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Introduction to hot aches (my first ever sport climb!)

I went to Kilnsey on sunday with a load of friends from Leeds to try some sport climbing. I used to do some leading indoors at the Castle in London when I was younger, but haven’t for years and have never done any sport climbing outdoors, so didn’t really know what to expect.

The first route I got on did not go brilliantly: a 6b+ or possibly 6c I didn’t get the name of, but it was horrible!  Laying back off huge sidepulls, I didn’t stop to rest at all, got super pumped and dropped off near to the top with a horrible pain in my hands. I didn’t even finish the route: I lowered down from the last clip I had made it to and sat around quietly worrying that there was something seriously wrong with my hands (until I described the pain to a friend and was told that hot aches are very normal. I felt like an idiot). Not a great start to the day!

I was then directed toward Comedy (7c), being told it was much more my style. I got fairly high on the onsight attempt, falling just before the penultimate clip, then dogged it a few times to learn where the holds were and sent it on around the fifth try! What a great route! Really bouldery, which is probably the only reason I could do it, but working out how to do each of the moves in the most efficient way so that I had enough energy to reach the top was what took me several attempts (i.e. I’m a thug with no stamina).

Might be off to Caley Crag today, gonna try and finally get Blockbuster (7b+) and maybe try Zoo York (8a), which I could do some of the moves for a couple of years ago, but haven’t tried for ages. I’ll try and get the camera charged and get some footage of me failing everything!

Video of my friend Dan Turner making it look REALLY easy:

Zoo York 8A from Will Atkinson on Vimeo.