Friday, 16 September 2011

New Low

I've been told for a while now that my writing is pretty honest so in this post I'll continue that and try give you an idea of what I've experienced in the last two days. If you've been following this blog you will know I've been attempting to climb an E8 in the Mournes for around 18 months and had no luck. I've poured my life and soul into these 20m of rock and even for someone like me it's been a brutal emotional rollercoaster. In the past when I've been going at risky routes I've always been fairly certain I would not only survive them but survive them unbroken but on this I had no such confidence, with this project I had to accept that I wouldn't have as good a chance. I did accept it ,no question but it has made me live my life not knowing from one day to the next where I'll be or what state I'll be in and it has wore on me. I can deal with it, only just though, as I deserve whatever happens as it's my own choosing to live this life, what I cannot accept is that it's affecting others around me. It rained on us again the other day and my frustration began to boil over and someone else felt it, they shouldn't have and I hated myself for it, failure to climb was nothing on the disappointment in myself at losing control of emotion and venting at someone who didn't deserve it.

Seriously pissed off, I'm making one of the toughest decisions of my life here. Pic-Suzy Devey

We have been in the Mournes for the last few days, I got ten minutes on the route, on a shunt, in the rain. I tried to climb, I fell, I swore, I hung on the rope, I knew I was beat and it was time to do the one thing I'm good at, cut away. I stood for a while before deciding , then I went and packed up. On the way up I could hear the guys chatting and having a laugh, at that moment I realised how detached I was from not only them but how I felt distant from me. I took off for the walk out at a blistering pace to try use physical pain to distract me from the utter mental torment I was feeling. I stopped on top of a huge cliff realising that no matter how hard I push I'm not going to get this out my system, I felt more empty and alone at this point than I have at any other point in my life, with nothing to cushion the blow of utter failure or anyone to take comfort from I felt physically sick. I've sacrificed everything in my life for climbing to such an extent that the pathetically sad truth is that the only place I now find solace is in climbing, this is an outcome I tried very hard to avoid but seemed somehow inevitable!I've been in darker depths before though so I'm sure I'll beat it again, it'll just take time. We tried to do some filming afterward to get my raw feelings on camera but even for those present who know me it seemed too much yet it wasn't even a fraction of how I felt, and this post barely scratches the surface. To end on a positive though I've got a few great projects in mind before the op in November and a weekend of drinking with my mates to kick me out of wallowing in my swamp of self pity, I guess I just need to man up, treat the last 18 months like a broken relationship, remember the good parts and get rid of the rest! I've met some great people in the last few months and built a few important friendships so it's not all bad!!


  1. Hi Kev,

    I saw a film with you climbing in Glen Nevis at the EMFF a few years ago, and have been following your blog for a while now. I find your honesty and humanity a total relief from the brashness of some climbing blogs. I wish you all the best in picking yourself back up, as you've had to do many times, and moving on. It's something I struggle with a lot myself. I live for being in the mountains, but I have 2 very shitty knees, which despite being 28 years old can barely stand up to a days hillwalk anymore. So whilst I don't share your climbing obsession to the same extent, I read your posts and feel I understand on at least some level.

    Take care,

  2. Hi Mike,
    Thanks for the comment mate, good to know people appreciate the honesty. All the best!!