Pit boulder, Ogwen.

Although I didn’t intend to I’ve freed myself from my projects. I was feeling tired and uninspired so I checked out a boulder that I thought might be dry (it was raining). I’d done Harvey Oswald as a stand start some years ago, but I’d forgotten what a good-looking boulder it was. The sit start to Harvey Oswald was fun but painful. I came back on the second day for the traverse which looked really good, with a couple of  nice fine grained slopers mixed in amongst the crimps. The rock has a pale, whitish colour, which reminded me of Swiss granite, also having the effect off brightening up the atmosphere around the boulder and lightening my mood. I shared the second day with some Robins that hopped around picking up my crumbs and two local climbers. They left when the rain really set in, but I had a good feeling and went back to the van for coffee. The rain stopped. I’d worked out all the moves, apart from the finish and done a couple of links so I felt like it was worth a go. My first attempt finished a move short, in pain and frustration. I rested for half an hour, chatting to the Robins and generally feeling moderately happy, nothing to lose and after an intense 30 seconds found myself at the jugs, the last moves were a bit improvised, in fact entirely improvised as I moved further left than intended using some holds that I hadn’t expected to use. Watching the video I see my thigh brush the mat, but for my purposes I’m not going back to do it again, I can live with that dab! For me I surprised myself, I tried really hard, pulled really hard.

I can’t muster any introspection, I was simply very happy to get up some problems this weekend; maybe the projecting can go too far. Chatting with the guy and girl I met at the boulder was interesting; we talked about the lack of videos showing projecting/failure. They had both climbed a lot and had spent time on projects (all winter in one case) and both got injured and/or fed up. So both highly motivated, yet both slightly cynical and depressed at representations of bouldering in media. They thought that projecting, in fact a reality for so many wasn’t really shown in videos and magazines. Maybe UKB type forums reflect a truer reality, but that’s definitely not mainstream. The video clips we see, seem effortless, devoid of struggle. We wondered how this would affect the younger generation, maybe making them impatient for success and frustrated if it doesn’t happen. It was good to share the boulder and share some thoughts on how this activity is getting portrayed. For us at that point in time, three people under an overhang in N Wales in the rain, I felt that it was a good vibe, far from the send, soft, send, soft mentality!

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