/ NEW ARTICLE: House of Cards by Neil Gresham
"How can a young sport climber with such a limp trad CV, suffer such delusions of grandeur? Surely a fit of inexplicable madness was responsible, or a self-destruct button waiting to be pressed? In fact, it was neither of those things..."
Read more at http://www.ukclimbing.com/articles/page.php?id=5758
One of the most intriguing and thought-provoking articles I've read in a long time. Well done on all counts.
I liked the footnote.
Best of the trio, well written and highly evocative. Some of the lines send shivers.
"...I still look back on it with a mixture of pride tempered with disgust."
I like that a lot. Reckon most people can relate to it on a much smaller scale.
Seriously, guys. Just proof-read the ‘kin things. It takes five minutes. Less. Hell, I’ll do it for you.
Publishing things riddled with spelling and grammatical errors, and not knowing what words mean, does not add to the affect (see what I did there?). It just makes you look half-arsed.
But yes, this definitely has the makings of a good article.
We, rather UKC, need Ken Wilson :-)
It's the prologue to the current Cloggy guide.
Brilliant piece of writing and an enjoyable series of articles.
A very honest account and a fascinating insight. Interesting how the articles have been very different so far.
The typos at the start are distracting. Embedded. Folklore. More capitals in Cloggy. There's an it's which should be its as well somewhere.
Excellent and maybe I do now understand my mate's Zen ramblings about 'enjoying the journey rather than the outcome'. Still, doesn't sound like Neil really enjoyed the journey after all ;)
Can't be arsed arguing. I enjoyed it.
I also enjoyed it, and the other two. But JCM has a point. I occasionally had to re-read a sentence in all three articles, only understanding it after mentally inserting a comma, or correcting a spelling mistake.
That's a really decent, enjoyable read. What I'd like to have heard more about though is how you recognise when you're at that 'Catastrophe Cusp'. What if you think you're at that cusp and things can only get better, whereas in fact, you've still got some way to go....and that's downwards?! A detailed, first person acount of the actual ascent itself would also have been very interesting to read.
My recollection is that this is more or less what is contained in Neil's piece at the front of the most recent Cloggy guide.
He pretty much gives an account of the ascent in the podcast - http://www.ukclimbing.com/articles/page.php?id=5760
Even more sweaty-palm inducing than the article I thunk.
Really interesting article.
I found it a bit strange about "living in the moment". So many climbs where I've been scared, the thought of how good it will feel once I've finished the route, or my desire to "get the tick" has been the factor that has pulled me through. As shallow as it probably sounds, that psychology has got me up some good routes! I liked the peak fear thing though.
Excellent, thanks for that I'll listen to it later.
> What I'd like to have heard more about though is how you recognise when you're at that 'Catastrophe Cusp'. What if you think you're at that cusp and things can only get better, whereas in fact, you've still got some way to go....and that's downwards?!
In my experience peak fear is when you're no longer in control and about to fall off! Just 'accepting' this and calmly carrying on is a concept I find hard to understand. Surely the usual effective (sometimes) remedy is survival instinct where you just dig deeper and keep fighting (as Neil suggests he had to). Obviously this is far from ideal but sometimes the only way!
I have once experienced going beyond being scared. On my first grade V on the Ben, in the days of crap ice screws, I became very scared on the crux pitch as the climbing was far harder than I thought it would be, I had no screws in and my second had informed me "Put it this way, if you fall off nothing good is going to happen."when I had enquired about the belay quality.
Very suddenly everything went calm and my inner voice told me that being scared would not help. I then became very analytical about every move and emotionally detached from the couple on near misses I had while completing the pitch. It was in many ways a very empowering experience - it really opened my eyes to what I could do.
Not as serious a situation, but I once had a similar experience. The first and only time I went pot-holing was fascinating, challenging (I have mild claustrophobia) and er, 'invigorating'. Half way through the route, I got left behind. The bag holding my battery came to bits and I stopped to repair it. When I looked up, everyone had gone. Properly gone - no sight or sound of them and I didn't know which way they'd gone. It's hard to judge how long it took me to hook up with the guys again. Probably five minutes, but it felt like half an hour. This wasn't the harrowing bit, but it served as background to it. The harrowing bit was a letterbox crawl near the end of the route through a horizontal gap about two feet deep and twenty feet long. That's when the claustrophobia kicked in good and LOUD. I had to tell it to STFU because I was busy and I'd pay attention later. Got through as cool as you like. And every night for the next three nights, I woke up bolt upright in bed, drenched in a cold cold sweat and scared to death :-)
I like the way you capitalised his initials, which of course is grammatically correct ;-)
A subconscious decision to disassociate, or a conscious one? I've never been in anything like as extreme a situation, but sometimes the brain just takes over and shuts down its fear department.
Are you talking about combat? A good friend of mine has experienced similar in that situation. I, and he, didn't fall apart afterwards but did both have a feeling of invincibility. The difference between the two situations that came out in discussion was that I felt totally in control of my own destiny for the rest of the pitch where as my friend felt an acceptance that he could be killed at any time but accepted this and just tried to do his best.
(I'm not likening climbing on the Ben to combat, just comparing reactions to serious situations.)
Excellent piece. But get a grip UKC and fix all the typos.
Enjoyed this. I'd enjoy more of the same - recollections of important ascents from the people that matter.
> I had no screws in and my second had informed me "Put it this way, if you fall off nothing good is going to happen."when I had enquired about the belay quality.
When I've got myself into stupid situations soloing (thankfully not too often), getting breathing under control and then concentrating on climbing well rather than tensing up has been what's got me through, that and having holds to aim for.
Different type of fear I guess to the 'about to fall off' desperation!
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