Monday, 23 May 2011


Since the fall last year I knew I was going to have to come back to climbing and try better my E7 effort. I was almost happy to leave things at this level but I knew after the accident if I wanted to lay down the demon of fear I would have to push on further than before. I didn't realise at the time how much farther this would take me. Since I got back on my feet and back to the crags my whole life has been devoted to trying to find an E8 I could potentially climb. I have trained harder than ever and simplified my life even more by cutting more away, to the point I now think I have nothing more to be rid of, people, possessions etc! At times it is difficult keeping focused though and I have hated myself on more than one occasion for lack of discipline, a recent example being a near descent back to borderline alcoholism. Disgusted with my weakness I have poured everything into getting this E8 in the bag. What's really important to yourself becomes increasingly clearer in the build up to these moments in life, for me only having those and that which are truly important is the only way for me to safely (relatively) continue to live this way. Not as easy as it sounds unfortunately, it's a hard balancing act.

Focus as it should be if I was a Zen master

Focus as it more realistically is in my life!!

The physical side of this focus is easy, it's the mental side I find really taking it's toll, no sleep, no focus in any other aspect of my life, the usual but magnified. I've been on four specific trips to Ireland now to climb Tolerance and had to cancel many more at the last minute due to weather. I think it's because I feel for the first time I'm truly pushing myself hard and not just pushing my luck, though there's still a large element of that. In the past when I've done harder things there's a good percentage in my favour but now it's maybe beginning to tip away from 50/50. Risk etc are things I can deal with, what's really getting to me is building up to going at this route then stepping down again when the weather craps out. If it was safe I'd be happy to remain patient but when I'm having to talk myself into accepting the potential cost of my actions and get into the frame of mind to take big risks but then have no outlet for it and have to re-adjust to normality is doing my head in. i really need to dump this demon...............

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Scottish Summer

Headed down to the Buachaille again today for Johann to log more scrambling days for an upcoming assessment. We saw the forecast but thought we would go have a look anyway. We arrived in fairly okay weather so decided it was worth a try, probably through desperation to climb on rock again as it's pissed down relentlessly for 3 weeks now!

Trying to keep a sense of humour at the base of Broad Buttress while eating a soggy bagel!!

Sense of humour failing in strong wind, hail and sleet, at least it keeps the midges away!

Johann laughing at the ridiculousness of our summer weather. 5 minutes after this we had to crawl to the ridge as the wind was ferocious and kept knocking us over, good times!! It's to be worse tomorrow (130mph apparently) day at the Ice Factor I think?