Falling off a lot

Climbing the fun Pooh Bear (V0 4c) at Froggart Edge.

The other weekend I fell off more than usual.  I’ll have a go at harder problems every time I go bouldering as a way of trying to improve my climbing.  About a third of the time I complete the problem, another third of the time I fall off every time, and the remaining third I’m just baffled about how to actually do the climb.  However, this time, I fell just off again and again.

Me climbing the problem Teddy (V0 4c) at Froggart Edge.

I’d decided to go bouldering at the Pinnacle Boulders at Froggart Edge because it has a mix of easier problems (described as ideal “starting points for the beginner” in the Rockfax Peak Bouldering guide), and problems at the high end of what I can climb on gritstone.  I thought that I could warm up and practice movement on the easier problems, and then progressively push my grade on the harder problems.

The Valkyrie Pinnacle at Froggart Edge.

The first part of this plan worked.  I had fun climbing some interesting and easy problems.  Then I switched on the harder problems, and began to fall off.  For example, I came off the problem The Northerner (V2 5c) repeatedly.  I kept going because it’s a stimulating problem, and I felt I was close to completing the crux move.  But, in the end, I decided to climb something else because too much of my fingertips was getting left behind each time I slipped off.

Trying to climb The Northerner (V2 5c).

I managed to avoid becoming frustrated at all this falling off by continuing to remind myself that I was probably learning something each time I failed.  I also reminded myself that I had managed to get up one problem I found challenging – Starter Motor (V1 5b).  This helped me to enjoy myself, and so come away at the end of the day tired, scraped and sweaty, but still satisfied.

Trying to climb the problem Flatulence (V0+ 5a) at Froggart.

4 thoughts on “Falling off a lot

  1. Yeah – it’s important to finish on a good note, i.e. a success! But you’ve made me think how much I’m slacking really as I’ve suspected for a while that I’m refusing to fall off and, if I meet problems, I’m giving up instead. Mind you, I have no real ambition to improve as such – more just keep going at my age!

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