Summer Goals and Preparing for the Mountains

dumby pano

Rock season is now well underway and this year I have decided to make a conscious effort to set some goals that I aim to achieve by the end of the season. Recently I read an article that showed that people who write down goals and display them somewhere where they are constantly reminded of it, are much more likely to go on to achieve them. I’m hoping writing this might have the same effect!

Near the end of last year, just as winter was about to roll in, I climbed my hardest route yet, Public Spirited Individual E3 6a at Cambusbarron. Reflecting on that, this year I again want to push my grade and get a good quantity of climbs under my belt.

Primary Goal: E5

By the end of the summer I want to have climbed my first E5. An important aspect of climbing this is route selection and style of ascent. For this project I want a route with reasonable protection, ie no highballs that get E5, no easy routes with no protection. The route needs to be hard! The Purr-Blind Doomster E5 6a at Cambusbarron and This Sceptic Heil E5 6b at Ratho seem like two ideal candidates as both are nearby and provide hard climbing. Climbing ground-up and placing protection on lead is also important, working moves prior on top rope can completely chance the mental fight you encounter while on lead, and thus I am not interested in this style for these routes.

Secondary Goals: Mileage

My other goal is to tick off a number of other routes in the E2, E3 and E4 range. So far with the dry weather in April this has got off to a good start with some late night cragging at Ratho, Cambusbarron and Dumbarton Rock. By the end of the season I would like have to have completed:

4 E4’s – Already done Chisel E4 6a

 8 E3’s – 2 completed, Crack Attack E3 6a  and Slot Shot E3 5c

15 E2’s – 2 completed, Gobi E2 5c and Wally 1 E2 5c

Why these goals?

For me climbing at crags is the stepping stone that helps take you from the strength you gain climbing at the indoor wall, to experience needed on outdoor rock and placing protection to be able to climb on long multi-pitch routes in the mountains. So far the mountain routes I have done have not been of great technical difficulty, however some of the greatest looking lines like The New Testament require a high technical standard on some very bold and committing terrain. Possibly next summer some of these hard mountain routes may be on my hit list, but for now I’ll be sticking to the E2’s.


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