Phil claims the first tick of the season. Antonio and/or Arthur had claimed first tick, I think, a couple months back but those statements could not be verified. I understand their frustration. Such a fortuitous symbol may foreshadow a fruitful season for one Phil.
Strictly Ballroom got a little closer to becoming a finished project after Saturday’s session at Owl Tor. I hit the mono move off the dog (I love saying that), for the third time ever, and slapped the jug at the break. Though not a statement of undeniable success I did pull through the mono more confidently than ever. I knew I would hit the crimp and I new I would make a reasonable bid for the next jug. This has me psyched. Unfortunately one good pull on my ring finger totally split my skin. By my estimation I get one or two pulls per finger on the mono. If I alternate between ring and middle fingers, which is reasonable, I can get four attempts per day at most. That’s troubling. Oh well – Owl Tor’s just not giving away projects. Who knew?
Diet is important now. It’s always sorta important but now it might be the most important thing. I hate dieting. I hate that climbers need to be small. Men should bench press boatloads of iron, grow beards, eat meat, drink, pillage… the opposite of dieting. So I better get a project ticked this time around.
Skin has been an issue this season. I believe a fairy princess switched skin with me while I was sleeping. Alternatively, I could be convinced a diabolical pediatric surgeon grafted fresh foreskin onto my fingers. It’s super frustrating to cut short a climbing day because my stupid skin hurts, is on the verge of splitting, is fully split, whatever. So I’m attacking my digits with finger nail clippers, a pedicure sander thing, and stupid lotion all the time. At least one person per climbing session will ask me how the manicure is going. I know what’s causing Skinageddon. Route projects, by definition, demand a lot of repetition. I’m getting on harder projects this season. The holds are smaller and I pull on them harder. Their little features are wearing down my skin with specific intensity. The shallow mono and 2-finger pockets one finds without exception on Owl Tor cruxes is chewing up the ~1/2-inch of dermis around the distal interphalangeal creases of my ring and middle fingers. That stuff has to be healed to continue quality redpoint burns.
In the past I’ve noticed a correlation between climbing better outside and improvement in the gym. That is, after focusing on real route projects for a while and seeing some progress on that front I would also feel a bit stronger when I would drop by the gym. I do not recall the reverse holding true. That could be because I just never noticed, is the theory I’m working with lately. The local climbing gym really is a resource, I’m telling myself. I know strength acquired there does not strictly transfer well to climbing outside but there has to be some transference. I’ve been increasing my time at the gym in hopes the type of general fitness I know can be improved on plastic will provide a boost to the focused effort my route projects require. And my local gym just installed a campus board. I love campusing. It’s the purest form of climbing.