/ UKC Fit Club 2019 roundup.....

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AJM 01 Jan 2020

Last year's thread:

https://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/walls+training/ukc_fitclub_2018_review_of_the_year-698081?v=1#x8914943

Happy new year all! A distraction from sitting tired and hungover on the sofa, a chance to reflect on the year that was.

How did you progress against goals, what were your favourite routes, biggest spankings, sickest sends...?

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AJM 01 Jan 2020
In reply to AJM:

Since I've done a comparison against my 666 goals already, I'll shamelessly lift from my UKB "best of 2019" entry.....

Best 3 sea cliff routes:
- Colours, Wallsend. Scorching hot day but the route was dry as a bone, I tried as hard as I could try, and I got the onsight. Hardest onsight in ages, great route, perfect Wallsend day
- Bare Reputation, Cave Hole. My dws highlight of the year really, didn't do that much but I got this second go on a day when I'd driven down in the rain, found the crag running with water on arrival, and then like magic the sun came out and within half an hour or was game on.
- Riders on the Storm, Stennis. I hurt my shoulder at the start of what was supposed to be my big bang trad weekend of the year, bank holiday in Pembroke with Duncan. No enormous ticks as a result - First Blood being probably the hardest - but I really enjoyed Riders.

Top 3 inland UK routes:
- Video Kills, Split Rock. Having had an epic flashpump scrappy start to the day on Certain Surprise I was a bit nervous but it climbs really well, great gear, all that.
- Amanita Muscarina, Avon. My first E4 in years, done not too long after doing Yellow Edge, 2 long day trip missions to Avon with Dave. Classic adventures - some choss, some hard moves, some strange gear, and ice cream at the summit
- Great Western/Overhanging Groove, Almscliff. We went to the Dales sans child at Easter. I did all of the top50 routes at hvs or below in Northern England at Almscliff, which provided ample excuse not to try one of the big E3s, but I enjoyed these the most. Highlights of an excellent weekend.

Top 3 "foreign" adventures:
- Pensola Reniu, Cavall Bernat, Montserrat. A long weekend hit with my wife, we wanted to do this the last trip we did before my son was born so good to come back and finish it off. A great day out, some wild pitches, cool positions, really enjoyable. I fell off the crux pitch, which is a bouldery sandbag, but not really fussed, I thought the long pumpy pitch below was excellent and the whole experience great
- Ocean Boulevard, Fairhead. I know it's not foreign but I didn't do much abroad this year and I got there on a plane   Favourite of the routes we did at Fairhead, tried very hard, pulled it off.
- something else from Fairhead. Hard to pick really, so many good routes.

Top 3 spankings:
- Calcitron. And everything around it. Went down there when I thought I was going well thinking that doing a few thread-em-up E2/3s should be pretty steady, but somehow couldn't seem to find any holds or much gear in the right place and generally had a bit of a nightmare. Failed to get more than 6 foot up anything. A big confidence dent.
- Chapelle St Gras, near Morzine. Basically got spanked by everything here.
- Underbare, Cave Hole. Climbed this like a spanner and this was the start of shoulder knackeredness that dogged the end of my trad season. It's amazing, but I need to use my feet next time and not try to just campus things when I'm tired, because I'm too weak to do it with good form and that's just not cool for the shoulders.

Post edited at 08:36
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Si dH 01 Jan 2020
In reply to AJM:

Pretty good year that Andy! Looks like you went on a lot of trips. 

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AJM 01 Jan 2020
In reply to Si dH:

Squeezed a bunch of stuff in, yeah. Ali and I did day on day off childcare for a while and I did a lot of driving (Avon day trip is 4 hours total in the car, so Amanita, Video Kills, Colours, Bare Rep were all day raids of varying lengths), and then we had a day on a family holiday to Morzine plus long weekends to Pembroke, Yorkshire, Montserrat and Fairhead.

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Tom Green 01 Jan 2020
In reply to AJM:

Nice one for shouting up the Best Of thread!

Best Boulder:

Actually some un-named boulders on Lewis, but for reporting's sake: Slideshow (f6A+) -not the hardest, but just very satisfying!

Best UK Trad:

Meirionydd (E1 6a) -first 6a moves on lead

Best Non-UK Trad:

Contamine Route (TD) -simply awesome route, with the added bonus of finishing on top of the Dru.

Best Sport:

Gaza Strippers (6b+) -a nice test of the previous few months endurance training.

