If yesterday was a micro session in preparation for today’s send fest, then today’s session was a pico session! I ‘d planned to go up and do Jack’s Broken Heart then move on to something else, but that wasn’t what magic wood had in store for me. After a slightly longer warm up, maybe 15-20 minutes, I had a go. I got to the heel hook move, after which the problem is in the bag, but my heel fell off because I hadn’t placed it well enough. My skin was already hurting, but I knew it was only a matter of the heel staying on for one go and it was in the bag. My next go was unsuccessful for the same reason, so I then changed shoes in the hope that it would give me the edge. It didn’t, my third go resulted in failure and that was it. My skin was screaming, to the point where I just couldn’t pull on again. Even I was dismayed by this abysmal performance. I hate being held back by my skin, but it’s a feature of rock climbing that I have very little choice over. I’ve whinged about it before, but this is one of the things I was alluding to when I was saying that climbing can’t take all the energy I have to give. I did try to go and climb on slopers afterwards, but even they were too much for my weak skin. It is frustrating in many ways because I enjoy rock climbing more than I enjoy resting, but I appreciate that resting is also an important part of rock climbing. I think I just need more and more time on rock to try and improve my skin as much as I can. When I come off the back of training for weeks on end on my board, it’s foolish to expect my skin to hold up well on rock. I just need to find the optimal balance of training and climbing to nurture good skin so when I go away it’s not the thing that is holding me back. That or find some secret magic formula! Tomorrow is now scheduled as another rest day, in the hope that my skin is ready for an assault on Tuesday. Then I want to leave to go back to the Martigny area for a few days before having to return to the UK. I just want to have another session on Radja and also a go on Permanent Midnight because it is one of the best things I’ve seen.

I feel like 2007 was a year of failure for me in Magic Wood, but 2008 is more the year of punterdom. I’m simply not climbing well, even though I feel strong, stronger than last year. That is why this year isn’t a year of failure, it’s a year of punterdom.

My shoulders are also absolutely killing me today. They really aren’t in good shape and if they’re not better by Wednesday I think it will be a waste of time going back to Martigny, which is a real shitter. Damn my weak body!