Petestack Blog

30 July 2009

Upside-down off Diagonal

Filed under: Climbing — admin @ 11:31 pm

Tonight I was climbing with Al Halewood on Scimitar Buttress at Polldubh, where we did Nutcracker Chimney (steeply awkward HS 4b, and Al’s lead because I’d done it before… in 1990!) and Diagonal Crack (simply steep VS 4c, and my lead).

Now, Al’s already got a very prompt report with some photos up on his blog, but what he doesn’t tell you is that I fell off Diagonal. And quite spectacularly after building myself a nice little nest of gear at the crux (so did I really call down ‘sorry about the gearfest’?), latching the last big hold of the last real move above that, finding that my hand just didn’t want to stay where I’d put it, catching a leg in the ropes and being unceremoniously flipped to take the first upside-down fall of my life (beautifully fielded by Al)! After which I got straight back on it and finished it somewhat more stylishly in the full knowledge that the move I fell from wasn’t even that hard…

So perhaps I might add that I’ve been having a bit of finger/hand trouble recently (RSI, arthritis, whatever, I don’t know) and consequently finding my grip suspect from time to time, but I’m also aware that I’ve caught the rope below me round a leg before and need to watch that in future. On the plus side, while it’s naturally deflating to take the fall at a grade that’s technically quite straightforward, it’s almost liberating (when I hate falling at all at all) to know that I can take a fall like that onto good gear from steep routes without getting hurt when feeling better about that might (strangely enough) help me to stay on next time!

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