We took Mouse rock climbing with us tonight; now that I've got my natty grey membership card I can take him in any time I like, as long as I sign a form every single time that states that I do not intend to kill him, and that I will make him obey all the rules. His only rule is that we stop half-way through for hot chocolate, something I was happy to agree to, as the temperature was below freezing in the quarry tonight.
I think I'm getting better at this, I'm more confident about the long stretches, and I can relax and lean back to look for footholds and things now (rather than hanging on for grim death with anything I can possibly hold on with). And I'm much more confident about belaying now, I think I was worried at first that Handsome was actually going to lift me off my feet, or that I'd drop him, or that I'd burn my hands on the rope. None of these things actually happened, so I reckon I can cope now.
We didn't let Mouse belay tonight, I'll save that for another day, but we let him climb. He has such long arms and legs that he seems to be able to reach huge gaps, and he twists his body all over the place to go in different directions – he was amazing in the bouldering room, where he could twist himself up and over edges and round corners. I can't do that at all yet, because you have to hang by your arms, and my arms don't do that (or perhaps I'm just a bit too heavy…).Handsome can sort of half do it, but Mouse just hangs there, looking like a mutant rock-climbing spider-mouse.
I love doing this.