Best Scottish Winter:

Deep Throat (V 6) -not the hardest route of the winter, but quite anti-style, so felt extra-chuffed to cruise this one.

Best Winter Alpine:

Modica-Noury (TD+) -classy moves, perfect weather, nice cons for ski in and out. Sublime.

Best Grudge Match:

Tactician (HVS 5a) -took an absolute monster of a whip off this a couple of summers previous -pumped out with an armful of slack trying to clip. This time, not only was it a cruise, but I couldn't even see HOW I'd managed to get pumped last time! Power to the ARCing!!

Best Enchainment:

Solo climb/run link up of Direct Route (Milestone Buttress), Gashed Crag (East Face Tryfan), Slab Route (Glyder Fach) and a run over the Glyders.

Best Solo:

Poor Man's Peuterey (Tremadog) -nice positions, nice moves, nice views. Nothing to dislike!

'Best' Spanking:

Jaz (M8) Still. After three years of trying. Bloody Route. Finally come to the conclusion that I'm not going to get it done unless I actually work on specific strength. I can do all of the moves, but I power out (rather than pump out). So I figure each move is just a little too close to my limit (from a strength point of view). Lots of weighted pull up sessions required...

Post edited at 13:49
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the sheep 01 Jan 2020
In reply to AJM:

Goals set were swim 200km run 1000km cycle 3000km and better my sprint triathlon time set in my first one last year.

I made the swim total ending up with 217km and also set a new sprint tri PB of just under 1hr 10 minutes . However having a hernia in early October and subsequent surgery at the end of November scuppered my run goal and I fell 23km short. I was no where near the cycle goal mainly because I focused more on running as I trained with my wife helping her get ready for her first marathon.

In addition I completed my first open water sprint tri which was an education in itself!

Goals for 2020 are the same as 2019 but to also complete an Olympic distance triathlon too.

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Powderpuff 01 Jan 2020
In reply to AJM:

Hi AJM,

What a great year you've had!

Personally I've been chuffed to consistently add a fingerboard session to my usual two wall sessions every week, definitely felt  sharper as a result. Improving my diet has also helped make 2019 far better than the  year before!

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Steve Jones 02 Jan 2020
In reply to AJM:

Best Boulder:

Not been outside but now able to do a few V4 (f6b?) indoors.

Best UK Trad:

Creeping Jesus (HVS 5a) Scared the bejesus out of me.

Best Non-UK Trad:

n/a

Best Sport:

Brothers in Arms (bolted) (6a+) Only had the one evening outside doing sport and this was prob the best of the day, but nothing fancy.

Best Scottish Winter:

n/a

Best Winter Alpine:

n.a

Best Grudge Match:

See 'Best Spanking'.

Best Enchainment:

n/a - but hope to have a better answer for this next year!

Best Solo:

n/a

'Best' Spanking:

Fishers Folly (VS 4c)Still full of adrenaline from Creeping Jesus. Stood at the bottom belaying with water dripping on me I knew it was a bad idea. Climbed up to the traverse and bottled it and had to be lowered down! It's the 'Grudge Match' for 2020..!

Other goals:

Planned to run 3000k, managed abut 2300. Scored points in the English Fell Running Champs (vets) and came 21st at Borrowdale (the latter wasn't a goal but v pleased with all the same!).

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Ally Smith 02 Jan 2020
In reply to AJM:

Thanks for kicking off the thread Andy.

At the start of the year i stated my aspirations to be:
1) Have healthy elbows, shoulders, knees and fingers

Semi-tick: Lots of elbow grumbles at the start of the year, but seem to have found a good spot in terms of training intensity and rehab methodologies in the last few months.

I have had lots of problems with a groin strain this year, so not escaped completely injury free.


2) Climb Mecca - The Mid-life Crisis (8b+)

FAIL: I had a few sessions on it, but groin strain hindered progress, and the first move off the block is basted hard for me.


3) >bodyweight 1-handed deadhang on the BM2K lower middle rung.

FAIL: Miles off still, though the BM2K in The Chapel is miles easier to hang and I might have found a short-cut to completing this goal!


4) Do all the moves and some decent links on an 8c+

Semi-tick: Done all the moves, and some decent links on Pilgrimage, but it's still a very long way off.

5) 8A not in Parisella’s

TICK: A couple of things at Nudas Tartan.

6) 8A+ on link-up style limestone (e.g. Parisella's, Pantymwyn, Raven Tor etc)

FAIL


6) Stay married while attempting all the above

TICK

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planetmarshall 03 Jan 2020
In reply to Tom Green:

> 'Best' Spanking:

> Jaz (M8) Still. 

