26 is the only number between a square number and a cube number, which was first proved by Pierre de Fermat (genius mathematician!). 26 is also the maximum number of moves needed to solve a rubiks cube, which is neat. I used to be able to solve a rubiks cube in under 30 secs.

I always end up writing these blog entries late at night and usually with sore tips. Today is no exception as I have both sore tips and heavy eyelids. This morning I awoke to see grey skies and very light rain. It soon rolled in and the rain poured for a couple of hours, but there was still some hope as the wind was blowing and if it did stop raining we’d surely find dry rock. We headed to decathlon so I could buy a skipping rope which I’m planning on utilising every morning! Sara said I could lose some weight so I’m going to get on the case and get my heart rate up every morning pre breakfast. There’s no point lugging excess weight up all these boulders so if I can lose a couple of kg then all the better. After purchasing the rope we grabbed some lunch and drove down to Cuvier. It had stopped raining at the strong winds meant that many blocs were dry already. In fact, I would hazard a guess that it hadn’t rained that much at Cuvier since there was way too much chalk about… unless there is a man who waits until the second the rain stops and then heads out armed with plenty of chalk to whiten up every hold. It was only 2pm so I chilled and Sara climbed. She crushed more red problems and also did another 6A which is great for her confidence. I wonder when the day of 7A will arrive?

As the day wore on I decided to get my boots on and warm up. The plan was to warm up at Bas Cuvier, have a couple of tries on Apotheose then head up to Rempart. That plan went straight out the window within 10 mins. I have pretty much devised my warm up circuit now, which involves a red problem or two, then Carnage, Berezine, Carnazina, etc. I thought I’d have a quick go on the Carnage-Berezina Assis, 8A, link up as I hadn’t done it and I’m aiming to tick the block, but that quick go turned into a siege. There was a crucial point where it changed from a quick go to a must do siege attempt. Conditions weren’t great and so my skin wasn’t lasting long. I had lost just a little too much skin on the Berezina-Carnage assis link up so that I knew my goes on Kheops would be wasted, but I had enough skin left to fight on through with this problem. I had no choice but to press on. Conditions on the crux hold on Berezina were atrocious, as normally I can get it every go and get to the top but I was getting it and just sliding off, which was killing my skin. I also changed my hand sequence slightly so that when I got to the start of Berezina I was holding the holds a little lower. It made the move up easier on it’s own but wasn’t helping on the link. After way too many goes I realised just what I was doing wrong. Something so subtle that I fear it’s too difficult to explain. It had to do with the trajectory my hand and my body was taking throughout the move. Utilising the hand holds in method 1 would give my body and hand a certain trajectory, but method 2 gave it something different. I was using method 2 with trajectory 1. Not until I was really concentrating did I realise that this was the crucial mistake. Only a few goes later I was stood on top. I wished I’d realised earlier as I really have no skin left now on my right hand. I think I’ll have to take 2 days off and get intimate with the climb on. I only have Apotheose to do and I’ll have ticked that block which would be a pretty cool feat.

After that epic I was keen to get on something else, but light was fading fast and my skin was weeping the tears of a thousand virgin mary’s. I saw someone on Coup de Feel, 7C/+, the other day and thought it looked amazing so we headed over there for a quick burn. Within a few goes I’d done the crux move, and was one move from the top jug but I let go due to lack of carrot vision to see the footholds, and a fear of slapping for a hold that I thought was very very bad. It turns out the hold is good and I should have slapped, but that’s part of living and learning! I’ll get it done next time I’m at Cuvier (which I still think is all too often at the moment!).

Tomorrow the forecast is for rain, which I’ll welcome actually so I can let my skin recover. Also scheduled is the man to empty the septic tank, so let’s hope that works out without a hitch!