It has certainly been a eventful year on the climbing front, although not in a pleasant fashion. This year started with a layoff from climbing, then progressed with a serious neck injury that completely prevented any climbing for several months. In the last third of the year, however, I have been climbing more and more, which is nice. I am certainly not up to my usual standard in terms of strength (or difficulty of climbs), but it feels great to be back in the climbing "saddle" again.
In January of 2010, we moved to New Zealand. My mind was filled with sugarplum visions of bouldering at Castle Hill, and I was really looking forward to getting on many of the hundreds (thousands?) of classic problems the area has to offer. However, a serious neck injury (a prolapsed disk in my cervical vertebrae (C5/6)) not only prevented me from climbing, it caused more or less constant (and sometimes brutal) pain for several weeks. No climbing, no running, no stepping off curbs abrubtly, no anything. I was pretty much out of commission all winter, and it was only by spring that I felt I could start climbing again.
Since then, we have been to Castle Hill several times (mostly bouldering on Spittle Hill). I am still getting used to the style of climbing there (low friction, hard presses, tricky footwork), and really hope to spend a lot more time there before we leave New Zealand. With my French friend Luc, I also went climbing in The Cave (in the Port Hills above Christchurch), which was incredibly fun - my Edmonton climbing friends would love it! Steep, bouldery, and lots of fun movement. I have also done some bouldering on the beach here, although the volcanic rock is painful.
I'll try to get some photos posted here soon. Until then...