Since I returned to Singapore almost 2.5 years ago, I’ve never stopped climbing for more than a week. Even while travelling on long non-climbing holidays, I made sure there was somewhere that I could climb. That’s how big a part of my life climbing had become, slowly gradually sneaking in.
But after this trip to Blue Mountains, I decided to take a break. A two weeks break.
I needed to re-examine this relationship that I had with climbing.
Climbing in Blue Mountains, I had my first real taste of multi-pitch climbing. Not the short 3 pitches climb, but a long 270m, 8 pitch climb. I had to confront my fear of walking downhill, which can become an issue when accessing crags. I was totally ‘trashed’ by the sandstone and the grades, and it was a big blow to confidence. All this fear and disappointment led me to wonder if I really still wanted to continue climbing. And with it, the bigger question of why I climb.
I think I’ve made peace with myself. I climb for ‘honorable’ and ‘not so honorable’ (if there can ever be such distinctions) reasons. But right at the heart of it, is the feeling I experienced when I first started out climbing, that will never change no matter what. When a problem stays with you long after you’ve left the wall/crag, when there’s this desire to go back and try out something different in order to reach the top, to send the route. That desire to solve things? achieve success? will always be that one part of climbing that draws me like a magnet.
I’ve taken the ‘break’ to meet up with friends and catch up with Japanese homework, but already, I’m thinking of new climbing places to go.