It is now becoming the time of year when those last few evenings can be enjoyed climbing before the inevitable darkness of autumn hits. Recently I’ve been heading out with Andy getting some routes done down in Borrowdale. And it was the other night that we jumped in the van and drove down to Black Crag. Our objective for the evening, Raindrops. A direct line going straight up the centre of the crag and up the side of the pinnacle. Again it was a beautiful top out. Skiddaw and Derwant water looking proud in the evening light.
So it seems this year, that there hasn’t been much time for rock climbing. I’d been very career focused, primarily focusing on gaining qualifications and preparing for assessments. It would seem that the few time I had gone out, my head hadn’t been in it. Rock climbing at it’s best isn’t just simply pulling on holds and topping out on routes. It’s about living and briefing everything it has to offer. And this week, thanks to a few people I have regained that. I felt once again the joys of driving to the crag, the feeling of apprehension before starting up a committed route and the feeling of success after a hard pitch. There was once a point in my rock climbing where I thought it was all about trying hard, and climbing routes by the skin of your teeth. I have since come to realize that, this is an important part to being a climber. It keeps us excited and focused. With this passion for ongoing development a climber can spend their time away from the crags, reading guidebooks, watching videos, and when necessary training hard for those climbs that they dream of climbing, however far out of their comfort zone they may be. But as well as that it must always be remember that climbing is an adventure. It leaves tales to tell, and feelings to crave. It distracts us from the life we left behind on the ground below us, and puts us into a new world where we can appreciate the beauties of the world we’re in from an angle not many see it at.
It was the other night at Buckstone How, with Andy that I remembered the joys of climbing. Setting off from the car park at half 6 we climbed ‘Cleopatra’ and loved every second of it. I remember sitting on my belay ledge in awe, as Andy ventured onto the final pitch silhouetted by the setting sun sitting on top of Red Pike.
In the light of dusk we topped out, shook hands and ventured back down to the van our voices alone in the ever-darkening valley.
I was once again a climber, and this was my life in one of its finer moments.
And that goes to all of us. No matter where you are and what you are doing, it must always be borne in mind that our dreams, and passions set us out as the people we are. And that can always be recaptured.