As I am sure you have noticed – I’ve been doing a lot of running lately…! This has been great, and while I have enjoyed it, it has taken a bit of a toll on the climbing – lack of practice and weaker upper body strength, unfortunately, do not make for a good combination getting back on the rock. I’m not too worried, I find your strength often comes back pretty quick when you start training.
This in mind I decided to make the most of the good weather on Sunday and, after a short trad session on at Stanage the day before, headed to Curbar for a spot of bouldering.
My immediate thoughts were as expected ‘This is impossible!’. I’ll admit it straight away – I’m not the best boulderer. Firstly I’m not very patient when I can’t do the first move to even get off the ground, and I also find it is all over so quickly before you even really get going.
The result is I nearly always pick trad or sport over bouldering. Today was time for a change! When I get into it, I do actually really enjoy it. Plus I discovered the benefits of bouldering as part of a group – the collective brain. It’s always good to get a range of opinions on a problem as there are often many ways of doing each problem.
We started up at the top right quarry section of the crag, which has a whole selection of interesting routes of various grades. After a frustrating start, I found myself starting to get back into it – things, like trusting your feet and spotting hand and foot, holds quickly get a bit rusty after a bit of time off!
Eventually, I was topping out on more than I was failing at! So toward the end of the day, we dropped down to the Trackside Boulder to work on Strawberries (a cracking problem and definitely one to tick off if you are climbing in the area) before setting off for some well-earned grub!
Despite trad winning over bouldering for me, I really want to keep heading out bouldering this winter as it certainly is a better option when you have less time and I need to work on my strength. This also lead me to think – I might give some night time bouldering a try with the head torch. I’ve not tried it before, but I think it would be really good fun. Plus its nearly Gritstone Season so it should be super grippy..!