Learning from not succeeding

edit: before I ramble, it's Friday before a Bank Holiday - happy outdoor adventures everyone over the next three days!!!!!!!


I came across this old footage after a mail from Youtube to warn it needed to moved off Google Video:

A full playlist of the videos from attempts is here....

A couple of things came to mind:
1) This was recorded on a digital camera. In 2007. Amazing to think how much the quality has improved in only 5 years, most people's mobile phones would do a better job now.

2) This route would still cause me problems - it's all undercuts and burly (the crux on monos was pretty easy after a bit of practice) so I always get powered out on that sort of thing.

3) I was shuffling my feet around a lot back then! I'm hoping that was just because it was freezing cold and I was trying to stay warm ;)

4) Video editing has improved massively also! See Ricky Bell's great/amazing/stunning edit of Michael Duffy across Ireland below......



5) In total, I must have had 25+? attempts on this route, and never got higher than in the footage at the top. It was frustrating, stressful, hard - the line suffered from seepage, it was coming into winter, falling off the same moves, etc. But I would do it again without a doubt. It was humbling, and I gained a lot of mental strength to accept that not getting a route is 'not failing', it's part of the learning curve. Mentally, I had to improve to believe that every time I pulled on, I was going to give it 120% (although maybe I should have been giving 150% :). From trad climbing, how I largely got into climbing, the idea is largely of onsight or do it quickly (although many do pre-practice, top rope, etc. - not sure how much this is discussed though) so this opened my eyes to the process of learning moves, especially on a long route, instead of a boulder problem. It's also stuff that helped in other parts of life - you learn to be more driven, accept that some things take time - climbing translates to all!

6) it's interesting reading my old thoughts back when I was writing on this at the time. My thoughts haven't changed much since then, especially on this topic, and even interesting to see the challenges over mental strength being referenced too. I've written/said many things over the years that I would probably have a different perspective on nowadays (part of the fun of this blog is I get to go back and see how my opinions/views have adapted over the years) but not much has changed on traveling and trying inspiring lines!

Anyway, as mentioned at the beginning, it's Friday before a Bank Holiday - happy outdoor adventures all!!!!!!
Neal McQuaidComment