Since last October, it has rained. Almost constantly. And we’ve had all sorts of rain, from typical relentless Welsh drizzle to torrential downpours that have laid waste to other parts of the country. The simple fact is though that this winter, we’ve had neither snow, nor cold dry days, both of which are conducive to decent bouldering days. Even Andy and Tim were forced away from Switzerland last month after too much snow, such is the nature of this winter’s unusual weather patterns. Instead, we’ve been making do with indoor sessions, getting mini-sessions in when we can, and watching beaming smiles on the faces of the paddlers who wore the same frowns we have now back when we were lapping up the glorious conditions last spring/summer.
Finally, this week, things seem to be looking up slightly. It’s not quite officially dry, as the evenings still seem to drown the rocks, roads and optimism, but daytimes have improved more than a little, with a couple of really quality days in the last week or so. Is this finally the beginnings of a dry spell?! We can only hope, and pray that when the dry weather is here, we’re not stuck at work and are able to get out and enjoy it! And as we creep slowly into March, the days draw longer and the prospect of after-work sessions on the crags seems more and more possible; ticklists will soon appear and i will undoubtedly start talking of my “plan to get round Cyrn Las throughout the summer – going to the lower crags, with the shorter walk ins, when the days are short and slowly working up to the top to Lordy Lordy when they get longer!” (I’ve been saying this for about three years and it never happens…).
And after a winter in the Indy Aggregate, i feel strong enough to be able to get some good ascents. Coming 10th was quite an achievement (if i do say so myself) considering the calibre of competitors, and it seems to have paid dividends to my general fitness. Purchase of the book Gimme Kraft has helped too. A trip to Font in March now seems fortuitously timed if i’m to be getting out closer to home, as my shoulders, forearms and fingers are all in good condition at the moment, hopefully to get on the obvious and finally put it to rest (read some old posts if that makes no sense).
So lastly for this week, while browsing the Five Ten website, i came across an article about Dave Graham climbing in Australia. It wasn’t going that well, in climbing terms, and at one point he describes a poor return of three dry days out of the first eighteen! What impressed me was his attitude to such conditions and the film below shows exactly how he managed to make the best of the situation. It’s possibly something we should all think about more when waiting for that hallowed dry spell.