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Rich Simpson's Diary

Post 10. 24/03/06

After returning home from Spain on Monday 20th March the first thing that struck me was just how miserable British weather is compared to the continent.

Obviously I haven’t been super keen to train this week. Tuesday was spent resting and I did an easy session after work on Wednesday at the Birmingham climbing wall just to get back into plastic and training again.

I was supposed to be training Thursday but unusually for me felt unmotivated so took a rest day with a view to training on my board on Friday.

Post 09. 17/03/06

A Muerte 8c+/9a

El The route i climbed is about 20 metres long. It starts with a nasty one finger pocket, on a wall that overhangs about 25 degrees. You climb 10 long moves on pockets up to a bulge (so far about french 8b or 8b+) then straight into a very very long move to the side from a slopey, shit 2 fingered pocket. This leads into another 2 fingered pocket (thank god for my Action Directe training) which then joins with an existing french 8c called El membre, which avoided all the hard climbing of the project by starting more to the left and traversing in. The joining point is at the bouderey 8c’s crux, from their you make 3 more long moves on pockets, up to a small sharp edge, and a sketchy, slappy rock over to a positive undercut. Here you can rest for about 20 seconds, then climb a techniqual fingerey wall, which is very easy to slip off. You must use 2 very small edges, get your feet really high and slap to a sloper with you heart hanging on the line. A terryifying final move,thankfully i got out of bed on my lucky side that day. From their, some pleasent easy climbing tit eh top. Yippeee.

The route is super sustained. The problem for me was that the 5 move crux sequence was about font 8a+ alone, and you must climb a very athletic french 8b to get their with no rest whatsoever. It is essential to have plenty of power in reserve for the crux otherwise you dont stand a chance. But the start quickly saps your power, even when you climb it quickly. However, the style of climbing required suits me very well indeed. Similar to what is required to climb Action Directe. Kill 2 birds comes to mind.

The line was bolted about 10 years ago, and has seen off substantial efforts from Dani Andrada and has also been tryed by Ramonet Juilian, Iker Pou and possibly Edu marin, all 9A climbers.

Post 08. 07/03/06

Worked all day then packed up my kit and tried to get an early night. I have an early flight in the morning, but for once, wont struggle to get out of bed. More I will be waiting all night just to leave. It’s really weird how, after 4 years of professional climbing, I can still be so excited for a road trip. My passion hasn’t fizzled out whatsoever, in fact, I dare say it’s grown. Lets just hope that my ability has also increased. I suppose time will tell.

Stay tuned for another update from Spain.

Post 07. 06/03/06

I went for a run before work, 6am to be precise; I ran about 5 miles taking about 30 minutes, then headed into work for 9 till 5.30. I rushed home feeling tired but full of energy, grabbed a quick bite to eat and drove to the Warwick wall, for what was to be my last session before Spain. To be honest, I was looking forward to getting the session over and done with before I started. But surprisingly I really enjoyed this session. Over the last week my fitness has increased a lot. Which showed tonight as I managed to climb every route in the wall, up to French 8a+ fairly easily. In total I managed about 30 routes between 7A and 8a+, with very little rest in between. It wasn’t until the last 3 routes that I even began to feel tired. By that time to the wall was about to close. I drove home with a smile on my face knowing that the next time I will climb, it will be in the beautiful rocks of Siurana.

Post 07. 05/05/06

Headed out to Burbage to watch a young star and some old has been attempt Voyager. I never tried, but it was cool to see 2 very good climbers out and made me pretty keen to try Voyager myself. I then went to the Foundry to do some more routes. Still feeling tired form Saturday, I didn’t quite manage the volume I usually try and do. However I still pushed hard and climbed around 20 routes with very little rest, ranging between 6c and 7c. The session lasted about 3 hours. I then headed back to Birmingham feeling pretty shot form the week, knowing I have another early start on Monday.

Post 06. 04/03/06

Still feeling very tired and achy. These routes are beginning to get the better of me. I went to the Foundry wall, with the super keen Neil Mawson, we both had very good sessions, really pushing each other, climbing route after route and trying to ignore the painfully obvious pumped forearms that occurred. We did about 20 routes each, ranging form 6c to 7c. But didn’t rest much in between. I felt like going for a run after the session, but in the end went out for a Balti with some friends, which nagged me a bit, but I felt like I had worked hard all week so deserved it. Besides I have a sweet tooth for Indian food.

Post 05. 03/03/06

Finally, a rest day, or nearly. I ran for about 40 minutes in the morning, which I really enjoyed since the snow had covered the fields and the air felt very fresh. Then Headed up north, stopping by Keith Bradbury’s house in Derby to be treated to delicious beans on Toast in return for planning his new climbing board, before carrying on to Sheffield to see my girlfriend and relax. I felt incredibly stiff all day, probably because of the early starts and lack of sleep in the previous few nights. But I am stubborn and knew I only had till the following Wed before I headed to Spain. I have also put a lot of pressure on myself to climb well out there, so the easy option was not even considered.

Post 04. 02/03/06

Another day in the suit shop, I still felt stiff and pumped from the previous day. I decided to do some circuits at the new boulder wall in Birmingham. I did about 10 laps on a circuit, which is probably French 8a+. It consists of 30 moves, and I rest 6 minutes between each set. On the last 2 sets I was totally blasted, requiring me to really dig deep to complete the circuits, which I did.

After the session I pretty much collapsed on the mat, exhausted from 2 18-hour days and having not sat down once.

Post 03. 01/03/06

After spending all day doing meaningless work in a men’s suits shop (I have heard all the jokes so don’t bother). I headed straight out to the Warwick wall to do some more routes. I still felt tired from yesterday, but soon got into the swing of things, and also felt a lot fitter than the previous day. I climbed up to French 7c+ but did a lot of mileage in the 7B-7C range, which was a lot better than yesterday. All in all I did about 30 routes, in about 3 hours of non-stop climbing. Obviously I returned home very tired, and went straight to bed knowing I have another early start.

Post 02. 29/02/06

After a morning out on the grit, which included a successful ascent of Careless Torque, followed by a few pathetic attempts on The Ace, (must try harder) I headed back down south for an afternoon of routes down at the Warwick wall. Since I haven’t done any fitness-based work for about 6 months and have only just returned from a 3-month rest period, in which I climbed twice, I was very unfit. Therefore I concentrated on making some mileage on 7A and 7B routes, the session lasted about 2 hours in which I probably did about 20 routes between 6C and 7B. Although I was way beneath my usual level of fitness, I wasn’t to bothered since I am able to improve my climbing based endurance very quickly, especially as I do a lot of running, which does seem to help.

Post 01. 28/02/06

After a hard weekends training, which consisted of some systems training on pockets, campus boarding and dead hangs on my home wall. I decided to take an active rest day, which included some very light circuits on my board, (about French 7B, 3 repetitions) and a 30 minutes run. Followed by an hours stretching. It was nice to take an easier day since for a while now I have been pushing very hard, attempting to get into shape for a trip to Spain commencing on March 8th.

Here is a training plan for the next few weeks. I will try to give you an indication of the training I do in preparation for a 2-week sport-climbing trip to Spain. I will also keep a daily log of all climbing done in Spain to give you an indication of the volume and intensity that I pursue whilst on road trips. Followed by how I would recover and once again prepare after a road trip