TRNovice’s Climbing Training Diary

Week 84 (20th – 26th Oct 2008)

Posted in Weekly Training Diary by Peter James Thomas on 26 October 2008

Current goals may be viewed here.

All climbing training diary entries may be viewed here.

Right ankle is still crook (more than 30 days after initially injuring it, which is not a very good sign). I didn’t get round to doing anything about it last week for a number of reasons, but have to soon as this is verging on the ridiculous now. Kept up the fingerboard sessions and had one abortive trip to the wall; but no other exercise sadly.
 

Training Diary
Day Commentary Stats
Monday Upgraded fingerboard sesssion as per here. Still not that hard, but it probably makes sense to progress gradually to avoid pulley problems. Will stick at this level for at least this week and maybe next.

Exceptions:

  • 6a. Last set with LH in Deep 3 Finger Pocket was a bit shaky.
  • 6b. Last set with LH in Deep 3 Finger Pocket was also a bit shaky.
  • 6c. Final set of leg swings was rather relying on momentum, need to be more smooth and in control.

Tuesday 2.5 hours “bouldering” at The Arch. Again a reasonably careful session ankle-wise. Pretty frustrating not being comfortable more than 1m up and not being able to push or twist on my right ankle. Rest doesn’t seem to have helped and ignoring it doesn’t either, so I guess I had better start thinking about doing something else. V3 x 2
V4 x 1
V5 x 0
Wednesday Rest ankle.
Thursday Rest ankle.
Friday Upgraded fingerboard session as per here. Much more solid than my first go at this new (admittedly still pretty low) level.

Exceptions:

  • 6b. Final pull-up with LH in Deep 3 Finger Pocket was improved but still not 100%.

Saturday Rest ankle.
Sunday For a change went back to the 10 Minute Fingerboard Session that came with the Metolius Wood Grips board. A very different session to the normal one, as it much quicker and much pumpier. I always used to struggle with this (one of the reasons that I moved to doing the Moonclimbing-inspired session instead). I still did struggle with this, non-puntered-down session, but it was a vast improvement on before.

Exceptions:

  • Overall. I took 15 minutes rather than 10 – it was too pumpy and I needed to rest longer between sets, particularly from the middle to end.
  • 4b. Hung for 15 seconds only and on the Deep 4 Finger Pockets.
  • 5a. Hung for 15 seconds only.
  • 6a. Last pull-up was very weak.
  • 6b. Last two pull-ups were both very weak.
  • 7a. Hung for desired time, but on Deep 3 Finger Pockets.
  • 8a. Did 5 pull-ups, but on Medium 4 Finger Pockets. Last two were very weak.
  • 9b. Did on the Deep 3 Finger Angled Pockets – repeating 9a.

 
Aside from keeping up the fingerboard (and maybe trying a little light road cycling to see how I go), the aim next week is to get some one to take a look at my ankle.
 

Training Summary
Cycling Other Cardio Wall
Sessions (1)
Road: 0 km Running: 0 km V3: 2
MTB: 0 km V4: 1
Total: 0 km V5: 0

 
Progress against Short-term Goals

No outdoor routes this week.
No cycling due to ankle.
No running due to ankle.
Sustained the fingerboard sessions and reintroduced an old one. Nice to have something positive to report for a change.
No outdoor bouldering this week.

 
Progress against Medium-term Goals

Still going backwards :-(.

 

Twice the fun

Posted in General Climbing Post by Peter James Thomas on 19 October 2008
Expanding our fingerboard horizons

Expanding our fingerboard horizons

As referred to in this week’s Training Diary, I spent quite a bit of time playing around with drills and screws this week. The result is now we have two fingerboards in our “training area” (aka the back bathroom).

I have been using an easier form of the Moon board training routine anyway and it seemed interesting to try some of the moves on the board that generated them. Also my current board routine is becoming a bit easy, so I needed a new challenge. Keeping the old board also offers the opportunity to make up new movements, involving going from one to the other.

Anything that stops training from getting boring must be good, right?

For purists, here is a before image for comparison.
 

Week 83 (13th – 19th Oct 2008)

Posted in Weekly Training Diary by Peter James Thomas on 19 October 2008

Current goals may be viewed here.

All climbing training diary entries may be viewed here.

