Eat, Sleep, Climb, Repeat,
Eat, Sleep, Climb, Repeat.
Eat Sleep Climb Repeat
… and that is a relatively accurate explanation of an entire awesome week of my life.
Short, sweet, and to the point simple.
Eat, sleep, climb, repeat.
I attended a climbing meet up in Fairhead with some of the UK’s finest climbers, and climbers from beyond the UK as well. We traveled up on Friday and stayed until Sunday, met up with friends and pitched our tents in what had to be Farmer Sean’s softest pasture (seriously, that grass was lush). Friday was beautiful and I regret not getting up earlier to climb a few things myself… but we set up our tent and meandered over to the cow shed later that night to hear a short talk by a mountaineer named Will Sim, a man who at 25 years of age has already accomplished things that I can only hope to participate in across the span of my life.
He’s climbed serious mountains all over the world, including some which people didn’t even have photographs of (yeah, that still exists!). He uses Google Earth to find cool shit around the world and then climbs it.
Rad, to say the least
Another gal was also at the meet and had these super cozy headbands and hats made in Nepal, and proceeds were going to the earthquake relief fund. I had to get one (no regrets whatsoever. SO WARM).
Saturday dawned windy and rainy. Boo. Breakfast was eaten and naps were taken until other friends came around and coerced me into climbing despite the recalcitrant weather. It rained on and off which made belaying in the cold not fun and attempting to climb on wet rock even less fun… I was a bit cranky although the banter with friends made it much more enjoyable.
But we climbed two things, the column (central crack) and Easy Go. Both were incredibly difficult (for me, seconding, on top rope… I am not a graceful or happy climber sometimes) and I have to admit that I was in no mood to suffer wet feet and wet rock, struggling to climb things that by all intents and purposes I should have flown up on a better weather day.
Adaptability and the learning curve are my enemies….
Once back in camp and dried off, dinner and drinks were procured. Our tent was dry and warm and tea was always available- yay camping stoves! We also had the glorious benefit of a few little porta potties that had been trucked in for the occasion, although they soon became less enjoyable to use than nature due to the number of climbers… yuck.
The talk that evening was by the lovely Hazel Findlay, a UK climber who is a total badass and who may be my official rock climbing girl crush. There aren’t a lot of women professional climbers, but despite a shoulder injury she has made it to the top of the climbing world regardless of gender. Her talk was about being strong and brave when climbing (two of my particularly obvious mental struggles) and it was awesome to hear someone so experienced talk about such simple, yet powerful concepts. She took us through some of her most epic climbs and travels and I was super, uber jealous.I think we all walked away from the cow shed with a bigger crush on her than we had before!
Sunday dawned beautiful and a bit windy, but the mental downer of the rain on Saturday (when so many of us, myself included, were so stoked to climb) meant we only climbed one thing. We climbed Balooba which ended up being a crumbly mess of a route that I got stuck on, swore at, and nearly cried on because I’m a big baby.I was disheartened by my inability to make it up a route only slightly harder than what I’ve been leading without struggling or falling (despite subsequent climbing adventures I’m still in this position, frustratingly). The worst part of it was yelling at a rock, which couldn’t hear me, while incredibly talented climbers shot up much harder routes on either side of me.
Yeah. I’m an asshole and I feel bad about it.
All in all the Fairhead Meet was fantastic, and I’d love to go again. I’ve gotten to know some pretty fantastic climbers from Northern Ireland, and now that circle has expanded. Never underestimate the power of community when it comes to any activity, including rock climbing!
Cheers until the next adventure.