After 6 weeks of physio I have come to the conclusion that my shoulder issues are a new reality; this is not something that is going to go away. It is about management now. Will this impact my outdoor climbing, now and in the future, most definitely. It would be easy to go in to a self pity rant about how my high hopes for this season have been dashed but looking around the waiting room at physio I'm quickly reminded that I'm not that bad off.
Anyway, another way to cheer up is of course to buy climbing gear. My new TC Pros just arrived in the mail today so that is pretty awesome. My old pair lasted just over year with lots of miles in the gym and on the rock outside. I'm sure I can push their life a little more too, with some patching. Also in the new gear department is a new rope. Yep, I replaced by beloved Maxim Glider. The Glider was a work horse over the last 3 seasons and it was will hesitation I switched to a Sterling Evolution Velocity 9.8.
The are many pros, cons and specs to mull over when trying to decide on a new rope. This time around I was looking for the best trade off between price, dynamic elongation and impact force. There are number of $250 plus rope out there that I cross of the list fairly quickly. Roughly speaking the added cost usual gives you a bi-colour pattern, dry coating (core and sheath) and 70m. All very nice features. However, after being honest about it I don't climb many routes where the time savings of a middle marker makes a different. There are also very few long routes around here and I really only made use of my 70m Glider on a hand full of time. Lastly, I've only ice climbed once and for the most part I don't climb in the rain so I decided I could make due without the dry coating. For impact force and elongation I believe the Velocity presents a good balance at 8.8kN and 26.4 % respectively. Yes, there are lower impact force ropes but their elongation numbers will be in the high 30s. That is 10% more than the Velocity. Since most of the routes around here are short this is an important point. For reference note that the Glider has an impact force of 9.5kN and 29% elongation. All this is just theory of course so I'll report back after putting some pitches on the Velocity.
As for climbing I did get out late on Saturday afternoon. I hiked into the Western CWM with the intention of lead soloing North Wall routes and Neruda but when I got there the place was crazy busy. This not the type of environment I like to climb in but I lead soloed Neruda anyway. As I was leaving I noticed Remi and Derrick on North Wall so after talking to them I decided to stick around and watch Derrick give Al on the Run a redpoint attempt. He got it on his second try. Being inspired I gave Al on the Run my first lead attempt. I surprised myself by clipping the first two bolts and get the hold just over the roof by the third bolt. At this point you have to make a decision to either high clip here or climb higher to later clip. Both these options have potential for disaster and without the ability to make a decision I came off and lowered. I'm still not sure what I'll do next time.