Decided to see whether total rest would help the right ankle. Maybe it has a bit, but not enough to be that encouraging. I guess I had better go to the Drs now as it has been about a month with no real signs of healing.
 

Training Diary
Day Commentary Stats
Monday
  1. Right ankle swollen from the weekend, so no prospect of any cardio training for a few days.
  2. Fingerboard sesssion as per here. Felt easy, will continue for one more repetition at this level and consider which exercises to step up for the following week. Exceptions: None.
 
Tuesday Rest ankle.  
Wednesday Rest ankle.  
Thursday Rest ankle.  
Friday Rest ankle.  
Saturday Rest ankle.  
Sunday 2.5 hours bouldering at The Arch. Very, very careful session on stuff that I was both 100% sure I wouldn’t fall off of and could also down climb. Ankles were OK, save for tweaking the older injury again walking there *sigh*. V3 x 2
V4 x 2
V5 x 0

 
Very low about all of this, probably shouldn’t have done even the limited climbing I did on Sunday, but going a bit stir crazy.
 

Training Summary
Cycling Other Cardio Wall
Sessions (1)
Road: 0 km Running: 0 km V3: 2
MTB: 0 km     V4: 2
Total: 0 km     V5: 0

 
Progress against Short-term Goals

No outdoor routes this week.
No cycling due to ankle.
No running due to ankle.
Did one further fingerboard session. Others were stymied by taking longer than anticipated to refconfigure our training “wall” by adding a Moon board to the Metolius Wood Grips. Started this mid-week, but didn’t finish until Saturday night for a variety of reasons. Now at least have some other board options.
No outdoor bouldering this week.

 
Progress against Medium-term Goals

Going backwards :-(.
   

Week 82 (6th – 12th Oct 2008)

Posted in Weekly Training Diary by Peter James Thomas on 12 October 2008

Current goals may be viewed here.

All climbing training diary entries may be viewed here.

Tried to pick-up on the cardio this week, but still rather limited by the ankle. Was surprised how well I could do on the fingerboard after a long lay-off. I started by virtually completing a session that it had previously taken quite some time to build up to. Second time round I did all of the sets that I didn’t quite finish on the first session, but then had weird things happening in my ankle *sigh*. Nevertheless I guess I still have some residual finger-strength from earlier in the year. This was demonstarted later in the week by sticking some pretty marginal crimps on a roof problem in The Peak.
 

Training Diary
Day Commentary Stats
Monday
  1. 20km bike ride, average speed 24.5 kmph on MTB tyres, which I hadn’t got round to changing. First bike ride since a) being ill and b) spraining my second ankle. Ankle is a bit sore, but otherwise no ill-affects.
  2. Fingerboard session as per here. Exceptions: 4b. Only held last two hangs for 4-5 seconds, rather than full 6; 6b. Last two sets of pull-ups with left hand on jug were closer to 1.5 than 2.
Road 20 km
Tuesday Rest / Bike maintenance. Ankle a bit stiff/sore.  
Wednesday Rest  
Thursday
  1. 20km bike ride, average speed 25.8 kmph on light cyclocross tyres. Ankle still a bit sore :-(.
  2. Fingerboard session as per here. Exceptions: Did everything up to 4b, but then my @#%$ing older ankle injury (the left one) started playing up. Felt like something inside was caught over something else that it really shouldn’t be. Back on the ice pack :-(.
Road 20 km
Friday A rather topsy-turvy day for several reasons, which saw me getting little done. However, the left ankle seems to have calmed down, it was feeling most odd the previous evening.  
Saturday Drove to The Peak. 4.5 hours at The Climbing Works. Didn’t climb too much that I couldn’t then down climb, but a good session nevertheless. However managed to aggravate the right (i.e. newer) ankle injury somehow. Also didn’t keep track of grades.  
Sunday Had a look round a wet Rubicon, lots to play on there some drier time. Mostly spotted at Cratcliffe and Robin Hood’s Stride. However repeated a Font 6b (sans top-out as my ankle was having none of it) and, more importantly, stuck the first few moves of Razor Roof (Font 6c). I have never been able to pull over the lip before, so doing this whilst injured was a sign of improved strength. Have to get back on it when (if?) my ankles improve. Nice to be out in the sun on (mostly) dry rock, even if my own efforts were somewhat curtailed.  

