I finally made it to the boulders on this past weekend.
Spirits were high, g/f was coming from a very successful exam and was keen to test her new skills on real rock after - STOP PRESS!!! - TWO sessions in the gym.
She clearly has something for bouldering, because she ticked her first Fb 6a+ with a nasty problem on a slightly overhanging diheadral with a lock off from a small two fingers pocket. Hurrah!!!
I wanted to try this:
and I did. It turns out it's Fb 8a+ and probably unrepeated. We tried the easier exit, without the horrible left hand vertical hold to dyno out and right for the mantle, and that's only FB 8a. I did all the moves on the very first tries and was very very confident.
Sadly, warm weather, and that place being the dampest hole of the entire woods, didn't give us many more chances. I also have to say that going there at the end of the day wasn't very clever of us as well. Defeat.
I'm happy, I did nothing mega hard, but did a couple of Fb 7a+ very quickly and not on my favourite playing ground: vertical prows!!! I also managed one Fb 7b very quickly, it's called Little Tony and resembles Tonino '78, the famous suggested Fb 8c+ from local strongman Mauro Calibani.
My friend Luca did these problems as well, and this lead me to thinking I've not really improved, because I couldn't burn him off, but this is clearly not true. I did those problems in perfect control, and was very very far away from my limit.
Maybe I was at my limit on that single moment of this trip (I wasn't really), but I'm starting to feel something about my climbing changing. Feet? Technique? Consciousness? I don't know.
I think that one's limits have to be searched on an overall scale that comprehends every aspect of climbing, from power, to weather conditions, to psyche. I tend to measure my limits just with one parameter or two: one armers, and dead hangs. That's why I'm sure I'm far from my limit on Fb 7b's because I never felt physically challenged at my overall limit. Maybe there was one tricky move, maybe one difficult foot placement, maybe one greasy hold; but my limit is where I do every move without knowing how I've done the previous one, and whether I'll be able to do the next one. In this case, my limit is also far from Out of Service and from The roof, because on those problems there are moves that I can do 100 times over 100 tries.
Right now probably the real limit, or at least the boulder problem closer to my limit is the direct line under the roof. I have done each single move, but I've done two moves only one time each. What sort of number and letter this will mean, on the almighty Font scale, it's something I will really never discover, in fact, I will only FEEL it.