I feel your pain. I tried it a couple of times and decided that Drytooling is wank.

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planetmarshall 03 Jan 2020
In reply to AJM:

> How did you progress against goals, what were your favourite routes, biggest spankings, sickest sends...?

Biggest Spankings:

  • Broke my leg biting off more than I could chew while trying to learn to ski offpiste (actually in retrospect I think I was just a bit unlucky). Completely shafted my aerobic fitness last year (still struggling to run more than about 6k, and it hurts), hoping to get the implants removed this year.
  • Still can't sport climb.
  • Masochism (E1 5b) WTF?

Trad Routes

  • Hen Cloud Eliminate (HVS 5b) Been intimidated by this for years. First route after recovering from my broken leg and surprised my self by onsighting it due to sheer bloodymindedness and the terror of damaging my leg again.
  • Prophecy of Drowning (E2 5c) First E2 5c. Definitely soft but the grade is largely irrelevant. What a route. What a situation. What a place.
  • The Arrow (E1 5b). One off Caff's E1 list. Justifiably popular, through there were a few comments in the logbooks about the lower section being unprotected that I didn't think were justified. Nice to make a return visit to Pembroke.

Bouldering

  • Having never managed anything above V2, Surprised myself this year by flashing two V4s (Roof Goofe (f6B) and Jetty Bulge (f6B)
  • A rather random day out with Offwidth queen Mary Eden at Ramshaw, had a go at Melvyn Bragg (f7B) and was amazed to actually make progress on it. A project for early 2020.
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AJM 03 Jan 2020
In reply to planetmarshall:

It was years ago now but I similarly recall being surprised at those comments about the start of the arrow...

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Ally Smith 03 Jan 2020
In reply to AJM:

A few things I want to achieve in 2020:

  1. Have a whole year of healthy elbows, shoulders, knees and fingers (i.e. keep up plenty of (p)rehab)
  2. Climb 5x new sport routes of 7c or harder
  3. On-sight 7c again
  4. >bodyweight 1-handed deadhang on the BM2K lower middle rung (even if it’s the “easy” Chapel BM2K – good all-round aim as it's an enabler for the next 2 aims and will need; improved shoulder strength & coordination, some weight loss and of course, increased finger strength)
  5. 8A not in Parisella’s
  6. 8A+ on link-up style limestone
  7. Stay happily married
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Ally Smith 03 Jan 2020
In reply to AJM:

> It was years ago now but I similarly recall being surprised at those comments about the start of the arrow...

Similarly long time since I did The Arrow, but if you've the strength to hang around, that bulge has plenty of gear. Perhaps it's the soft-touch label that attracts climbers without the skill or strength to tackle The Arrow safely?

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guy127917 03 Jan 2020
In reply to AJM:

I have been intermittent posting in fitclub this year. Planning to restart consistency for 2020!

So to review:

2019 Goals:

* Run the TMB in 5/6 days 

Didn't do this, and didn't run at all as much as I planned/wanted. However this specific trip was replaced with our swiss alpine trip in which we did the Hornli Ridge which had been a long standing joint goal with Jen I had written off (for now at least). 

* Compete in 4 boulder comps, 4 trail/fell races 

I don't remember how many boulder comps we did in the end but definitely more than 4. Mainly fairly casual ones, but I really enjoyed the format as a way to add focus to bouldering and test myself.

I did 4 running races but not 4 trail races, and enjoyed them all. It's definitely good for me to keep entering things!

* A new (to me) 7a+ route at Portland, Mindmeld (7a+), Portland Heights (7a)

We only made one trip to Portland this year, bit of a fail on that front. I couldn't face the drive and weather wasn't too good when I had opportunity,

* Hold a front lever for 5s

I think I made some progress on this but didn't really train much.

* 2 Grit E2 ticks

No E2's sent but I did sent my first 6C boulder, first indoor v7's, and had my best ever campaign against a wave set at the castle (think 4 or 5 problems completed). 

* I want to complete another full 12 week fingerboard cycle 

I don't think I managed this! I did do several 4 week week blocks though. 

Other 2019 Highlights:

* Got to do some route setting at our new local gym, which I really enjoyed

* We had a really fun trad trip to Pembroke and the Lakes

* Fun to do some (presumed) FAs at Oukameiden in Morroco

To 2020:

Bones and I have a baby due in July so that will impact things- I'm basically hoping to maintain some sense of consistency but won't have as many big goals


* Get as many bouldering trips in as possible in first 9 weeks of year. No specific boulder goals- just get outside and enjoy it. 

