The sending mentality

Posted by Jon Reading
Monday 24th August 2009

It's our 4th consecutive long weekend of camping and bouldering in Rocklands.  Both Jon and I recognise that we're in need of a weeks rest but our trip to Knysna to see my mum had been postponed so our only option was to climb.

Thursday temperatures were ideal.  I had my heart set on sending 'Orange Heart Traverse' 6C.  I knew I could get it; I was physically capable and the last time I worked it I was 2 moves from the finish. 

I don't usually put too much pressure on myself to send but today was different, I wanted this tick, I needed this tick. The pressure was most definitely on, the pressure that most climbers are familiar with.  The desire to send juxtaposed by the need to remain mentally calm and composed.  One voice telling you to just enjoy the movement of the climb, the other shouting how this tick would set you up for the day, the week.

On my first attempt I fell half way.  I immediately got back on and tried the the top half which I did easily.  Then I rested and tried again.  I continued for about 30 minutes and on my best attempt I fell at the last move because I moved too quickly.  In those 30 minutes I went through so many emotions; joy, anticipation, sadness, anger, disgust.  I haven't been in this space before and it was good to experience it.  I now know how a climber feels, how difficult it is to manage the sending mentality.  I trust I will improve with practise.

Later at Roadside Jon sent 'Pendragon' 8A, easily.  He worked it last season but hadn't tried it at all this season.  Maybe it was the absence of pressure that let him get it or maybe this time he was truly ready.  There's a fine balance between trying to get something and creating unnecessary pressure.

On Saturday morning we spent a couple of hours giving the local kids an opportunity to try their hand at bouldering.

Local kids bouldering

Top, the kids get photographed whilst having lunch

The group giving local kids a chance to boulder

Top, The gang

Later we walked to Roadside.  The temperatures during the day are now very hot.  The walk to Roadside was absolutely exhausting, it's amazing how the sun zaps your energy.  Freud Sansoz flashed 'A Question of Balance' 7B, a notable achievement. 

On Sunday we visited 'The Otherside'.  It has a handful of really worthwhile problems and is definitely worth visiting.  Jon worked 'Amphitheatre' 8A+ and I reckon we'll have to return before the season is over.

Rocklands Boulders



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