 
I’m pretty fed up about the ankle problems, some rest and maybe physio is in order.
 

Training Summary
Cycling Other Cardio Wall
Sessions (1)
Road: 40 km Running: 0 km V3: not known
MTB: 0 km     V4: not known
Total: 40 km     V5: not known

 
Progress against Short-term Goals

No routes this week, only bouldering.
Ticked the objective of at least 40km cycling for the first week since the ankle injury – would be nice to sustain this.
The idea of running on the ankle(s) seems very unappealing at present.
Ticked recommencing fingerboard sessions – again now need to sustain this.
Repeated the harder bits of a V4 (with no topping out due to the ankle). Also got a V3 (again with no top-out). I know neither really count, but I am grateful for small mercies at present.

 
Progress against Medium-term Goals

None :-(.

 

A Tale of Two E1s – The unabridged version

Posted in General Climbing Post by Peter James Thomas on 9 October 2008

The guys at UKClimbing.com were kind enough to post an article I wrote a while back about my experiences in trying to break into the Extreme level. At the time, the UKC editor suggested, rightly I think, that I shorten the piece in order to make it more accessible to readers. This led to the “Psyched Cut” version of the article, which was published in August 2008. A link to this version also appears under Published Articles in the sidebar to the right.

I kept the longer version and I think that enough time has now passed that I can publish this here in full . Hopefully people will be now able judge for themselves which version they prefer.

TRNovice – October 2008


 

A Tale of Two E1s A Tale of Two E1s – The unabridged version

The author having just led Seams the Same

The author having just led Seams the Same
© Jenn Pacyna

This article is a comparison of two E1 attempts by the author. The first was also my first attempt at an E1; it ended in failure. Just over a year later, my second E1 attempt was successful. In between, I had climbed nothing harder than VS, so I guess an obvious question to ask is “just what happened in the intervening period to make a difference?”

 
30th June 2006 – Fool’s Gold (E1 5c) – Bus Stop Quarry, Llanberis

Morgan Woods on Fool's Gold - © Kiera Lang

Morgan Woods leading Fools' Gold
© Kiera Lang

I have always liked slate. I both onsighted my first VS, Seamstress, and climbed my first HVS, Solstice, on it. The second climb also saw me taking my first leader fall and thankfully escaping pretty much unscathed. Something about the rock suits me. I think it is the combination of the typically just-short of vertical angle; the small, but positive, edges; the emphasis on foot-work; and the types of moves: high-steps and rock-overs and small dead-points rather than full-on dynos.

Whatever the reason, I decided that, despite never having onsighted HVS before, it was worth giving Fool’s Gold a go. I did this at the end of a week’s climbing in North Wales. The time had been spent mostly doing easy mountain multi-pitch, maybe not the greatest preparation for technical 5c climbing! I probably also went for the E1 5c grade, rather than the more typical E1 5b, because of the likelihood of bomber gear; something Fool’s Gold has something of a reputation for.

So we pitched up, I racked up and stood underneath the line. I wasn’t certain that I should be there and had more butterflies in my stomach than could be explained by the adrenaline rush associated with excitement. I guess in many ways I failed the route right then, not having the right mental attitude. I was intimidated and, at least for me, trad doesn’t work when I’m intimidated. Still I thought as I’m here, in my harness and roped up, I’d be a wimp not to give it a go; so up I went.

For those of you who don’t know the route, it starts with very easy climbing on a number of ledges up to a platform under a triangular mini-roof. From here, you move up and right into a crack which leads to the top of the climb. The 5c crux is just after you move out from under the roof. You have small edges for your feet, then have to reach up for a finger-lock for your left hand, pull through to a gaston on the far side of the crack and then get you feet up high enough to become properly established. There is gear aplenty at the platform and, as you move to just below the crux, there is what has been described as the most bomb-proof DMM no. 5 placement in North Wales. It is a lock-like, T-shaped notch which the wire drops into and would probably hold at falling baby elephant.

