Anyone who knows Fergs will know about the Swedish Combo - a pair of 17 routes set by a young Swedish girl who worked there who happened to be the girlfriend of an Indonesian prince (who I used to boulder with occasionally and had no idea of his royal status - nice people both). So I'm belaying on the route next to these, and there are a couple next to us, the woman climbing, the man belaying. She had got most of the way up, and was struggling to make a move that would take her up over a ledge on to the last few holds. It's a weird balancey move that involves natural feature and she hadn't seen the large toe hold beside her right hip. Anyway, her partner was at the bottom, yelling up at her, telling her exactly what to do and how to do it. Every time she reached for a hold he hadn't pointed out to her, he went "Nonono! To your left!" etc. He also, at one point, told her she was cheating. She was up there on this one move the entire time that my partner was climbing. (Also, the hold he was telling her to go for was the wrong one)
I was standing next to this guy, fuming at him quietly. I mean, there's help and there's help, you know? And after she finally made the move and came down, I heard him tell her "Oh yeah, I've done a couple of 19s!" *cough* I saw them a couple of other times around the place and it was always the same scenario.
However, thinking back to my very early days of climbing, my partner of the time was a bit like that too. I used to find it incredibly frustrating to have someone yelling at me to "Just go for it! Nono, not that one! If you touch any other holds you're cheating!" There were times when I'd be almost in tears with frustration from feeling pressured to do better, be better than I was. But you know, if it hadn't been for him and his determination that I should 'do it properly', would I be climbing as well now? It's a principle thing. Some folks are quite happy to just grab whatever's there and not challenge themselves. I have this ingrained, almost pathological aversion to using anything other than the route that's laid out. I mean, what's the point otherwise? And I have someone just like that guy last night to thank for that. He still caused me to mutter to myself about control freaks though. And that partner stopped wanting to climb with me when I started being able to do climbs that he couldn't.
I'm rediscovering my love of bouldering. Last night we did an eliminate challenge, whereby you go lower and lower on the wall until your spotter is literally kneeling (yes you do need a spotter - broken tailbones are no fun). We tried this last week too, and nobody made the full length of the wall (about 10m). This time, two of us made it, there and back. Everybody else managed the crux move as well. So now we have to find a harder challenge. I'm thinking bridging the doorway. *nods*
Reminder to self: Try to avoid hitting self in face when doing hand swaps.
I've noticed how traversing wears you out way faster than climbing. When you climb, you're basically (ridiculous simplification ftw!) getting your feet up, then reaching for the next hold, pushing up, rinse repeat. Traversing involves a lot more balance and control, because you're moving sideways, up, down, always trying to stay in balance and spreading your arms and legs wide. Consequently you have to use a lot more core muscles, experiment with handgrips, and generally pretzel yourself more. And this, for some reason, adds up to burning a lot more energy a lot faster. It's awesome. I can feel the muscles in my back today, and it's nice. *stretches luxuriously*
Oh yeah, and I love my shoes. *hugs shoes* I can see shoes in a couple of other people's future too.. Personally I recommend La Sportiva Miuras or Flashes - in terms of comfort and durability. I don't think they make Flashes any more but if they are available on backorder from old stock, they are so worth it.
It was really cool to see so many people keen to make climbing a regular thing. It was also awesome to see the improvement in skills from last week to this week. Next climbing I vote for Monday or Tuesday, whichever day more people are free.
In less climber-geek news, congratulations to the folks who got jobs yesterday. It seems to be a week for it. *crosses fingers for one more person*
And yesterday, my manager approached me and said "We're not going to have the information you need to finish the project before you fly out, so can you make me a list of instructions so I can do it?" *grin* Part of me takes glee in the thought of telling my manager what to do. Part of me is going "What if she messes up?" But then I think "Nope, not my problem, I'll be in warmer climes!" - and that makes me smile. 9 days to go!
Andandand, Charlotte is making lips! Whee!
In other extreme sports news, I want ONE OF THESE!!! (movie) *drools* Seriously, I could think of lots more uses for it than just snow..