nr's blog

Confidence 13 February, 2009

Filed under: General,Indoor climbing — nr @ 4:14 pm

A few weeks ago, a new climbing centre opened at Harlow, which while hardly on my doorstep (it’s 50 miles away) was still sufficiently close to be worth investigating. And I’m glad that I did, as it’s a very nice place indeed – quite high (about 13-14 metres I’d guess) with a nice mix of climbs. Some technical, some easy, some impossible, some thuggy and steep, some delicate and balancey. Very nice. But that’s not the main reason for writing this. No. In my visits to Harlow, something strange has happened…

For my first visit, I was pondering which climbs to have a go at, and just generally playing around. And according to the published grades (which it has to be said are a little inconsistent at the moment) was climbing about 5a-5b or so. After a couple of visits, for some reason I had an epiphany – I slipped high up on a route and didn’t actually die. In fact, it was a nice little lead fall, with a lovely little bounce and a giggle as I was caught by Kev. And suddenly, I didn’t mind falling. At all. In fact, I started to find it quite liberating, to have a go on a route that was so far out of my reach as to be laughable, but fall off it and see what happens. And, what happened is that in three weeks I’ve gone from an OK 5a climber to being confident on 6b, and happy to have a crack at 6b+

The grades themselves are immaterial. It’s the knowledge that with a bit of confidence, I can climb far harder than I previously thought. So to celebrate I’ve just been and booked up another weekend in Montserrat with the chaps at ClimbCatalunya – which I’m looking forward to greatly. You can, of course, expect my new found confidence to evaporate at the first sight of a sportingly bolted Spanish route, but for now, I’m enjoying the moment.

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