nr's blog

Two little words 14 February, 2008

Filed under: Indoor climbing — nr @ 9:24 am

There are, of course, lots of words that will strike terror into the heart of any man.

  • “Have you forgotten it’s my birthday?”
  • “Do you know what the speed limit is on this section of road sir?” [1]
  • “I’d like to arrange an appointment to talk about your overdraft”

etc. etc. However, last night I found another two that could be added to that list for climbers. Let me set the scene: I’ve not been climbing for a couple of weeks. In fact, I’ve not done any kind of exercise, and have eaten an inordinate amount of very good food, courtesy of being away on my hols for a while. So, last nights trip to Hatfield was always going to be a bit of a struggle, as I’ve put a few pounds on that I needed to haul up the wall with me. We warmed up with a couple of 5a routes. One easy, that was despatched with no problems at all, and one a bit more technical, which I needed to put my foot on another route at one point, purely because there was a hold from the other route in exactly the place I wanted to put my foot for balance. Anyhow, Sol then showed me up a rather physical 5b he’d completed the week before on top-rope, and fancied a go at leading. He managed it, but I could tell that it was a struggle for him, and that I was about to struggle even more. To cut a long story short, I didn’t have a chance. I struggled and puffed and panted, thrashed, wriggled, and finally gave up on the 5b route, and grabbed the 5a that was next to it. By the time I arrived at the top I was sweating, shaking, and had a distinct case of Elvis leg. I clipped the lower off, and shouted down “Take in!” to Sol as I was ready to drop. Back up the wall came a plaintive reply:

“Hang on!”

[1] A friend of mine was pulled for speeding many many years ago on an old RD350YPVS. The officer greeted him with a cheery “having trouble taking off were we Wing Commander?”

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