There's an amazing feeling about being all alone high on a rock face, with no rope, no protection, only yourself in complete control of what happens, The skill to keep calm and relax and concentrate on the climbing rather than the dangers below is something that can give you a sense of pureness and make you realise what you could possible be capable of.. I've Had one of my best days climbing today in a long time and apart from some curious seagulls I was all alone....

Things have been pretty hectic lately but being me I’ve still managed to get out and get some climbing done and search for a small adventure.. With the Sun shining what better place to go than to my local crag on the south coast of Swanage. I’ve have a couple of trips down the last week, it’s been a while since I did any sport climbing and the feeling of pushing myself again felt good. I spent allot of time climbing lower graded routes just enjoying the climbing and the sun on my back, the waves crashing below me and the sound of the seagulls was pretty amazing. After feeling good and wanting to push it more I looked at a new recently bolted line called “First Dazes of Summer”. I tied into the rope and went for the onsight attempt, the climbing was awesome starting through a steep roof section then moving into a technical slab, with some puffing and desperate holding on I managed to clip the lower off and gain the onsight, it felt good to push myself and it felt better to know that I was not at my limit. I spent the rest of the day Teaching my friend the basics of climbing and rope techniques, he is really into is fitness and it wasn’t long before he realised climbing is a complete different strength than lifting weights and building muscle, despite a few scratches and falls he had lots of fun and is determined to come along again and get involved.

After a few day’s work I was needing to get out again, this time though I was in the mood for being alone and having some time to think and find myself, Again I headed to winspit, The walk in to this area is so beautiful, it lets you feel part of nature and makes you realise how beautiful the world is if you stop for short while and look at what’s right in front of you. I wanted to try soloing some of the traditional lines on the sea cliff but decided to warm up a little first on some easier stuff to see if my head was in the right place to climb without a rope. I traversed a few walls and got the blood flowing through the forearms, each time getting a little higher up the wall. I spotted a really nice line and decided to go for it, the climbing was awesome and I managed to completely forget about not being tied in and void below me and enjoy the climbing, the thing with climbing solo on sight on new ground is you don’t know what you’re going to come against, there can come a point when you find the climbing getting hard, your arms starting to tire but this is something you need to overcome and find a way of keeping calm, pushing through and ensuring you stay on the wall.

After feeling confident I moved on down to the lower cliffs and started soloing some of the trad lines, I didn’t push myself too hard and only climbed up to around VS but this was enough and the feeling was amazing, I came across this small ledge half way up the face, it was just big enough to turn myself, sit on my bum and face the sea, I sat there for around an hour and watched the world go by, it was amazing and so beautiful, the sound of the waves crashing below and the odd boat passing and looking at me strangely, I thought about allot, I tried not to think about general work stress, money and other day to day business but it kept trying to creep in, it’s difficult to switch off from that but I’m learning to separate them both, The wind started to pick up a little so I started to climb again taking extra care and eventually arrived at the top.I decided enough was enough and was feeling like I’d had enough luck for one day so I decided to call it a day a make the walk back.

There's an amazing feeling about being all alone high on a rock face, with no rope, no protection, only yourself in complete control of what happens, The skill to keep calm and relax and concentrate on the climbing rather than the dangers below is something that can give you a sense of pureness and make you realise what you could possibly be capable of.. I've had one of my best days climbing today in a long time and apart from some curious seagulls I was all alone....

Tommy

winspit