I've been mainly trying just to climb as regularly as possible during the past couple of months and not to worry too much about the grades I'm climbing. I spent quite a few days on The Bulge at Kilnsey in May but started to get increasingly frustrated with it as I kept falling off the big move above the top bolt. To be fair I do find this move hard in isolation and big slaps are not my forte but I did feel fit enough.
There were a couple of weeks in May when I was trying it 2-3 days a week, 4-5 red-points a day and still falling off the same move! It became a bit of an obsession, so much so that I even dragged Steve down early on the day of the ClimbNewcastle ASBO bouldering comp. We were climbing by 10am, I had 4 failed red-pts (usual highpoint), then left at 2.30 for the 2hr drive back up to Newcastle. We then blasted round the 35 qualifying probs at which point I was starting to feel a bit knackered. To make matters worse I'd ripped a big flapper in the pad of my index finger on my last red-pt attempt so was climbing with a taped up tip, not ideal! I somehow made the final then had to try and summon up any remaining energy to try the 3 final problems. I was seriously burnt out and to be fair was appalling on the two steeper problems. Fortunately, there was one technical problem which I managed to grovel up in a few attempts (the type of problem I would normally flash). Much to my amazement this was enough to give me 2nd place despite being totally out climbed on the other 2 problems. However, I was shattered the next day and it took me several days to get over the effort. The following weekend I had one more day on The Bulge (another 5 red-pts, off at the same point), but then decided I needed to get away from the route and try a few more things. I know other short climbers who've had the same problem (Alison and Ako), who, like me, spent far too many days falling onto the top bolt. However, they both eventually did the route, even if it took them more than one season. I will get back on it, but a break was needed first.
I decided to drag Steve out onto some trad so I did a few routes at Kilnsey that I'd done before then headed down to Wales. We enjoyed a few days in the Pass, not doing anything hard, just a few E3's and E4's, which was great. This was the start of a two week holiday, but the weather soon returned to its showery, unsettled nature. Steve had been recommended The Prow at Ravenstor as a long 40m F8a, so after much persuasion we headed there. I'd never climbed at The Tor so it was very refreshing to go somewhere new. After 5 climbing days, (interspersed with a couple days off when I aggravated my shoulder and the odd rest day) I managed to red-point both The Prow and The Crucifixion, both 35-40m long 8a's and just what I needed. Not long after that I had a successful day at Kilnsey when I red-pointed the burly Dr Jekyll (easy F7c+) in a day. After such a frustrating few months it was great to actually succeed on some routes again. Long may it continue.