A Shortish Sport Climbing Rant

Have I been having several bad days in a row or am I just getting tired of sport climbing? I’m sick of queuing for routes, I’m sick of not being able to communicate with my belayer because it so loud, and I’m sick of climbing with people who take it all so seriously. OK enjoy your zero-carb diet, but don’t make me feel bad for eating a baguette… The worst was from someone, ‘How are you tired? You haven’t really been doing much at all lately have you Rachel?’. If you consider yourself my friend why are you being so f***ing judgemental? Am I supposed to spend every single day dogging routes that are several grades too hard for me, to have earned the right to say, ‘I feel tired today’? You can’t tell me whether I feel tired or not. It’s not a question for you to debate, it’s a fact. Oh and thanks for making me feel like spending a few days doing mileage on 7a and b onsights is so shit. That really helps my self esteem.

At the moment I almost feel like I want to exile myself to the northern reaches of Scotland or Canada where there is more than a lifetime of rock, no queuing, no noisy crowds, no dogs walking all over my rope, and no piles of toilet paper at the end of the crag.

When I left Spain in December, I felt like I’d only just got up to speed with the sport climbing game. This mostly involved sorting my mind to let me climb at my physical limit. I was pretty sad to be leaving when I felt like I was only just getting started. Thus I returned to Spain in January, turned sending mode on, and I managed to get a number of routes done that I felt were pretty damn close to that physical limit. I’ve now been in Spain this year for longer than Tom and I’s entire trip in the autumn. Maybe now that I’ve done a number of routes I’m satisfied with I’m getting bored and need a different sort of challenge to focus on. Somehow sport climbing in Spain is no longer providing me with the fun or adventure I need.

Anyway, I still have one month left so I’m just going to try and make the most of it. On the positive side of things, when I returned to Canada for a few days at the end of February, I brought my little sister Jenny back to Spain with me. She’s been offering me a very welcome relief from the testosterone fuelled environment I’ve been living in for the past 6 months. Venga las chicas.

Sunshine and jugs.

Sunshine and jugs.

Jen having fun on roadside tufas.

Jen having fun on roadside tufas.

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