* 4 running races (any distance)

* Hopefully get in an ice climbing trip to Rockies (goal of just be safe!)

* Do some more route setting

* Work consistently on the woody, (as I really enjoy that style of bouldering)

* Get the newborn outside of London as much as possible!

Post edited at 13:54
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guy127917 03 Jan 2020
In reply to the sheep:

Well done on the swim and run goals (think we can give you the 23km eh!) and on the open water tri! Wish you good luck with injuries in the new year.

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Tom Green 03 Jan 2020
In reply to planetmarshall:

> A rather random day out with Offwidth queen Mary Eden at Ramshaw, had a go at Melvyn Bragg (f7B) and was amazed to actually make progress on it. A project for early 2020.

Was on Melvyn yesterday... what an ace problem! Really struggling to un-invert in to the chicken wing. Let me know if you fancy a day at Ramshaw at some point (I’ve loads of trad on the Ramshaw to-do list as well, although you’ve put me off Masochism!!)

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Tom Green 03 Jan 2020
In reply to guy127917:

CONGRATS!!

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AJM 03 Jan 2020
In reply to guy127917:

Congrats guy! (And bones!)

If you ever want to try to hook up for some family+climbing exploits then give us a shout...

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the sheep 03 Jan 2020
In reply to guy127917:

Awesome news, many congratulations

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biscuit 03 Jan 2020
In reply to guy127917:

Great news! Congratulations! 

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biscuit 03 Jan 2020
In reply to AJM:

Well it looks like I ticked most of mine. Aiming low works! 

Finished second in both Manc depot and Kendal boulder leagues. 

Finished my degree. Got a job. Had a summer of just climbing with no direction, just going with the flow. 

It turns out doing that gets a bit aimless and you end up not feeling like you’ve done much. Didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought.

666 goals of 6 V6’s of steep, vert and slab. Failed due to finger injury at the beginning of October. It was going well until then. 

Goal for 2020 is simple - get back to 7c. 

I’m going to have a think about intermediate goals while I’m on holiday this week. I did have 7B goals over Winter but i’ll have to see how the finger is doing. 

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mattrm 03 Jan 2020
In reply to AJM:

My goals were:

> 50% exercise (4 mile walk to work counts as an exercise day)

I just sqeaked this one in. 

> 30 minute 5k

I have started running again, but 30m 5ks are probably not that close.  I'm rarely running more than once a fortnight.

> Improve diet using DQS

This one was a bit of a rollercoaster, some bits of the year I did quite well and other parts were awful 

> Lead 6a (any style)

Sorta?  I can still top rope 6a even in my seriously tubby state.  That's good I guess.

> Lead 6b and 6c (any style)

Nope, not really close.

Broadly the same for next year:

More running.  Better diet.  If I can manage that and get the kgs off the climbing will come along naturally.  But broadly speaking I'll focus on bouldering more as I tend to enjoy that more.  I'll try and do some super easy trad, but I'm coming from nothing there now, it's been too long.

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Tom Green 04 Jan 2020
In reply to guy127917:

Re bouldering trips goal... have you got the N Wales bouldering guide? If not, get it -it’s aces! 


Appreciate that London to N Wales is a grind, but then London to anywhere is a PITA so you may as well!! The amount of quality across all styles and rock types is staggering. 

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guy127917 04 Jan 2020
In reply to Tom Green:

I have avoided it for the same reason as the chamonix guide.... too many options causes anxiety!!!

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mattrm 04 Jan 2020
In reply to guy127917:

Big congrats to both of you.  It's amazing (also very tiring!)

If you want some chilled walking with us and our looning toddler in the Brecon Beacons once you're up to travelling that far, just let me know!

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SFrancis 06 Jan 2020
In reply to AJM:

A bit late to the party but my round up.

Bouldering

A fantastic trip to font but the heat high 20 degree heat prevented anything too hard ticked a few classics and fell off the top of Duroxmanie (Black 29) (f6C), a tick of Relativity (f7A) at the end of the year was probably the real highlight. 

Sport

A strange year, a few dorset classics, managed to flash Colors (7b+) and Stay Golden (7b), favourite battle was Sweet Smell of Success (7b) soon after i returned to climbing after a prolonged illness. Other favourites were Troll Team Special (7a+) and Portland Heights (7a). Unproductive short trip to kalymnos, and rounded off the year in Geyikbayiri and managed to tick Black Moon (7b+) just before new years. 

