Monday, August 29, 2011

Post-Midnight Post

There is nothing extraordinary about this post, really, because most of my posts are post-midnight anyway. What is odd about me writing right now is that it is really very late, I'm feeling rather tired, it's been raining for a few hours (which is perfect for sleep!), I'd been in my very comfy bed, tucked under my very soft and fluffy comforter... but I couldn't sleep. My mind wouldn't rest. Many times I'd complained about these occasional sleeplessness and each time, my friends would ask what I was thinking about. Well... stuff! These stubborn thoughts - they just come and go (or come and stay) as if they own my mental space and my consciousness isn't mine to command. Tonight, specifically, I'd been involuntarily thinking about climbing.

Perhaps it is that the climbing gym I go to will be closed the entire following week, so that I will not get to climb until the week after that. I hate the prospect of missing my weekly climbs. I simply do! So, I guess it is when I can't have it that I can't stop thinking about it. Or perhaps it is that I'd been talking about climbing shoes, climbing rope and climbing places for a good part of the evening, that the moment I closed my eyes, I saw walls. I saw the holds, I visualised the movements, I imagined feeling the triumph of completing a lead route, clipping into that final anchor. I'm totally obsessed.

So, I figured - if I can't fall asleep because I can't stop yearning for a good climb, I might as well get out of bed and do something about it. Climbing is out of the question, but writing about climbing might just get it out of my system. It is worth a shot.

It seems I'd written more on lead climbing than climbing in general, but in truth, it is what we do least frequently. The reason is we don't have our own rope. Sure, it doesn't cost an arm and a leg to rent a rope, but that not-too-hefty amount every week could add up to quite a substantial sum in the long run. The problem with climbing lead only once in a month or so is that we tend to forget the way to solve route. We're very inexperienced still, and unlike the expert climbers, we cannot figure out moves just by looking at the holds. Quite frequently, while on the wall, by the time I'm done thinking about how to get to the next hold, I'd be too tired to do it. One way to get around this problem is to repeatedly attempt a route, such that I become familiar with the holds and the moves required, so I can finish it before my arms give out. That, however, becomes quite an impossible task with the lead routes, since we don't lead every week. We really ought to seriously think about buying a standard length of rope. I want my own rope. I want nicer climbing shoes too, although mine are still good. I want so many things. And they are all on my mind right now!

But that's not all. There's this rather severe overhang section on this lead route we'd attempted a second round. I'd attempted it three times in two separate climbing sessions, and each attempt ended at the second last hold before the dreaded overhang. My climbing buddy, being the stronger and more skillful of the two of us, made it there, but couldn't get past the first hold, both the times he attempted. So, after he got down, we consulted one of the regulars. He was more than willing to help. He said, "Left hand that hold, right hand on the other one, put your right foot where your right hand is, cross your right hand to the next hold, then left hand to the pincher..."

Wait, did I hear correctly? Pincher? Who on earth puts a pincher on an almost-roof overhang?! I never thought I'd encounter the words "pincher" and "overhang" in the same statement! How could I ever hang on to a pincher at that angle? How?

That's another.

Of course, there are still more... but I think I'm ready to go to bed once more, and try lull myself to sleep.

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