I moved out from the roof and got the bomb-proof wire placed and clipped. The finger-lock felt ultra-positive on smooth, non-painful rock. The move up to the gaston felt smooth as well and I was through the crux. Here is where it all went wrong. In my mind, I thought that if I got the crux, it was all over. Now here I was with not the most positive of gastons and on foot-holds that suddenly seemed like micro-edges looking up at the crack which seemed to stretch on to meet the sky above. The guidebook says that the next section is solid 5b climbing and it looked like it. I had just done a single 5c sequence, but a series of 5b moves now seemed beyond me. Stupidly, I hadn’t been prepared for anything other than a VS-style romp from this point and mentally I had lost it. The bubble burst and my only thought was “you are in over your head, what were you thinking of trying an E1”. Despondently I lowered back down.

With the benefit of hindsight, I got everything wrong that I could have. I jumped on an E1 when I had been climbing nothing harder than HS that week and had done no bouldering to get my body used to harder moves. I picked a climb with a higher than usual technical grade, when my strength leading (if I have one) is more keeping it together above gear than doing hard moves. I had not warmed up at all. The first part of the climb was so easy that I was essentially still cold when I approached the crux. I had no plan for the part of the route past the crux and naively assumed that it wouldn’t be a problem. When things started to go wrong, I didn’t think about trying to calm down and reassess the situation, I just panicked.

At the time of course, I didn’t take away these learnings, I just thought that E1s were clearly way beyond my meagre abilities and I had no business being on them.

It was a long time before I tried another climb of this standard.

 
29th July 2007 – Seams the Same (E1 5b) – Serengeti Area of Dinorwig Quarry, Llanberis

A climber on Seamstress - Seams the Same is the second crack to the right of this © Sarah Clough

A climber on Seamstress - Seams the Same is the second crack to the right of this
© Sarah Clough

Standing at the bottom of Seams the Same some of the thoughts and feelings that I have just recounted were buzzing round my head. But crucially there were some differences. I can’t claim that I was confident about the climb, but I wasn’t intimidated. My thoughts were more, “let’s give this a go and see what happens” rather than “oh my God, why am I trying this?” Seams the Same is an easier technical climb that Fool’s Gold. It used to be an E2, but has eased with traffic; however it is still described as being somewhat bold. I think it helped that I had climbed Seamstress – the VS I mentioned above – on the same slab and a few feet to the left. Something felt familiar and I had already made it to the top of the buttress.

I guess I had a bit more of a mature attitude to preparing for the climb as well. I did some stretching; I bouldered up adjacent to the climb, traversed left to Seamstress and down-climbed it. I stretched some more and cleaned and squeaked my shoes. The climbing on Seams the Same is 5a/5b from the start and stays that way all the way up. I started with perhaps no great expectations of finishing, but with a much more positive attitude than a year before. The moves are a bit like on Seamstress: lay-back a bit on horizontal ledges in order to get your feet up nearer to your hands, rock over and stand up to get the next crimp, or (if you are lucky) larger ledge. The hand- and foot-holds are much smaller, and perhaps a bit further apart, but the moves are beautifully in balance, much more so than on its sister VS.

I got in my first wire and felt secure enough to look up and contemplate the rest of the climb. True to its name, It seemed like more of the same; so if I could manage this far, then why not the next section as well? I think this attitude helped me. Before, I had been so put off by the second half of Fool’s Gold that I had gone to pieces. Here I didn’t worry about the rest of the climb, just the next section and placing some more gear. I had a brief shake and proceeded to do just this. I passed an in-situ jammed cam and clipped it for the hell of it. Just past this I had my first pause for thought. There is a slight bulge at this point (about two-thirds height) before the more vertical lower slab transitions to the gentler upper slab. I backed up the cam with a DMM peanut that and convinced myself that it was a good bit of gear (denial can be positive as well as negative I guess).

I dipped my fingertips in my chalk bag, tried not to think about the gear and committed to the move. It felt smooth and easy and well-oiled, a by-product of all the other 5b moves below and I was now on the final slab.

The next few moves were probably easier with the more amenable angle; maybe one or two at 5b, but mostly 5a. However I had passed all the obvious gear placements and had a third of the climbing left (maybe 9m). This was a time for maintaining the same measured fluidity that had got me this far. A time for thinking nice thoughts about VS 5a slabs in Craig y Castell. I guess it was also a time to rely on the confidence I had acquired from the steeper section of the route. I kept on deliberately; not too quickly, making sure my foot-placements were secure and my weight was in the right place; but equally not really pausing, just flowing slowly and smoothly upwards.

