I have to say that if I was into snow for walking/etc. right now, it's a pretty awesome time of year. But since I don't see any Alpine mountains right now it's just really beautiful to see, and long may the snow last. As one friend commented recently though, pretty funny that it takes only 2cms of snow to shut down some countries!

Anyway, it's 2010 and only the warm-up to the year so I've done my reflections on last year and what a year. I've been so lucky to have gotten to a bunch of countries (Thailand, New Zealand, States, Spain, France) with my fab girlfriend, attended a great wedding (and somehow became the wedding photographer!?!?), moved careers in a new country, ticked some routes I'd always wanted to do, and the only (not really significant but) major incident was getting some sort of tendinitis after only three days of climbing at Indian Creek which put me out of action for over two months. Turns out I was born to climb faces, not splitters :)

And even amongst all that it was a good year for sport but unsurprisingly, I'm thinking ahead as always. Do I set new years resolutions? Not really, but I do keep a few goals in mind at all times. Some have come about after this years experiences (namely get good at crimping again, I've been shut down on three routes I should have completed from the strength imbalance to pockets) and as ever, there's the natural ones of improving in grade on the perpetual improvement cycle.
I actually had some fun as you can see from the scale above (this was chucked together briefly using Google Docs) I've had a pretty steady improvement throughout the years.
Note, I've converted the equivalent grade to the Australian grading system as it's numberical and easier to scale on a graph. 25 = 7b, 27 = 7c, 29 = 8a, etc.
Other than the initial shock of realizing, I'm climbing more than 10 years (jeebus!), it was pretty cool to see. And even more of an incentive to up the ante this year as a I notice a bit of a plateau that needs to be resolved :) I've always promised myself to climb my equivalent age in the Australian grading system for the foreseeable future and since I'm still a year ahead of that, it's a good incentive to keep improving. Of course, who knows how long this will go on for, but hearing of 52-year olds climbing 9a and above, it's good to know I've loads of room to improve in me! Of course, taking a super intense course right now is causing some challenges for time but no point worrying about that - just believe!
I've still got that bit of a focus to improve my bouldering this year and after the first session back at the Foundry last night, things are looking up. O.k. so Christmas had taken it's toll, but I managed two problems that I hadn't been able to do before so obviously the rest has helped some muscles adjust to the strain I'm putting them under. Of course, this was offset by the fact that I've got the endurance of a a panda (rests for 17 hours a day) so managed to climb for about 90 minutes before I was burnt out so now all I need to do is not forget how to climb for more than 10 holds without getting pumped ;)

Hopefully everyone else is looking forward to an awesome year, hopefully get to climb with a lot of ye! The nature of the beast is to want to improve so better get to it then :)

What's your rock shoe of choice?

Home Climbing Wall setup