Its late afternoon and we are driving through one of the deep gorges that litter the Picos De Europa National Park. We had abandoned attempts to climb up high due to ferocious winds and now, not wanting to waste the day, are visiting an easy slab not far from the village of Lebena.
Eight draws up an easy 6a slab there is a weird sensation in my left hand ring finger. The audible POP that accompanies it is not only painful but incredibly final; my trip is over. Feeling physically sick Ken lowers me down; it’s not good. I can feel heat surging through my finger making feel like I am going to throw up. I wander off to dunk it into the icy river…….
After some careful consideration I’m heading home to rest properly and start icing the injury. There isn’t any swelling, just a small bump and allot of tenderness. Ken kindly arranges some work for himself so I don’t feel quite so guilty about leaving him to fend for himself for a few days.
Having read Dave MacLeods book; Make or Break, I am now doing my best to get it back to strength as quickly and safely as possible. Four days on it doesn’t feel too bad so fingers crossed (no pun intended) I will be able to climb, all be it open-handed, within the next few weeks.
Aside from the abrupt end to the trip, Northern Spain was great. We sampled some fine trad climbing and worked hard on some excellent single pitch routes. Having not climbed anywhere near enough this season, I shouldn’t have been surprised at just how weak I had become. Its not down to motivation however, just busy trying to grow the guiding business and make enough to ensure 2017 has the right balance of work/play.
The first proper dusting of snow has since landed across the Highlands. Social media is alive with #scotwinter updates and excitement. This dusting wont last this time, high pressure is sweeping across the country enabling us to finish our summer mountaineering season in style.