My first 7A climb!
Whisky galore 7a Brimham
I started bouldering back in 2016 after I moved up to Leeds to start working as a yoga teacher. I began as most people do, just climbing indoors at my local wall. I was very much a beginner when I started, despite feeling generally strong and fit, transferring this to pulling your body weight up a wall is a completely different ball game. I suppose the finger strength is the one thing that takes the most time and getting used to trusting your feet on smaller holds takes a lot of confidence and is something i'm still working on now :).
I didn't try climbing outdoors until the end of 2016 when I took a trip out to the peak district with my brother. I remember it feeling incredibly different to indoor gym climbing but I loved it and couldn't wait to try it again.
Luckily living in Leeds means I'm not too far away from crags like Caley, Almscliffe and Brimham Rocks so now whenever there is a dry day I much prefer to get outdoors and climb on some real rock!
This years winter has been particularly wet and snowy so days at the crag have been pretty limited so far. But on the days that I have managed to get out I've definitely felt more confident and a lot stronger compared to the start of 2017 where I was still fairly nervous climbing tricky problems in an outdoor environment. Towards the end of last year I managed to climb Forked Lightning crack 6b+ over at Caley roadside, a cool climb that I'd tried various times but couldn't quite trust myself to go for the higher moves. So was super pleased when I finally managed to tick this one off!
I first tried Whisky Galore in 2017 and surprised myself by managing the first few moves without too much difficulty so was pretty sure that with a bit more confidence and training that I could tick it off! Since then I've been watching a couple of videos of women on the problem to see if there was any sneak short arm beta and trying harder to get used to trusting my toes on smaller holds at the wall.
Something must have clicked as when I went back to Brimham yesterday I was super determined to get to the top. The holds were dry but the top out was a little greasy and damp so I knew I'd have to fight at the top!
I probably had around 7 or 8 goes until I got my hands on the top and as soon as I was there I was adamant that I wasn't coming back down! Probably the worlds most inelegant top out but who cares, I made it!
So i'm off to Fontainbleau in a weeks time for my first trip there and I am pretty excited about climbing some brand new problems and seeing what there is to explore. So stay tuned for regular updates from the forest!