When Rain Stops Your Climbing Plans

This weekend was a dreary, gray, rainy weekend. However, we had high hopes of traveling down to Chatfield Hollow in CT and climbing cave routes. Caves would still be dry, right? Not exactly. We made the trip down feeling hopeful as the rain was merely misting at the time. We were not prepared for what we found. We started the trail down to the boulders and before we got to the actual climbing part, we were stopped by a newly formed lake of water.

Chatfield flood

Though it was a warm, sticky day, it was not quite warm enough for water soloing and therefore, our plans fell through. The trip was not a complete wash out. We did see some amazing waterfalls. Fast running rapids and streams of water raced down hills where they might not have typically been before. The jeep had a blast driving through deep water that covered several of the roads. Water splashed up around us so high, we couldn’t see. It was like driving through a car wash. People’s yards had become fantastic lakes. In fact, one house, that probably once had a nice lush green yard prior, was now an enormous lake with a mill like waterfall crashing over the edge. There were many signs these places were not normally lakes like the trees and furniture and lawn decor that stood or floated through the water. Apparently southern CT got some bad flooding this weekend.

We retreated more north, feeling defeated but still determined to enjoy the day and burn off some calories from this cake I made:

cake donecake

Baking is a great way to enjoy a rainy day, and while this cake doesn’t really offer any climbing nutrition, I’ll let you know a little about it anyway.

To make it, you’d need a box of lemon cake mix, lemon pie filling (some people can buy cans of it, I made my own using the powder pudding/pie filling packets), lemon frosting, and cool whip. You’ll also need eggs, a mixer, a 9 X 13 pan, vegetable oil, cooking spray and flour.

First I made up the pie filling to let it cool a little while working on the rest. To do this, you follow the instructions on the packet. If you get it out of the can, then just use it when it is time.

I then sprayed the pan with cooking spray, sprinkled a little flour on it, and preheated the oven for 350 degrees. Make the cake mix, as the box says and then pour it in the pan. Now the fun part is, that you put spoonfuls of pie filling all over the top of the cake batter. As much as you want. I had mine all over. Then take a knife and swirl them together. The pie filling is heavier and thus will sink towards the bottom. This is normal and okay. Then bake the cake for however long it takes to loose its jiggliness and for the toothpick to come back clean after stabbing through the middle. It will take around 25-35 minutes. I started checking at the time the box recommends for cooking and then continued till it was done.

Then let the cake completely cool before putting on the topping. To get the topping you mix a tube of lemon frosting and cool whip. You can just mix with a spoon until they come together. Then spread it on top when the cake is ready. Cover it with plastic wrap and let it sit in the fridge for at least an hour or until ready to serve. It is delicious!

Now back to the climbing… We clearly couldn’t climb outside so went to the gym for a few hours to do some climbing and training. We ran a lot, probably like three miles on the treadmill. Did some shoulder work outs with dumbells, some core workouts. We used the campus board and peg board. We did a good amount of indoor bouldering as well. The gym can feel like a bit of a let down when you want to be outside, but making it productive with training and switching up any normal routine by going to a new place, trying something different, etc can work.

It is hard when poor weather puts a damper on your outdoor plans, but there are ways to make it work. It is still good to get in some climbing or training to keep yourself strong and ready for the outdoors. It’s also good to be optimistic. We weren’t excited about the switch to indoors at first. We hiked around outside as long as we could. However, once we were inside and got climbing, the negative feelings naturally slipped away. It still feels great to be climbing and working towards climbing. All in all, it turned out to be a pretty nice day.

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