As climbers dwelling on British sea cliffs, we are all well acquainted with the ebbs and flows of the tides. The comings and going of bodies of water. The ups and downs, like a metaphor for life, sometimes flowing with you, sometimes against you. Towards the end of winter I picked a nasty elbow injury, which to start with, I didn't think much of it. But as the weeks went by it became obvious this was nothing like any previous injuries i had and hindered my climbing seriously. I have spend spring and much of the summer doing rehab and seeing specialist around the country. Luckily all of them agreed that I should carry on climbing to help the recovery, albeit at a very low level. As luck would have it (or dark humour from the weather gods...) Britain was going through the best weather window it has seen in living memory. The Lakes crags drier than ever, the south coast cliffs scorching in the sun, warm sea... It made for the perfect scenario for my "recovery" climbing.
Viki making good use of her Filo downie on an early season Pembroke visit
A few weeks after my elbow went “pop” we did a trip to Pembroke to test things out. It was quite encouraging to find out I could still climb easy routes, so ticked some of the classics that I had left to do like the outrageous Zeppelin (E3) at Mother Careys. We also visited Portland a lot as spring it’s the best time there, and with the start of the good weather we donned the shorts and suncream and did our first DWS’s of the season. The good thing about soloing is that you get a lot of buck for your money, you might only be climbing 6a or 6b, but you certainly get a full experience, perfect for feeding the rat when you are not at your best.
We read the writing on the wall regarding the weather and retreated to Peak District for the next few weekends until the heat wave dissipated. The elbow still needs nursing, but it seems that is on the mend and I can't wait to get fully recovered and make the most of what's left of the year.