What fun, summer is around the corner after one of the wettest starts to the year on record. Then rather suddenly Covid-19 comes along, infinitely worse to climbers than any access nightmare and its shotgun wielding landlord, or bird-ban and the pecking insanity that comes with waiting for it to be lifted.
Climbers generationally have been a bit naughty when it comes to abiding by rules they deem silly, such as whose land is whose and why you can’t have a full body wash in a public toilet. Since then climbing has become far more popular in recent years and far more accepted, as climbers show far more respect for the crags, the land and the communities they visit.
That being said, a summer of being locked indoors looms over us, as our Spanish counter parts are being chased from remote crags by police waving sizeable fines and the determination to attach them. So if worst fears from a climbing perspective are realised what can we do?
In short, loads. We can watch climbing films like ‘Real Rock’ and learn to visualise like Adam Ondra (if you’ve not seen that, it needs to be witnessed, by every one).
We can train. There are hundreds of ways to train indoors and keep those fingers strong, or get them strong, for when your local wall reopens. There are different ways to train, from weathered climbers who have finger boards above doors and home made campus boards in the spare room (who need training plans and motivation) to beginners who have all the desire but no idea how to start right now… Use this time out to get yourself strong, ready for a climbing career. Practice and learn the techniques.
We can all improve our indoor hard skills. Belaying, yep most could be better at it! There’s so much advice for improved lead belaying and top roping which will stop walls banning all but assisted braking devices (its happening).
How to keep our gear safe and ready for use, by packing it away properly, not just ‘heaping’ that gear that keeps you alive.
Knot knowledge, rope coiling and so much more.
Outdoor hard skills, anchors, gear placements – it’s a fantastic idea to get a good knowledge of these, before ever touching rock. So as a hands off alternative, learning about equalisation and why nuts are tapered.
Simply put, it’s not the end of the world for climbing, just maybe a sad end to summer before it began.
Just remember, climbers are a resilient bunch and whether you’re starting out, or a seasoned pro, your hands WILL touch rock again, so let’s make sure they’re ready!
Stick with Ambleside climbing wall for articles of interest, for those who love to touch slate, rhyolite, grit, granite and plastic, or are just a bit bored, as we try to relieve symptoms of crag fever.
Tag Ambleside wall in what your doing to subside crag fever, or cool ways you have to train. Or comment if there’s anything you like to see to keep you going during isolation.
Stay safe and stay happy,