I guess the point at which I nearly blew it was just short of the top with the final jugs about 3m above me. Here for the first time an unbidden thought popped into my head “you know, you are going to do this!” Such thoughts can prove fatal I guess, maybe literally so. For a very different reason, the bubble had nearly burst as it had the previous year on Fool’s Gold. Not without some effort, I managed to bury the thought and concentrate on the next move. Where was I going to step up to? Where is my next hand hold? And then focus on the next move and then… Oh I seem to have my hand on the belay ledge! A quick mantle and a quick expletive later I’m at the top and more pleased than you can imagine. The grin didn’t subside for several days.

Interestingly my happiness was not just getting the Extreme tick, nor was it “slaying the beast” of Fool’s Gold (with immense apologies to Neil Gresham and a marginally harder Welsh route). Yes both of those were things to be pleased about, but the climb had just been a really good experience. Despite a couple of pauses to think about what to do next and despite my potentially premature thoughts about completion, the overall feeling had been of being “in the zone” all the way. It had been easy, it had felt natural, it had felt that I was meant to be there and meant to be doing this climb. Feelings that were a million miles away from my previous experience.

 
Things that Made a Difference

The author training for E1 in Bishop California

The author training for E1 in Bishop California
© Jenn Pacyna

So again with the benefit of hindsight what had been different? Well some of the factiors are mentioned explicitly above. I had warmed up and done a bit of bouldering on the same rock I was going to climb. Although I wasn’t psyched about doing the climb, I thought that it was possible and had certainly not written off my chances before I had set rubber to rock. I had picked a route that played more to my strengths, a technical grade that I was comfortable with rather than harder moves with better protection. I had thought about the whole climb and not just focussed on the crux; I guess it helped that Seams the Same doesn’t have that distinct of a crux section, just sustained climbing at around the same grade. This sustained standard meant that the first few moves got me engaged and thinking about the climbing rather than worrying about a tricky section to come. I didn’t get overwhelmed by the whole route; instead I just tried to hit mini-goals: stick this next move, get up to that jug 3m above and so on. Crucially, I managed to make myself focus on the climbing again when thoughts of success began to prematurely enter my head.

As for the rest of what had happened in the intervening 13 months, I had put in some milage at a lower grade. I did so many Hard Severes that I began to believe that I owned the grade and there was no HS in the UK that I couldn’t climb. While you might think that being solid at HS isn’t much help for E1s, I think it is. It is good to feel that you have an absolute floor to your climbing, if I can climb any HS, surely I can climb at least some routes that suit my style and are harder than that. I had also done quite a lot of VSs and, while maybe not solid at this grade, this also helped. Who knows, maybe if I hadn’t kept my head together on the fourth pitch of Adam Rib (HS 4b) then I wouldn’t have done the same on Seams the Same.

But I have left out what is probably the most important. In my opinion what really got me to be able to climb E1 was bouldering. I had done tons of this between the two attempts. Most pertinently, I had spent two weeks in Bishop, California. Here, although I didn’t set the world alight grade-wise, I got a lot stronger and the highball nature of many of the problems meant both that I developed route-type endurance and a head for being high up.
This was consolidated by more bouldering in North Wales and the Peak. The day before Seams the Same was spent at The Sheep Pen high on the side of Ogwen valley. Here I climbed problems from V0 to V3 (and sadly fell off V4s). When you have bouldered as much as I had, UK 5b moves begin to feel pretty easy, even if there are a lot of them – they are only V0+ right? Bouldering had got me used to regularly sticking UK 6a moves and I guess that is a good place to be if failing to stick a UK 5b one would result in you decking.

So I will end this rather lengthy saga with a recommendation from a old trad climber who has a liking for easy mountain routes. If you want to lead harder, buy a bouldering mat and a beanie!

 
Epilogue (now slightly out-of-date)

Having a reputation for doing things out of order in my climbing life (I climbed HVS before I climbed VS for example), climbing Seams the Same meant that I had now onsighted E1 before I had onsighted HVS and before I had climbed F5+ clean. I guess the same things that helped me to get up Seams the Same led me to onsight HVS, F5+, F6a and F6a+ shortly afterwards.

