The World Cup season is over and winter is surely on it's way out for this year. Easter weekend brought a rare opportunity for ice climbing in N.Wales, so I took advantage of the Oracle's advice (thanks Tim) and nipped over for the day with Ruth, Matt and Lukasz to climb Cascade - Tim had promised that it looked climbable although he didn't think anyone had climbed it. There were reports all over the internet about conditions in Cwm Idwal and it was Good Friday so we took the chance and were rewarded with not only a route in condition but only 1 other team at the crag. Admitedly they were in front of us but then we had hardly made a lightning start, meeting Matt at Frodsham at 8:30am.
So a bit of a wait followed with the team in front having a bit of leader swop on pitch 2, which was their pitch 3, and then as we were climbing as a 3 it was a lengthy process. Not least due to none of us being the swiftest of climber - particularly Ruth - the bike rider who hasn't pulled on an ice axe at all this winter and not been rock climbing either - to say she was pumped would be an understatement and there was a full range of squeaking and grunting going on!
It was great to get the Cascade climbed having previoulsy done Central Icefall and Chequered Wall - crag ticked!
Unfortunately it did seem to have the effect of doing something strange to my forearm which I am now nursing and treating with the old hot and cold treatment! Typical!
After a couple of weeks to reflect and recharge from the World Cup season I've decided to dedicate my efforts to doing better next year. I've had some help putting together a general training plan from Tim Budd at Global Therapies who is more used to putting me back together after I've been training - that man has evil elbows! I'm trying to go in with a more scientific approach and work on everything rather than just the usual climbing type training - so it's
gym rings, kettle bells, running and swinging around on the kids playgroud monkey bars or the rash of outdoor gyms that councils have put in to encourage people to get active. The one closest to home mostly seems to be ignored or the local youth have been trying to set fire to it - which I suppose does involve some kind of exercise so maybe it's working for them?!
I'm going to try and keep some kind of record of what I get up too so check back for more updates once I've fixed my forearm, currently being quite gentle with myself and "Coach Budd" is going easy!