would have been only for the really keen.

Unfortunately this meant that the crags were pretty well out of condition - Saturday dawned dull and damp and there was little chance of anything drying out, though it did get sunny for a while. Sunday looked like it would be a bit better but it would be doubtful if anything would be dry so it was off to the wall. First time for me this year, I'm not really in to walls, much preferring to climb outside if possible. As it happens this year hasn't been too bad weather wise and getting well in to November before being forced indoors is good going.

The wall of choice was Awesome Walls at Stockport which has some pretty big sections - up to 22m in places. One of the routines on climbing walls is falling practice - see Dave Macleod's book as to why - but jumping off at the top of the routes is a bit of a big step so there was quite a bit of test falling at lower levels, slowly working up to letting go at the highest lower-offs. To a traditionally raised climber it takes some getting used to - "the leader shall not fall" and all that - but it does work.

One big difference between natural crags and climbing walls, well the crags that I frequent, is that the climbing on indoor walls is much more sustained. On natural crags there is nearly always somewhere to sneak a rest, a little corner or slight easing in the angle. You just don't get that on indoor walls, it's all action from the word go. Still it should improve fitness. After four hours we were all a bit jaded so time to head home.

Back on the bike in to work yesterday - very cold though as there was a thick fog which lasted all day, it was just as cold on the way home, a great temperature inversion though in the evening light. This morning would have been another biking day but the lane had patchy ice which needed gritting (first of the winter) so I decided not to risk it. Hopefully we'll get some proper crisp days rather than the damp wet ones of the last week.

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