The lack of update could mean any number of things. It could mean I’ve not been climbing, it could mean I’ve been hardcore puntering, or it could mean I’ve gone on the rampage and mauled everything (although I should come out and say this third option is completely untrue!). Since last weekend I’ve actually climbing quite a lot, but my disease is seemingly unshakeable.

Lastmoveitus has continued to pervade my climbing, which is annoying. I’ve tried a whole feast of 5 start problems this week but not really managed to finish any of them off. The good news is that Tyler has been finishing them off like it’s an end of year the world sale. The list of hard problems continues to grow at an alarming rate and luckily I’ve got them all on film.

On Wednesday I tried Delire Onirique and surprised myself by actually crimping a hold! Initially I thought it was going to be too small to pull off but after a bit of help I did actually pull on it! I think the crimpy crux move is the first, with an easier but somewhat blind jump move further up that looks eminently drop-able. It’s one I didn’t have on my list but that has been added as it’s not only aesthetically superb but the moves on it are something of a dream. It requires a good level of tension as cutting loose results in failure on any of the first few moves. The only way it could be any better was if the crimp was a pinch, but that might just make it a meta problem!

Thursday was meant to be a day of moderates for two reasons. 1. I don’t have any footage of myself climbing and 2. So far it’s just Tyler doing 8’s and up. Thinking that I could just leave him up there with the 8’s and I could do a slew of amazing 7’s we set out. Unfortunately this plan didn’t come out quite as intended as I managed to fall from the last move of Irreversible and Envie D’ailles. Irreversible was intimidating with only 2 pads and 1 spotter, so as I was reaching up for the crux sloper and I felt my heelhook slip down I suddenly got a wave of fear. From the position I was in it would have been a very nasty landing, so I reversed a move and jumped. Envie D’ailles was just too sharp for more than a few goes so that one I can blame on skin.

Friday saw success (if you can call it that) in the form of some 7A’s and B’s. It was nice to actually get to the top of something, but unfortunate that they were problems that I didn’t really have a huge desire to do. They were very good however! Saturday was a day of rest and Sunday saw another mini rampage from Tyler – which you should read about it on his blog. It also saw lastmoveitus extend it’s all pervading claws to La Chose, when I fell only 1 move from a decent edge and an imminent topout.

The thing that I’ve been thinking about most is my mental state whilst all this puntering is going on. I’m not upset, depressed, sacked, or any other synonym’s you can think of. I’m waking up happy every day and I’m smiling and laughing then I’m failing. Either I’m deluding myself and everyone else around me, or I’m genuinely not raged by my performance. I don’t really get angry anymore so I can’t measure myself by that yardstick. I think if you’re getting angry at rock climbing then it’s a clear sign at a lack of perspective. Perhaps it’s more accurate to say that I’m happy but I’m tinged with disappointment. However, one of the great things about this sport is that the rocks aren’t ever changing, they are always there for when you want to return. Gecko will be exactly the same in 6 months time, the challenge will remain the same, and I’ll be able to try and test myself against it again. There is no room for rage and anger in this whole process, only an understanding of desire, motivation, and self. Whilst I clearly had hoped to break through to another level on this trip, the failure to do so is not permanent in any way. It’s a momentary set back and it doesn’t take a huge amount of perspective to see this. If you fail on a boulder problem one day, and your rage/anger/pride/ego causes you to give up then I think that’s a sorry state to be in. Having the mental resolve to never give up is what is necessary and it’s something which I think I have, so the battle may be nearly over, but the war will never end.

This week I also feel like my body has also reached the end of it’s trip. I’m really not feeling fresh each morning and my elbow has begun to ache like never before which is definitely a sign that the trip should be ending. I think some home cooking and rest won’t do me any harm.

My whole plan was to do easier problems for 10 days and then return to Gecko for a final assault on the penultimate day of my trip here. I’m leaving Friday morning so I was planning on Gecking it up on Thursday morning. I was going to break the ritual of a longtime and wake up at 8am so I could be there with the cool early morning conditions. This was my master plan that I thought would give me a good chance, but 2 days ago my right middle finger split open. It’s not split on the tip, but on the fold between the tip. You might think this is a good thing, but oh no. This is the EXACT spot I was trying to nurse better for Gecko as it’s this exact spot that has been bruised for months on end from trying Gecko. It’s such a specific spot that I think even with tape on it will be too painful to pull on. I’m not quite ready to give up though, so I’ll be going there on Thursday morning, I’ll be taping over my sliced joint, and I’ll be trying for one last shot at success.