We have made jokes about the lighting at EICA before – along the lines of needing a head-torch to climb in the evening and that sort of thing. Bear in mind it’s getting dark at four o’clock just now so we’re not really talking very late, and we go climbing after work, although I would actually quite happily go during, if it was an option! They used to have two huge globes that hung in the middle of the arena (think IKEA round paper lights, but massive) supplemented by a series of spotlights on particular walls which were forever overheating and shorting themselves out. The spotlights are still there, and still do that – it can be really disconcerting when you’re half-way up something, looking for the next hold and suddenly…. the lights go out. The big lights however, were replaced by four apparently better lights.
Tonight (and last night as well, according to some of the other climbers) some of those lights failed – that’s on top of the lights that are always failing anyway. It’s a good thing that at least some of the routes are orange and fluoro green, because there was no chance at all of climbing anything even vaguely pastel tonight. One section of the walls was closed, because even the committed with exceptional night vision couldn’t possibly have climbed there, so everyone else was squashed into the same climbs, and the closed section included all the shorter routes, which we tend to warm up on, as well as the 6a route I had decided to have a go at tonight. I had to start climbing on the high walls (which isn’t very good for me, I warm up slowly) and there was no-where to have an ‘easy’ climb, because they all overhang.
We didn’t stay very long tonight – hopefully they’ll have fixed the problem by Friday, but I think I might just check the forums before we go in case, because I found tonight rather frustrating and annoying. Or I might have to really take my head-torch rather than just joke about it.
No photos – it was too dark!