The Stone Ceiling

Bad news.  I went climbing this morning and tried a few new problems.  After failing most of them, I started on an overhang V4.  Things were going well for the first few moves until the hold I had reached for started to spin off the wall.  I was able to narrowly avoid certain death (dropping 5 feet) by awakening my inner ninja skills.  After re-tightening the bolt myself since the woman at the desk couldn’t really be bothered, I gave it another shot.  One herculean effort later, I had done it.  The problem wasn’t too difficult, just tiring, with bigger moves and no feet for a bit.

After graciously accepting my award for “Best Climber” (to tumultuous applause) I tried a few more V4 routes.  Things didn’t go as well.  See, I’m around 6ft so I can do bigger moves much easier than tight crimp-based problems.  I like to think that I’m a V4 climber, that I can handle most of those problems.  Trouble is, that’s not entirely true.  Because I can really only do big, violent moves with generous holds, I’ve hit a Stone Ceiling.  Until my hands get much tougher and my grip strength improves dramatically, I really can’t progress.

Compared to most normal people, my hands aren’t unusually soft or weak.  But for someone trying to climb, they’re very flimsy indeed.  So I think I’ll get better.  Thanks to the internet, I found this rice bucket Iron Fist exercise set.  I’m still not sure if I’ll go for it, but this could help me achieve the sort of routes that so many little kids at the gym have already handled.

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The Stone Ceiling