Thursday, 2 June 2011

The head game...

Today I was out with Emma and Ross. Th brief for the day was to help Emma (who was out with me in Rjukan on the MCofS Meet this February) with her nerves when leading. With a drizzly start at Fort William this morning we headed east to Kingussie (I'm there so often I'm beginning to feel I should buy a house). Here we began to work our way up through the grades from VDiff through her usual grade of Severe and onto here regular upper grade of HS. We examined her gear, her ability to plan a route and spot rests and protection in advance and to risk assess her position. We also worked on her distrust of camming devices! After a brief bouldering session where we examined her breathing and some relaxation techniques Emma went on to lead a short VS- the first time she has climbed a route of this grade clean and with absolutely no input from me. We spent a little more time talking about managing anxiety whilst climbing and accessing and anchoring positive climbing experiences before she geared up at the foot of the steep and pumpy HVS at the left end of the crag. This route is always quite tough and punishes any lapse in technique with a serious pump! emma did well placing a large amount of gear and overcoming her concerns to take rests on it before topping out. We finished up by reviewing the day and giving her some exercises to work on. not bad progress for one day.

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