16 October 2016

Climbing with a washer

When I found out I had Viking hand I started adapting to this new situation. The first change was: do my pull-ups on my fingers rather than my hands; that way I would not put any pressure on my lump. But one puts pressure on one's hand doing other things too. My experiment with a swing-bottle washer underground was a success; it was time to try that method in the climbing hall too. Some weeks ago I had had a good night climbing, with one of the men who tends to push me quite far; I lead higher graded routes than ever before. I wore myself out so much I refused to lead the last route he suggested. I even struggled quite a bit to do it on top rope. It was satisfying, but there would be repercussions.

The next day my lump hurt quite a lot. The tendon seemed to get stuck behind it, which hurts, and pulling ot over the lump hurts too. I had to do that all the time. It wasn't pleasant! My enthusiasm for climbing suffered. The week after I came late and the week after that I didn't show up at all. But then I decided to go and try climbing with the washer.

I teamed up with Glyn, a new member of the club. He also pushes me quite far. I wanted to try some vertical routes first; these are not so heavy on the hands. You can have your weight largely on your feet, and the grips tend to be smaller, so you naturally use little more than your fingertips. Climbing on the vertical wall went well! My hand felt fine. And at the end of the night, I decided to try to lead the route that had given me so much trouble that previous time. It had quite some overhang, with big handholds. That's about the hardest work for the hands; if you're clipping in on an overhang, you probably have most of your weight on one hand. If this would work I would be fine!

File:Moby Dick Kamouraska.jpg
 Wikipedia image of a climber on an overhang. Pic by Remi Maupetit.

I got up without problems. My hand felt fine! And even better: it still felt fine the next day. So as long as I have washers and leukoplast available I can do all I could without the Viking hand malarky! For the time being, at least. But so far so good!

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