Thursday, 31 May 2007
Then went to the fishmonger and bought some Hake.
Tuesday, 29 May 2007
Friday, 25 May 2007
Thursday, 24 May 2007
Tuesday, 22 May 2007
Monday, 21 May 2007
After work on thursday I collected Chris from the official chairmans residence and we filled the car with camping paraphernalia. Blazed a trail to Stockport where we met with Eastern European wrestling champ Ianovitch Culstar who had arranged a gourmet meal of sauteed pommes de terre and poisson. Following a tour of the Culshaw residence we left Manchester at 1900. It only took 1hr45 to get to the campsite, so the tents were pitched in the last vestiges of light before sacking it to the pub.
Friday morning we woke to horizontal death rain and there were no signs of improvement from the sky above. Drove to Ambleside for a mooch around, and almost as soon as we arrived the sun came out.
Ate and caned it back to Langdale to get out on the hills. The weather remained clear so we headed out up stickle ghyll. Steep, steep, steep - top! takes about an hour to complete what is ultimately a two mile stairmaster. At the apparent top lies Stickle tarn, a glacial corrie flanked on either side by hills and walled at the back by an 800 foot grey green cliff known as Pavey Ark. The crag rises out the back of the tarn like a foreboding grey presence and is slashed from right to left by a ramp which is called Jakes Rake. On clapping eyes on the feature the other two elected to take the footpath up the side. I couldnt miss the opportunity and with a bit of trepidation jogged off round the lake on my own. A bit of scrambling leads to the base of a deep groove which runs up the middle of the cliff, its more a very extreme walk than a climb but the exposure in the middle is considerable! This is a picture from Jacks rake next to a rowan tree which clings to the cliffside at about half way up (stickle tarn in the background) :
Anyway, met the others at the top and pressed on to the Pike of Stickle and ultimately home down the Mickleden Valley. Total time about 4.5 hours. Brilliant day out, walked straight back to the old dungeon ghyll hotel (ODG) which is 5 mins walk from our campsite. Couple of pints then back to camp for beautiful curry prepared by the marvellous miss barber, then back to the ODG for beer.
Saturday it was changeable weather again. Soon as we got in the car it cleared up but we'd decided to go to Keswick. I went to the climbing wall whilst those two ended up watching the football in Keswick labour club with a man dressed as Borat! Back home to Langdale for tea and beer in the ODG - very drunk.
Finally, Sunday packed up camp and headed to grizedale forest center where we hired bikes and set out on the 'deadly' North face trail.
Far from being deadly it was pretty good fun and we blazed round in an hour and half without incident. Quality entertainment. Finished the weekend in a pub in Hawkshead for a sunday lunch and then a quick trot back to Manchester/Sheffield. Funny how a weekend away exponentially extends the length of your weekend...
Plans for this week - Tonight, board - campus, rings, Wednesday - tor/staminaband. Ned isnt about so no Zeke yet, Think follicle said he was keen mind, so that might mean rooster booster... Then Thursday back to the works and Friday off ready for sat Tor again... Hopefully!
Thursday, 17 May 2007
This afternoon (thursday) I am going to the Lakes. As I will be leaving straight after work so I probably wont see her. We agreed to cut short our normal wednesday exercise to spend some time together. I left work in leeds at 1500 and was heading to the board. As I thought about it on the way home I could be at the tor for 1630 which would give me 2 hrs. Thought about it more and more and have no clear goal at the board at the moment (need to set one but thats for another time) and am really concerned that the lime will start seeping thanks to the rain we have had for days. So, figured that a shorter session of real climbing would make me happier than a longer one of training, and headed to the tor intent on climbing Staminaband.
Arrived and there was noone there - hardly suprising, the weather was foul. Raining constantly all the way there. Warmed up and got straight on the powerband. Did the last move - feet low. No problems. Climbed into the last move from a few back - no problems. Happy with that. Richie Patter, Basher and some other dude turn up and get on Sardine. Good to see Richie, he looks brown. Not really climbing, just going on about surfing! Scouse D turns up. Have a good try at Power band from the start. Dropping it at the last move. Have 5 and do exactly the same again. Clean Stamina band and get involved. Hash the foot traverse in the undercuts on my first go and have another rest. Next go sees me into the pocket on pb but I fall off getting established. Rest again. Now I know what to do, I have a seqence and I know where to stand. Clean the handholds and blob a bit of chalk on the foot holds, making sure to be using the best bit. The stopwatch beeps and I'm off again, quickly making it to the undercuts, somehow the load on my fingers and arms doesnt seem that heavy and I set my feet, taking a bit more time to get everything right seems to make the difference and I am in the powerband start pocket in control. Roll over into the good pockets at the start of PB and attempt to get a rest. Shaking seems to help but these pockets drag your skin and it hurts so you dont want to stay for too long. Press on into the power band and it feels loads harder when you've climbed into it! Left hand reaches down to the locky undercutty pocket thing and my right comes over to the cross over edge, I feel pumped out of my mind! try to get right to the pinch but its not to be and I am off. Dead pleased with progress, but need to get a lot fitter if this is to happen. After the pinch theres a hard step down where a bit of respite is to be had before the final furlong. Gonna be very hard to do the whole thing.
