"You can't always get what you want"
That's what the song claims, and it's right, especially if you're a climber and you live in Britain. Sometimes that's not such a big deal though, and you get to do something else fun instead...
Frozen February from Alex Barrows on Vimeo.
Once again I went to Wales, once again I didn't get to try Pilgrimage. This time because it was soaked with seepage. The consolation was a weekend in the mountains - catching up with some friends I've not seen in a while, climbing the classic power endurance 8A Mr Fantastic and even pottering on some slabs in the warm sunshine once the muscles were too tired for anything hard.
After a couple of days being ill and shivering in bed I got inspired by Chris Webb-Parsons' antics and took an afternoon off midweek in an attempt to Super Size Me biceps and lats. I didn't get what I want(ed). Again the the gods of giving it a go stepped in with consolation prizes, like the kind soul who used to give you a present on your brother's birthday when you were a kid, just so you wouldn't feel left out. I got close, I iced Hurricane like a cake, and - the best bit - I really enjoyed climbing grit for a change!
OK, so I didn't quite enjoy it enough to stick with it for the weekend, instead opting for some limestone crimping including a return to Rubicon. Last time I was on Kudos wall was back in October and I was going pretty well then, this time I was just hoping I wouldn't have gone backwards. It seems I didn't need to worry and the winter's bouldering has paid off - I felt stronger on all the problems, managing a 7C+ and The Press Low Left, previously given 8A+ but downgraded in the new guide which I think is fair enough. Whatever the grade, it must be one of my hardest blocs and it was awesome to feel all the training paying off, damn I love sessions like that! It did bring home just how bad I am at genuinely hard moves though - 8 move 8A? No probs. 1 move 7B+? No chance. Something to work on..