However, E1 felt pretty easy and accordingly I haven’t tried another one since. I have however failed an E2 5c, Holy, Holy, Holy; have a list of others to try including: Psychotherapy, Last Tango in Paris and Pull my Daisy (I have heard rumours of rock types other than slate, but believe them to be exagerated); and am now seriously contemplating an E3 6a route, Goose Creature. I guess the cycle is starting again and I hope that I can remember the things that got me this far. On the bright side, I’ve now also sent V5, so surely UK 5c/6a can’t be that hard can it?
 

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Dave Graham – European Tour – October 2008

Posted in General Climbing Post, Review by Peter James Thomas on 7 October 2008
© Heason Events

© Heason Events

Venue: The Arch Climbing Wall, London Bridge
Date: 4th October 2008
Full schedule: Heason Events

 


Note: The tour is still ongoing, so I have done my best to comment on it without giving away too much of the content.


 
Given the media exposure that many of the top climbers have nowadays, it is sometimes tempting to assume that we already know them. How do our preconceptions of Dave Graham stack up with the real person?

Dave is a world-class boulderer and sport climber from Maine who has both established and repeated some of the world’s hardest lines. He is of course also familiar to us as a regular in BigUp Productions Dosage series and many other films.

The mention of Dosage brings to mind the fact that the franchise features Chris Sharma more than any other climber. For any world-class climber, comparisons with Sharma are inevitable, though I am sure that both Chris and those who are compared to him get pretty tired of it all. For Graham maybe the comparison comes to mind particularly easily through their age, nationality, shared ascents and longstanding friendship. I’ll get this stuff out of the way early and move on to hopefully more interesting territory.

In his Dosage interviews (which are sometimes fairly brief), Graham can appear the yin to Sharma’s yang. Where you get laid-back Californian surfer-dude, mixed with some Eastern philosophy from the latter; with the former it is more high-energy, high-intensity and maybe an element of quirkiness. One aspect of this contrast is that, to me, Dave stands out as perhaps representing something a little different.

I’ll also get something else out of the way up-front. I have always had something of a soft spot for Dave. In my younger and slimmer days the epithet of ectomorph was something that I got very accustomed to receiving. Regardless of what training I did, my body could no more look like Chris Sharma’s than it could Dalia Ojeda’s. However, if I had taken up climbing in my teens and been more careful with my diet over the years, I guess I would have come closer to Dave’s physique; if sadly without his outrageous talent. So I was particularly looking forward to the talk and Dave did not disappoint.

At first it seems that what you get with Graham in person is just the guy from the DVDs. The energy, the number of words per second, indeed the quirkiness – that word again. But you also begin to get some other things. With a longer exposure to Dave’s thoughts on a wide range of subjects, both climbing related and general, the supposed quirkiness morphs into the realisation that he has an active and alert mind, that he thinks about a lot of things and makes non-obvious connections between them.

A couple of times in his talk, Dave speaks about some of his approach to climbing being driven by his physical attributes and these maybe pushing him down the path of subtlety rather than brute force (though I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t want to arm-wrestle with him). However the impression I formed was that this approach suits his mentality as much as his physique; he seems incurably inquisitive, always looking for a different way to do things; in climbing and in life. He makes correlations that seem obvious and true, but which you had never thought of before.

It is clear that a lot of thought and effort has gone into producing Dave’s slides and that he wants to serve up something more than “here is a photo of me on my latest hard climb”. What is also evident is that, even in the act of presenting, the material is sparking new connections in his ever active brain. He sometimes pauses to consider the implications of a new thought or an idea for restructuring his presentation to better put forward his themes. This could perhaps be off-putting in a less engaging speaker, but with Graham it feels more that you are witnessing a creative act.

Dave’s talk at The Arch was his second in the UK, after an initial lecture in Swansea. It started late, for reasons that were not entirely clear at the time. A subsequent booking of the venue (a massive railway arch adjacent to the climbing wall and surely a previous Bat Cave set) meant that Dave had to abridge his material on the fly; not easy when you are constantly having additional thoughts as you present. He did managed to negotiate this challenge, but I would have liked for him to have at least an additional 30 minutes to cover his middle-to-late material at a more even pace. Hopefully this is something that he will be able to achieve in later sessions.

