It’s amazing how much a crag can come to mean to you.
Pick any one…
I pick the Cromlech.
Not my favourite crag, but by all accounts a very good one.
Shape, it’s got good shape.
Routes, it’s got good routes too. And history, yes - don’t forget the history…
It all adds up to make something much more than just rock, the peripheral stuff that makes climbing on these crags so memorable: they’re old, we’re young.
And the memories?
Of this particular crag I have many, but is it the routes or the people we remember the most?
I remember Tom dying: that was a sad, sad day…
I remember Kat and I doing Right Wall together: after all that had happened between us (could I be forgiven?)
I remember aid climbing the Corner at night, in a storm, with James Marjot: it was training for Yosemite and completely horrendous (do I still have that in me now?)
Stop looking back and focus. What has changed?
I feel like I have lost something of the connection I had with the crag, compared to when I was living in Wales. By moving I ended the relationship, things changed - I moved on. It’s different now.
But it’s still there isn’t it?
Yes...yes it is…it always will be...
So what’s different?
I’ve got older.
Postscript: I never really knew where this was going and even after writing it feel that there is still a long way to go. I do worry that things have changed as a result of getting older and that something has been lost as a result of the ageing process - things become more complicated/less pure?!? Maybe these are simply armchair concerns to occupy the mind throughout the winter, maybe I’m just overthinking/over-analysing the whole matter, but most importantly - and perhaps contrary to how all of the above may come across - I readily embrace these changes. It’s different, but ‘good’ different - always changing/evolving. Make sense? No, I didn’t think so either.
- Rob Greenwood