Thursday, July 29, 2010

steve mcclure - compromise!

Picture taken by Dr Mike Kent- editor of the Oxford Dictionary of Sports Science and Medicine and Food for Fitness, and co-author of Exploring the Camel Estuary and Cornwall from the Coast Path. I met him on the coast path and we chatted a while before I headed down over the cliff.

Compromise. Not my favourite word, but a poor understanding of the word will lead to a sticky end! I learnt more about this word when I had a kid.
I’m in Cornwall now, a few days by the sea surrounded by beautiful coastline, the landscape criss-crossed with deep cut single lane roads. The sun is even shining. Pentire Head is only 5 miles away, but with the family here there is no chance of a route – or is there? Luckily I came with my good friend Mr Shunt!
It’s not the same, climbing with a shunt. Traditional climbing is all about that ground up experience, placing the gear and assessing the danger, picking your way through the obstacles. As I rapped in I met a couple of lads on a long UK road trip, Mike was leading the E5 ‘Black Magic’ and looking very smooth indeed. I was jealous of their road trip and of the gift of this route. However I was climbing. The last time I was here was 15 years ago and I’d forgotten how amazing this wall is. With danger removed with the shunt I could cruise the E5’s on the wall, a different challenge but a special experience all the same, moving continuously and being absorbed by the technical footwork and tiny finger edges. And the great thing is I could have all that, plus a few miles on the bike through beautiful countryside, and be back on the beach building castles before I’d even been missed. Really, compromising is the way forward!

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