...I offer some pathetic explanation to this lassitude:
11 months ago, I went down to Dorset for a weekend of DWS, Andy's tasty home-brew and some hungover bouldering. The DWS was great, but the sun-burn healed much faster than the rotator cuff injury I picked up bouldering on Portland the next day. The recovery from this injury has been a long and winding road, without much logic as to what causes relapses from near full strength back to grumpily unstable.
|Sun kissed Lulworth; just about the last thing I climbed before destroying my rotator cuff|
Following the initial injury, I took a full fortnight off from climbing, something I'd not done for many years. After this, I undertook 2 months of weekly physio and made gradual improvement, but insufficient to commit to a planned autumn trip to the Red River Gorge, KY.
By the end of November, my shoulder had progressed well enough to visit Chulilla for a long weekend break.
|Beautiful Chulilla, as seen from the upper, dam end of the gorge|
My small amount of training for this trip was done very carefully, with the strong emphasis on remaining in complete control; i.e. static finger-boarding and foot-on campus routines, as directed by Coach Randall; hence, my expectations were very limited as I had no idea how well I'd be performing on rock...
...A retro-flash of the excellent Los Franceses (7b+) and on-sight of the bouldery El Muerto Matao (7c) constituted a highly successful re-acquaintance with rock on the first afternoon.
|The belayer's perspective: Liz on the start of Miguel Gomez (7a+ now there's less holds on the crux)|
This time around, I sketched wildly on the slopey tufa pinches where previously I had a solid sequence, but with the fitness gained from the super-boring foot-on campus sessions, I recovered at the jug rest, sneaked through the crux with improved beta before romping up the exposed crimpy headwall with a growing grin on my face. Clipping the chains, without feeling too pumped, I let my imagination run wild and gazed up at the 8c+ extension; maybe my climbing career wasn't over just yet...?
With no photos of me climbing in Chulilla, you'll have to make do with these couple of videos:
1) some random chap on Montana Magica (best viewed with the sound turned down)
2) The results of me drinking half a bottle of red wine to celebrate the redpoint - somehow I recovered enough to on-sight a soft 8a - El Agent Naranja - the following day!
Magica Montana red wine indulgence from Ally Smith on Vimeo.