Trad

A good start to the year ticking off a few classics Flying Buttress Direct (E1 5b), the unconquerables, Bond Street (HVS 5a)Brimstone (E2 5b)Suicide Wall (E1 5c) Then a great trip to Valle d'orca crack climbing, brilliant venue. Illness put pay planned trip to North wales and Old man of Stoer. 

Trad / Alpine

Started the year with my first continental ice trip. Brilliant, ended up leading from day one, and by the end of the week I had led 15 pitches up to WI4, culminating in the crux pitch of Les Formes du Chaos (WI-4) definitely one my favourite days of the year. 

The big tick of the year was the Cordier Pillar (TD 6b), a fantastic big day out, that ticked all the boxes, including an incredibly dicey crossing return over the glacier in what I can only describe as how I would imagine artillery fire might feel like. Watching a block the size of a mini whiz passed spraying snow around 50m away in the moonlight will probably stick with me. 

Other big ticks

Got my club pilot rating for paragliding, and have now got all my own kit

Watched my fiance tick a couple of 7as, and begin onsighting upto 6b+, and she finished with a font 6C+. Very proud. 

Ski trip to Utah, with a couple of very good backcountry days with waist deep powder, and untracked snowy faces. Very exciting, and possibly a bit naughty as had been snowing we had agreed to stick to tree runs but after the skin and the sight of the untracked treeless face we didnt want to leave empty handed. Alls well that ends well and bouncing through powder up to my armpits will stick with me for life.

Top spankings

Getting really ill, 2 months of agony, and nearly 6kg lost., I have nothing but sympathy for anyone who suffers from any gut related issues. Weirdest issue was after ~4 weeks of no climbing i developed tendonitis in my elbow. 

Halfway to Heaven (7b) - fell off the top and got my shins across the roof, glad it wasnt my head. 

Fiance taking a huge inverted whipper, not injured, but very shaken up and a real annoyance considering how well she had been going, and she was properly going for it. Gutted for her, hoping she will be keen again at some point. She seems just happy bouldering at the moment. 

Biggest whipper on gear so far, on the extremely pumpy finger crack of P1 Legoland (P1) (E1 5c), on to the yellow dragonfly, I hadn't realised how far i had run it out trying desperately to get to the end, took a wild slap at what I would hope was a jug and wasn't. Monster ride and swing, mate wasnt impressed that I had christened his new microcam with such a colossal fall. 

Post edited at 08:25
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Bones [:B 09 Jan 2020
In reply to AJM:

Thanks Andy. I haven't been on fitclub since our trip to Morocco (which was excellent) due mainly to Christmas and laziness but thanks all for the congrats. I'm excited to try out training with a baby. Pull-ups have definitely gotten harder!

I had leave one of my 2018 goals here as I still haven't done it!
Goals from 2018:
Log my Canada climbs from June 2017 - hahahahahahaha


Goals from 2019:
- To continue the VS goal and do the missing 15 leads - did 4 more. Had a pretty good start to the year doing trad leads and then the weather got a bit rubbish and ended up focussing on other things.
- 3 HVS leads - not this year
- 1 E1 lead - definitely not, although if the year had continued how it started this might have been possible.
- Be roughly 62kg by the end of the year (currently 66kg) - I was and then I got pregnant and am not 66kg again!
- Lead 7a+ - no
- Boulder 3 more V7s (indoors) - no but I have been consistently improving in bouldering and flashing V5s regularly.
- Some alpine goal but not sure what yet - will be interested to see what I write for this in 2020 - Well what I will write is that I had a great week in the Alps with the cherry on top being the Matterhorn with Guy on a nice, quite sunny day.
- Front lever, this should be interesting too - I improved loads on this. Got a much stronger core going but this all started to go a bit downhill since November. At least I know what to do to work on it now. This is now a goal for Summer 2021!

This year is all a bit of an unknown for me but my general goals are:

Keep gyming, working mainly on staying sane and doing leg work along with other things that feel good whilst pregnant.

Continue bouldering where possible and possibly doing some top-roping once I get my full-body harness (thanks AJM :D ) and fingerboard to keep finger strength up throughout.

Give birth to a baby and get it climbing asap.

Run consistently so that when it comes to the 10-mile race I booked for October 2020 not knowing I was pregnant I have at least a small chance of being able to limp around it.

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