Elaine's injection has been very successful and she's feeling no pain in her finger anymore, so we've been getting outs lots and making the most of the cooler temps and quiet crags. Three weeks ago I had two fantastic back to back days. On the Wednesday I set off on my latest project, a great 8a+ tufa at a secret spot, which I'd tried the previous weekend (expecting to have another dogging session)). There was no pressure, amazingly it just happened and I just kept climbing all the way to the chain. The next day I was back with Stephane Quefelec and exactly the same happened with a 7c+ I'd worked a couple of weeks previously. It made such a nice change to have a couple of no-falls days and just climb. It was amazing to just turn up and do both climbs, as they felt utterly desperate when I was dogging them. Thanks to the equippers for creating such beautiful routes, you know who you are.
After that it seemed a good idea to revisit Deverse and try Supertango again. This is a short but tough 8a+ (there are easier 8b's than this one!) which climbs two parallel tufas up a wildly steep overhanging wall. I last tried the climb eight years ago and could hardly move on it, eventually I gave up when I aggravated a knee ligament and left it. This time all was going well (I was very inspired by a local friend, Seb Mueller, who'd done it last year). Petr gave me great beta and Roman even took some photos (which I've yet to see). However, last Wednesday I felt the same ligament (the MCL) strain whilst doing a big drop knee. Instinctively, I let go and saved the ligament from tearing. The sensible thing has been to leave the climb alone, yet again, rather than risk a serious injury which would need ages to recover. So, sadly Supertango hasn't been ticked off the list!
A couple of days icing, resting and taking ibuprofen and we were out again at the weekend. Saturday at Mesa Verde falling off every move on one of my bogey routes, Pizza Party, a tough bouldery 7c. I left my draws in over night. Next morning Elaine wanted to go to Jurassic Park, so we had a good work out and I managed my favourite 8a+ again (that's 42 times now!). Cayenne and Shakti were too wet so we headed down to Mesa Verde to get my draws, as it was going to rain for the next couple of days. We arrived at the crag at 18h 27 and there was nobody there, all the other climbers had all gone home by then. There was just enough time for one go before it got dark. I was expecting to fall low down and then dog up to get the gear out but it just happened. The start went perfectly and I got to the shake out below the bouldery finish feeling fresh. After a couple of minutes of positive mental rehearsal (thanks to Hugh Mantle) there was much whooping after sticking the crux dyno. I've never been so happy to get a hold as that one! So, an old score has been finally settled. Result!