Climbing Fuheis: Two and a Half Ascents

This is a video from a recent climbing trip to Fuheis. (Filming courtesy of Felix Kuehn). The weather is starting to turn cold so I feel like maybe this is the last time I’ll get to go climbing outdoors in Jordan until spring comes.

I climbed three times yesterday. I don’t really have a strong sense of what the ratings were on the routes, but I think they were all in the 5s (i.e.5a–5c). You can see the ratings for the route at the wall here.

As I wrote a short while back, I’ve been dealing with things that I thought I’d sorted out weeks ago. My sense of trust of the rope and the comfort up at heights is still pretty good and I’m not too worried about how that is progressing, but yesterday I was unable to complete a route that I had ascended the last time I was there.

I had energy to spare, so it wasn’t a question of not being able to summon the strength to get up; it was more a mental block. I was unable to trust in my feet, in the grip of the shoes on the wall. As one more experienced climber said to me after I had descended, “you need to feel more stable and confident in how you place your feet on the wall”.

I can see the wisdom in what he’s saying, but I think it’s something that comes with time and experience rather than just a mental shift or a technical correction that you can make immediately.

I was also reminded yesterday of the non-linear path that learning often takes, where progression in one area can often be followed by regression a short while later. Over the long run, you’re getting better, but it’s hard to retain that sense of overall perspective.

Last time I went to Fuheis, I had a really good two or three weeks afterwards, spurred by my sense of regret and failure that I experienced while climbing outdoors. I’m more willing to seize the opportunity, to go the extra mile (or inch), so I’m looking forward to the coming few weeks to see what I get up to. I’m feeling confident in where I am and in my general strength and skill progression.