Spring shock to start the sport season, or not!
Each spring I start to think about getting fit and returning to rope climbing. I never find this easy though, the simplicity of bouldering keeps drawing me back. Which means despite good intentions of the odd day out in March/April it is usually July time until I start to abandon the pads for a rope. I hoped this year would be different, having completed most my boulder goals I thought it could be easier to focus on what I want to achieve on a rope. I even changed my fingerboard routine from max hangs and general messing around to a little more focus on PE repeaters/encores. As I said I find the transfer hard, but to help with motivation I managed a few early season sends off this year’s tick list. First was Zulu Wall, an amazing 8a on the Gower in South Wales. It was so good that it made up for the £6.20! toll bridge charges. In fact, I think finding a better 8a in the UK would be hard going indeed! It’s steep and follows a stunning flake line with a brilliant crux sequence at 2/3 height and is hidden away in your own private zawn. This was followed up with a couple visits to Cheddar, where I began to work through the more popular mid and higher graded routes on the north side of the gorge. Lion Rock, Remnant and Wave areas were my preferred crags and although not the UK’s finest rock it provided an enjoyable way to get some fitness back and get used to going for it on a rope again. For me this is the easiest and best way to get my fitness back up again getting in mileage on routes that you can redpoint in a couple goes. That way they are hard enough to push you but generally you don’t have them dialled so end up fighting at the top and you can still get several routes done in a day.
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