My gym has a very long cave-like section for bouldering that I have been getting better at navigating over the past few months. These kinds of problems involve careful foot placement, holding in your core, being able to move dynamically to catch large holds, and being comfortable climbing on your back the whole way. Cave problems are very taxing, involving both short bursts of energy and maintaining sustained muscle tension over the whole route.
For the past three weeks or so, I’ve been “projecting” (working on) a very long V5 problem that starts at the bottom of the cave and works it way all the way to the top. About halfway to the end, it transitions into a V4 problem, and the last section is a relatively “easy” V3. I can do each part on their own, but sequencing them together has been really challenging… and a lot of fun.
Here’s me working through the middle V4 section about two weeks ago. I’m doing a pretty good job, until I fall off getting transitioning to the V3 part.
Here’s another attempt from the bottom from about a week ago. I got pretty far, but gassed out in the middle again.
Yesterday, I went the furthest I’ve ever been able to go, from the bottom to about 2/3rds of the way to the finish. I’m particularly happy with how I was able to figure out spots to rest for a moment and shake out my arms and catch my breath.
I think this might be as far as I’m going to get on this long problem, which honestly I’m fine with. I made myself an ambitious goal, and I kept at it despite lots and lots of failure along the way. I pushed myself beyond what I thought I was capable of doing. And I had a blast all along the way.