climbing diary

  1. Changes - Asking the right questions by Eliot Stephens

    Changes - Asking the right questions by Eliot Stephens

    One of the interesting things about being able to return to bouldering areas year on year, is the ability to see change. Change in the climbing environment. Change in the boulders. Change in the community, and of course change in yourself. For me, seeing the changes in myself, and the climbing areas often provide the most reflective moments of any trip. Ultimately this is what keeps me coming back to climbing for more.

    From a performance standpoint, returning to boulders you have tried through the years and not done is always a chance to learn. It can be a satisfying moment, seeing a move which was once simply too hard, brought into possibility in a matter of moments. This realisation is without doubt one of my favourite aspects of climbing. It’s also a feeling which is only given with hard work, and an attention to the detail of the move itself. Sometimes it’s a simple thing; “I need to be stronger on pinches”. Other times it’s more subtle; “my body needs to be strong in this quite specific position which only uses this tiny muscle”. But there is always something to learn. When you return to the boulder for the 5th year, and it’s still not possible, you begin to ask more questions; “is this a technical thing?”, “do I need to spend more time on this style of hold or move?”. Finding ways to improve for these problems is what keeps me going, and brings me back to these areas. The broader problem solving aspect of how to improve can be very addictive. You constantly want to know if you’ve improved, addressed weaknesses and created new strengths. Vecchio Leone in Brione was the problem that gave me this experience on this trip to Switzerland. My ability on pinches relative to my last attempts years prior is night and day, and I suppose I have the School Room's famous problem ‘Milk It’ to thank for this. Cheers Malc.

    Seeing changes in your mentality is perhaps even more satisfying than changes in physicality. Being content with spending several days on a pr

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  2. The best crag in the world?

     
    I write this Blog having just got back to our Gite in Gap after a great day climbing in Ceuse. I’ve only ever had 1 day at Ceuse and that was way back in 1995. I am now wondering what I have been doing with my life for the past 20 years! Many claim it to be the best sport-climbing cliff in the world and it would be hard to argue with this claim. Bullet hard limestone, stunning location, world class routes in all directions and at least on the routes I climbed today a definite old school feel about them. We headed up to the Berlin sector and warmed up on a technical 6b+ face climb that really reminded me of the Styx wall at Buoux, keeping you on your toes, literally speaking all the way to the belay. Blocage Violence and Changement le Look both 7b+ quickly followed. Does sport-climbing get any better than this? Both uber-classic routes and the latter a gift from the French legend and early Ceuse pioneer Patrick Edlinger. I absolutely love this style of climbing, which requires good technique, strong fingers, a steady head and is no gift at the grade either. Proper old school sport-climbing and an antidote to the over bolted, over graded and bland sport-climbing often found elsewhere in Europe. Roll on tomorrow…
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  3. Rainshadow Film

    I apologise for bombarding you with stuff about my recent ascent of Rainshadow but I promise this will be the last post. I still find it hard to believe that I managed to redpoint this route and that today I am uploading a film of the actual ascent. The incredible thing about this is that today is the 14th June which is the date I climbed my first 9a Hubble 25 years ago. I really couldn't have scripted this better.

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  4. Ben Moon's Climbing Diary From 1990 weeks 10 & 11

    So from my Rainshadow Blog a couple of days ago we are jumping back a quarter of a century to 14th June 1990 when I climbed Hubble, my first 9a. To be honest I can't believe how it's all worked out because I couldn't have planned it better if I tried and I can't believe I am writing this.

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  5. Ben Moon Climbs 4th Ascent of Rainshadow (9a)

    Yesterday I realised the dream I had of climbing Steve McClure’s classic 9a route Rainshadow. Here's the story of what led me to begin redpointing the route that could possibly be the hardest route I've ever climbed...

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