Friday, 26 July 2013

Writer's Block

It’s taken a long time to come up with something to put on the Soft Rock pages.  Over the last month or so I've sat down and tried to write a few times, but every time I've come up short for what to say.  I've been writing Soft Rock since 2007 and I’m definitely finding it harder and harder to come up with interesting ways to write about the same things: I went to a crag. I climbed a route. It was nice. Adding to the trouble, I feel like my climbing has stagnated over the summer; poor timing, missed opportunities, a lack of confidence, a lack of momentum.  

I guess the opportunistic nature of trad climbing means you go where you can, when you can. You turn up, gear up, climb up, then move on to the next.  The focus isn't on the fine detail, it’s on the broad strokes.  It’s easy to write about projects – the deep experience of micro-exploration, the mental turmoil and the physical battle, trying, failing, trying, improving.  It makes for a simple narrative, the classic montage sequence in every movie.  Sure, on a taxing onsight there’s a constant inner-monologue going on and I’d love to be able to record it and regurgitate it on paper.  I tried with my last blog Fall of the Wild, and really enjoyed that, but it stood out over most trad routes as I took a big lob off the top.  The truth is that the inner story of most successful ascents quickly fades in the memory.

Anyway, here's a few photo's to remind me:

Brave New World, a brilliant E2 at Rolling Wall, Diabaig Peninsular (Photo: Nick Carter)

Chillin' on Pabbay: Murdo, Guy, Donald and Nick wait for Donald the boatman.
Nick seconding Sirens pitch 2 with big swell below Dun Mingulay.

'Pioneering' neglected rock in Strathspey (Photo: Dave Chapman).
More Strathspey routes: Dave in the wideness.
Pale Diedre on Beinn Eighe (Photo: Murdo Jamieson)