With the crappy weather that we are having, now seems to be a good time to take stock of unfinished business from last year and future projects for the coming limestone season. When you are pushing your limits redpointing, it seems inevitable that you will collect a number 'works in progress' as you go along, otherwise you wouldn't be trying hard enough, right? The question is, where do you draw the line given the available resources you have in the form of time, motivation, strength and dry rock? Some people seem able to have projects hanging over them for years and years. I remember Paul Reeve showing me the moves on Full Tilt 8b back in 2006 and looking very strong on it. It wasn't until a few years later that his well-deserved tick came= due to the propensity of the crag to resemble a waterfall most of the year.
Using this as inspiration I have tried to not be too bothered by unfinished routes, as long as the list doesn't get too long! I managed to knock a couple of long term projects off my list last year namely Full Tilt and another 8b at Malham, Idefix, so was chuffed with that. I think managing to get a few percent stronger and fitter made all the difference and also Full Tilt drying out sufficiently was obviously crucial (potential aspirants to this and the extension, True North, would readily agree with this!) So, it is possible to dig deep and get shot of those so called 'bogey routes' with sufficient application.
My unfinished list at the moment is about as long as I would want it to get so I had better pull my finger out in the spring! I haven't included routes where I have only been up them once or twice for the purposes of assessing the moves with a view to maybe seriously attempting them (Cry Freedom and True North would fall into this category). That is not to say these routes won't go into the 'ticked' or 'unfinished' categories at some point in the future!
Kabaah 8c+ (Raven Tor)
To Bolt or not to Be 8b+
Mama Docus 8a+ (Smith Rock)
Migranya 8b (Suirana)
The Inch Test 8a+ (Rubicon, the Upper Circle)
Barracuda 8b (Rubicon)
Gonads 8a+ (Two Tier Buttress)
Freedom Fighter 8a+ (Chimes extension)
Unfinished Boulder problems
Drink Driving V12 (Pill Box)
Hatch Life High V11
Hatchatrocity V11 (Parisella's Cave)
The Joker V11 (Stanage)
Domes Sit Start V9 (Rowtor)
Tarantula V9 (Nuda's Tartan)
Right now, I'm training in the Cave on saturdays to keep up the power endurance and doing lots of routes at the wall, with one bouldering session per week and a separate pullup/fingerboarding session. Its hard to train to be fit and strong at the same time but hopefully it will pay off. The danger is that you feel overtrained all the time and not at full strength when trying projects at the weekend (eg. in the cave). This has certainly been the case the last few weekends in the Cave but I'm hoping that it will be worth it and adaptation to a higher training load will happen. The theory being that when you do eventually take 2 or 3 days rest, you'll be ripping heads off! I'm suffering a bit with some bad skin splits in my finger joints which don't seem to go away for weeks and which have made it difficult to climb to full potential outside at times. These should be got rid of soon with any luck. I also seemed to have quite a sore right bicep coming back from Suirana a month ago but this now seems to have settled down, fingers crossed. This is the first year I have purposely decided to go indoors on sundays to do routes instead of taking my chances at Minus Ten in the drizzle or some other damp hole. Perhaps less character building but maybe of more training benefit, who knows!
I leave you with a link from the Pill Box which I first did in 2009 but repeated the other day, no better venue for fingery power endurance in January.