Yesterday evening we went to Fjärdhundra for a climbing session in the nice late summer/early autumn weather. I sneaked away from work early so we could leave already at 17:00 from Uppsala. I felt in great shape and I can’t remember the last time I was this strong. However, the evening didn’t turn like I wished.

We started with Mapumpe 6b+. I fell three times from the top before I got up, and it’s not even hard up there. For some unknown reason I just got stuck, out of balance and fell off as soon as I moved my right hand.

Next we tried Spider Dance 6c but even though it just looked a little bit wet from the ground it turned out to be impossible to climb when I passed the first bolt. So I had to give up and reverse down to the ground.

After that we moved on to Vindöga 6c+. I don’t like the start of that one, so I did my usual thing, traversed in from the right so I can clip the first bolt and then do the start with the first sling pre-clipped. On the first try I put one foot wrong so I ended up too far to the right. On the next try I managed the start fine and continued up the jug-fest to the rest.

Up to the fourth bolt it’s a bit of a run-off on small sharp hand holds. Unfortunately I’m two centimeters too short to be able to clip the sling to the bolt from the small sidepull (with pre-hanging slings I can however clip from that position), which means I had to move up from the big plateau and on to the next even worse hand holds before I could clip. With the previous bolt quite a bit below my feet I got a mental freak-out and I had to climb down to the previous bolt and hang and rest three times before I finally gave up. In the end I cheated a bit by going further to the right and using the jugs to reach a good hold higher up which I could clip from. I had also forgotten just how painful the last hand hold is and I ended up cheating past that one as well.

Somewhat discouraged by all the failures I next moved on to Twist 6b which is usually quite a nice warm-up route. But could I do it without any hangs? No, of course not. At the long reach I reached out, but I had the feet all wrong and couldn’t get where I need to go with my hand. So I toppled off.

As the final route of the day we moved a few meters to the left and did Bulletproof 6c. A route I did easily the first try this spring. This time it was a different story though. The start is easy, and I got up to the crux, which requires lots of balance while standing up using a poor side-pull. I almost fell off but I managed to hold on for dear life! I clipped the next bolt, but the rock has a darker color here and with the sun setting it was hard to see where to place the feet. I found a foot placement, moved up a bit, got the next hand hold for the right hand, but I didn’t move the left foot before reaching up with the left hand. So I fell off. I tried a few more times and fell again before I found the magic foot placement in the darkness. I got the jug, moved my feet again, put them on something I could hardly see, moved up and I got a mental break-down.

Down-climb to the previous bolt and rest.

I try again, and the same thing. The third time I got further and had my hands on the last jug, but I failed to clip the rope in the permanent wire gate because the gate was hard to move. I freaked out and had to down-climb and rest yet again. The next time I got up to the jug but instead of trying to clip the permanent wire gate I placed a quick-draw there and clipped that one instead.

To make a long story short, I climbed like crap this evening. I felt incredible weak both physically and even more so mentally, and I usually never have any mental problems when leading. So it feels like this was quite a devastating blow to my self-confidence!

Hopefully it was because I got less than six hours of non-consecutive sleep during the night. Maybe I need to get a job closer to home if I want to climb better?