Have I already made it quite clear that I really don’t know what I’m doing with regard to climbing? Yes? Good. As the following is an admission of complete idiocy on my part.
I popped into the local wall in Cambridge a couple of days back for an hours climbing before going to the panto with my family. (Cinderella at the Cambridge Arts Theatre. Highly recommended if, like me, you’re still a child at heart). I’d noticed a few nights ago that the soles on my shoes were no longer black, but more of a hazy grey colour (or gray color for our transatlantic friends). I didn’t really think much about this, but I just cleaned them up with a damp cloth and dried them to bring back the previous nice black colour. I was, to put it mildly, rather surprised when I skipped up a climb that only a week ago I’d fallen from three times when my feet skidded off from a little smeary patch.
Nobody had ever told me that you need to clean the soles of climbing shoes. I’m not sure exactly what I expected (magic climbing pixies that come out at night and look after my kit for me or something) but that’s something else learned. See? Told you I really don’t know what I’m doing.