Our tiny crew made a couple of trips to the Green Lake Boulders in Caroga Lake last week. Andy and I put in a short night session Thursday after work, then we returned with Heather on Sunday morning. Green Lake only has a handful of problems and a 3-minute approach, so it’s perfect for the preseason, when fitness and conditions are lacking.
Heather made us proud by aggressively projecting and sending High Chair in a single session, while Andy reached his highpoint on the scary highball Live Free or Die. I should have flashed The Fugitive, a great pumpy traverse, but our lack of lighting stretched it to two attempts over two sessions.
Although I didn’t send, my personal highlight was on Target Practice. It’s interesting how much conditions and practice can alter one’s climbing experience: on Thursday, I couldn’t do a single move on the problem. It felt impossible. I tried them all anyway, hoping (but not expecting) to build some muscle memory. On Sunday, I surprised myself by doing all of the moves, including links.
At first I chalked it up to better conditions, but now I think more was going on. Of course, the external variables can’t be ignored: daylight, humidity, temperature, time of day. But the conditions weren’t significantly different, nor had I become significantly stronger. Rather, I think two major factors were involved:
- My fingers needed to relearn how to crimp after a summer of pulling only jugs and beer glasses.
- The specific movement patterns I taught my body during the first session were easily recalled the second session.
So: practice makes perfect. No surprise. But it’s good to be viscerally reminded from time to time. These late summer and early fall climbing sessions are always educational.