Saturday, 1 October 2011

Appearances can be deceptive

I was bouldering at my usual spot beneath Mt Chamoz the other day when i bumped into my chubby stoned friend. He had brought his son along this time, Antonio. Antonio is 13, spotty, skinny and looks like he needs another couple of years growing for his body to catch up with his arms and legs. Gangly youth would be the best description. He proceeded to very quietly take me round some of the most heinous slab problems i have ever had the misfortune to try and get up. Think 7A-7B slopers with tiny, very polished, footholds. His sense of balance, timing and movement were great to watch and learn from. I had an ultimately frustrating time but made sure i burnt him off on a 6C+ overhanging jug fest at the end. Can't have young 'uns getting too cocky now can we ?

Two days later i went back to more familiar territory; thuggy over-hanging stuff at El Torcalito. Whilst there i was watching a guy working a traverse problem on the crimpy wall. It looked good and it must be hard. Why must it be ? Well he was power screaming like a lady tennis player, dripping with sweat and was built like Chris Sharma. I wombled over and he started to show me how it went. I must admit to being a bit surprised ( and secretly smug ) when i flashed it. Not that it was a great display of climbing by me it just wasn't very hard. Turns out he wasn't much of a climber, just looked like he was.

Just goes to show you shouldn't judge a book by it's cover. I only found out just how good Antonio was when he took his shoes off at the end of the session. I could see his toes through the bottom of them. I've no idea why he bothered wearing them, there was hardly any rubber left. That lad could do well. I'm taking a couple of pairs of my old shoes next time i go up. If he's the same size he can have them as long as he lets me into the secret of levitation he obviously has.

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