What Dave managed to deliver overall was a great mixture of sheer enthusiasm, an inside track on the world of a professional athlete and a more reflective slant on climbing and its place in life than many of the other top pro-climbers seem to offer. He was human, funny, humble, original, insightful and real. I have never heard a top-flight climber make things seem so relevant to bottom-flight climbers like me. It made me feel part of a continuum in the sport, which was pretty inspiring. When he spoke about trying harder it felt more like something that I could do, rather than just an abstract comment.

In summary, and in answer to my initial question, there is a lot more to Dave Graham than we perhaps suspected and he seems to be much more than the sum of his various DVD appearances. I’d recommend anyone to go along to one of his talks, you will learn some new things about climbing, and maybe about life as well.
 


 
16th October 2008: More news about Dave’s progress through the UK can be found at Keith Sharples Photography.
 

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Monthly Cycling Summary (September 2008)

Posted in Monthly Cycling Summary, Weekly Training Diary by Peter James Thomas on 6 October 2008

All monthly cycling summaries may be viewed by clicking here.

2008 Cycling Summary (as at Sept)

2008 Cycling Summary (as at Sept)

September rather tailed-off. After a reasonable start, my last ride was on 14th September. After this I was both ill for a week and then sprained my right ankle on 21st September, which curtailed any further cycling.

Week 81 (29th Sept – 5th Oct 2008)

Posted in Weekly Training Diary by Peter James Thomas on 5 October 2008

Current goals may be viewed here.

All climbing training diary entries may be viewed here.

Sadly still have a crook ankle (though it seems to be improving somewhat), so – yet again – no cycling or running and little climbing this week :-(.
 

Training Diary
Day Commentary Stats
Monday Nowt.  
Tuesday Nowt.  
Wednesday A rather ginger two hours climbing at The Arch, basically not attempting anything that I might fall off of or where I couldn’t downclimb. Also did the first few moves of quite a few things. V3 x 2
V4 x 3
V5 x 0
Thursday Nowt.  
Friday Nowt.  
Saturday Does going to the David Graham lecture count as training? Excellent talk (if somewhat compressed in length). Motivational and somehow made what a world-class climber thinks about seem not too different to a world-class bimbler like me. I might expand on this theme later. <no sarcasm intended> So psyched now!!! </no sarcasm intended>  
Sunday 3 hours bouldering at The Arch. First proper session since hurting my ankle, only one twisting fall onto it caused any pain, but have lost strength and endurance; couldn’t repeat problems that felt easy pre-injury :-(. Also probably made the mistake of initially wearing myself out on overhanging V5s. V3 x 1
V4 x 1
V5 x 0

 
So back to climbing, but seem to have taken several steps backwards. More work required!
 

Training Summary
Cycling Other Cardio Wall
Sessions (2)
Road: 0 km Running: 0 km V3: 3
MTB: 0 km     V4: 4
Total: 0 km     V5: 0

 

Week 80 (22nd – 28th Sept 2008)

Posted in Weekly Training Diary by Peter James Thomas on 3 October 2008

Current goals may be viewed here.

All climbing training diary entries may be viewed here.

As per Week 79 – sprained my right ankle bouldering a week ago, so not a lot to report :-(.
 

Training Diary
Day Commentary Stats
Monday Nowt.  
Tuesday Nowt.  
Wednesday Drove to North Wales  
Thursday Wandered around lots of hills and spotted up to V6.  
Friday Repeated a V3 traverse. Wandered round some more hills. V3 x 1
Saturday Spotted up to V4 (flashed). Tried a bit of bouldering and further aggravated the ankle :-(. More hill wandering. Drove back home.  
Sunday Wandered round Hampstead Heath for a few hours.  

 
Ankle is still sore and swollen again – I guess I need to let it rest and heal. Fingerboard sessions are as much as I can countenance this week, feeling a bit sorry for myself, though it could be worse, I could be climbingpixie!
 

Training Summary
Cycling Other Cardio Wall
Sessions (0)
Road: 0 km Running: 0 km V3: 0
MTB: 0 km     V4: 0
Total: 0 km     V5: 0

 

Week 79 (15th – 21st Sept 2008)

Posted in Weekly Training Diary by Peter James Thomas on 3 October 2008

Current goals may be viewed here.

All climbing training diary entries may be viewed here.

I may get round to uploading the historical content at some point, but for now, for all weeks prior to Week 80, please see the original UKClimbing.com thread.

TRNovice – October 2008