Time for a little update, but unfortunately, it brings bad news. Actually, it contains quite a lot of good news, but also a temporary setback that whilst small, forces attention over everything else.
Esclatamasters has become my main goal, with rest and climbing days all planned around it. The top of the route and crux section (final 15m) is not very overhanging and subsequently has rather small holds. Whilst I wouldn’t call them sharp, like a knife, by their very nature they can be quite abrasive for the skin. The bottom of the route (first 25m) could not be more different. Steep and athletic, with long moves of generally good holds, the bottom is a joy to climb and leaves you rather pumped before the aforementioned finale... fortunately there is a very good knee bar in the middle, phew!
Slow and steady progress was being made, and on my 5th redpoint I found myself holding the last of the really small holds, eyeing up the first good (3/4 pad incut) edge marking the end of the crux. Dont get me wrong, the route is far from over! There are still 6 tricky moves to go before the giant jug, but latch this hold and I feel there is a good chance to go to the top.
Perhaps from nerves, or just plain old fatigue, I hesitated a little on the move, coming up perhaps 2 or 3 mm short. The hold was almost in my hand, I felt the edge bite into my skin, but it was not quite enough.
It was however, enough to rip a hole the size of Andorra in my middle finger. The dream is dead, and I lowered to the floor feeling numb – which in hindsight, I much preferred to the slightly later feeling of throbbing pain. A very big disappointment, but one has to try to look on the Brightside. Skin will heal, bodies will be stronger after a rest, and motivation will be sky high.
Instead of wait around in Spain, Caro and I decided to head back to France for a few days to take care of some necessary jobs. Hopefully I will be healed in time to get back before the end of next week, but at the very worst, it should be the week after. With a little bit of unexpected free time, I thought it might be interesting to take a few pictures of the several stages I use to care for a big split, perhaps somebody will find it useful in the future, and perhaps someone will just enjoy the gore...
To read more and see the pictures, head over to JPClimbing.com