In which I take a photo every day that I'm 50, and post it here on this blog, with a bit of related blurb.

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Day 43 - Gaia Shrugged

climate change 

This is the River Leam near Princethorpe, earlier this afternoon.   It will flow from here down to join the Avon in Leamington, before winding its way to Stratford. 

I don't recall ever seeing it so high, even though I've been driving down the Fosse Way here regularly, for years and years. 

We were on our way back from a bouldering session in Loughborough.

There, we climbed 75 problems in under 3 hours, and fully down-climbed at least 50 of them.  The grades weren't particularly high - VB-V3 or so, averaging around V1, I suppose.  But it was all about the mileage.   We just kept doing climbs one after another, hardly resting at all.   

We had set a target of 40 problems for the day, but we'd done 35 by the time we stopped for coffee and a muffin.

After a 10 minute break we started to climb again, now with more intensity, and before we knew it, we'd done 40 more problems. 

I think recent efforts to improve our fitness and endurance are now starting to pay off, which is gratifying.  

We climbed really nicely too...steady and controlled, no wild lunges, no slips or falls, good footwork.   And we maintained this for at least 50 climbs, down-climbing all of them (which means reversing the climb back to the starting holds).

Most people just drop off the top of the problem, but Anna still has to protect her hip, and I'm just too heavy, stiff and clunky.   Neither of us can afford to drop from 4m up (albeit onto thick crash mats) 75 times in one day.

So we always down-climb indoor boulder much as we have the strength and energy to, anyway.  It both doubles the distance climbed, which helps endurance, and it's good practice.   You never know when you might climb yourself into a difficult situation and have to try to climb back down...better to be vaguely proficient at it, than almost completely inexperienced.

Anna had to down-climb a large, soaking wet slab at the Roaches last summer, when we were overtaken by a squall.   The down-climb was significantly more challenging than the up-climb!

With the best will and preparation, you never know when you might get caught out and a climb turns out to be more adventurous than you'd bargained for.    All of our down-climbing helps with this psychologically as well as physically.  

Anyway driving down the Soar Valley, the flooding was even worse than this...acres of land under water, the river ten times as wide as it usually is...

Are there still people who reject climate change as some sort of weird, left-wing conspiracy??

Honestly, we've really broken this least, the bits of it that we rely on.  Gaia is going to shrug, and shake us off, eventually... 

Still, if I need to be able to down-climb in order to survive, I should be good to go!


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