Monday, June 13, 2011


Living - and climbing - in Christchurch in these earthquake-prone days is a bit uncertain. I feel a bit nervous climbing in the Port Hills, given that every month or so there's a tremor large enough to cause rock fall. Fortunately, climbing in the Castle Hill Basin has been largely unaffected, although with the onset of winter, snow at Castle Hill becomes more and more likely.

Discussions of these realities have become a bit academic to me in the last couple of weeks, as I am on the 'non-climbing' list for the time being. I was in a bouldering competition at The Roxx (the largest gym in Christchurch, and one of the largest in NZ), and I fell from the final hold of a problem only to have my foot slip in between two mats and smash, anklefirst, onto the hard floor beneath. From the instantaneous explosion of pain, I knew something had gone terribly off the rails in my ankle. It turns out I had badly sprained my ankle. After a couple of weeks, I can walk on it, but not much else.

The incident at the Roxx really sucks for two reasons. First, I was doing pretty well, actually - better than I had expected. The competition was the NZ equivalent of a Tour de Bloc, and I was climbing a lot of the mid-range to hard problems, and having a good time. To get injured in that type of situation always sucks, especially since now I'm back on the non-climbing list. Second, the injury was largely due to poor setting and poor mat placement. It turned out the problem had not been forerun and no one in the comp had done the problem. If it had been fore-run properly, they would have realised that the last (matching hold) was almost impossible to hold because it was too slopey, and that the fall off this hold had the climber spinning as they fell (hence the sprained ankle - I couldn't spot my landing as I fell). Still, it was a really fun competition, and the setting was otherwise really spot-on.

Hopefully I can heal quickly enough that I can get up to Castle Hill some more before I go back to Canada. I STILL haven't been to Flock Hill, which bums me out a bit.

Hope the climbing weather improves in Canada! I've heard its been grim!



(the photo of the Roxx is taken from their website.)