ANyway, have another three goes to the same point and feel completely destroyed. Psyched to get back to it but away for the weekend now. It will have to be Wednesday.
Monday, 14 May 2007
What am I rambling on about? well. The council have given notice to the tenants of the Heeley community centre building which is home to the School board. Originally we understood that we would be evicted by May 08, but we've all had letters to tell us to be out by the end of November. The building is home to a number of artists, 30 odd climbers and a number of community groups who use the downstairs bit. These include scout groups, sugar artists, womens writing groups, lesbians, martial arts clubs and a mystical group called the herbalists. They (the council) claim to loose £36000 a year on the building, and to be fair we don't pay much rent. There's something about a change in the management of the councils asset portfolio moving the management over to a group who have basically been tasked with cashing in some of these assets. So, this is how we get to the present. The building has been nominated as one of those that will be sold, and letters of intent issued. Thus far, there has been no formulated response as it wasnt known whether people wanted to fight for the building, but as of this evening, it seems people do.
Of the people at the meeting, Keith Hayman did a good job of chairing the meeting but the most useful input was from a dude from Heeley community trust called Andy. He had fought and lost a battle to keep St Annes grove (similar building, different area). His steer was that although St Annes had been fought and lost, there were less groups and users of the building in that case, and it was wilfully mismanaged into ruin. There was much more procrastination but ultimately Seb, Nic and Roy are our elected nominaries and we should feed our inputs to them for submission to the group. I plan to write a paragraph about what the school is, where it comes from and what it means. This is intended for inclusion any media coverage of whats going on. There was some discussion of involving a reporter from the star who is a climber apparently.
But will it do any good? well, I feel quite encouraged! I entered the meeting feeling rather that it was a done deal and that there would be no way we could change the councils mind. I still dont think we have a great case and that there is much chance to save the building, and to be honest, I have pretty much no spare time now, so worry about what I can contribute. But I do think there is a good chance we can at least extend the time before it comes to an end. I just don't think we will find anywhere else.
Anyway, climbing - was rubbish tonight. Felt good warming up but then tired fast when I started campussing. You need to be so on it to get anything out of Campussing. Nige looked amazing on the campus board, and Keith (arms like Legs) was doing one armers on the campus board! hellfire! got to get stronger! I want to be able to do one armers on the campus board rungs too! Think I need to take some weight off and train specifically for it! but then that makes me think - why do I want to do that? cos its cool! yes, but it doesnt translate into hard redpoints outside does it? or does it???? Anyway, got dead psyched for power endurance campus work and now think thats the way forward. Target is to get up 1-3-5-7-9 back down 9-7-5-3-1 then up and down again. Waddage!
Nothing really to report from the weekend except the excitement of finding a new finish to Ben's roof! dead exciting! after the hard cross to the good hueco, still move the left to the edge of the roof, only now bring right hand into undercut above the head, tension tension tension! and work those feet up before left go and go again to the penultimate hold, then finish with the right hand. Apparently this is how Ben Moon first did the problem. Ed 'I'm shit and weak' Robinson blazed through it nonchalantly. Rupert was on Evolution, Rich heap was filming, STONE IS ON MECCA!!! loads of people out. Not sure I like this populist revival of limestone. It was better when I had the crags to myself ;-)
Thursday, 10 May 2007
Had a couple of goes on the Staminaband start and reaquainted myself with the moves. Need to sort a sequence for the undercuts to pocket bit. Basically, I can pretty much always get here but struggle with the transition to the powerband. Meanwhile self confessed scaredy cat Ned started trying PUTP as a bloc. Having had a few spectacular dismounts on a rope I cant get psyched for this above pads to be honest, but that didnt stop Ned (who had held all my facing the wrong way falls) and after a few hilarious going for the wrong bit goes he nailed the nobble but fell going for the bity crimp.
So that was it. Ned climbed Ben's roof, Rae nearly did the power band, Tom put in some good links on Staminaband, and I puntered around. A good evening. Returned to sheffield full of beans and happy.
Tuesday, 8 May 2007
Writing the above I dont think thats the case - its not like I've climbed 9a or something! I was focussed on the goals I had set and now I have acheived them. I just need to get psyched for something else - thats all. Think that thing could be the Hulk, but I kinda feel like I should be shifting my focus to routes now.
Sometimes, in a session if you have a shit go on something you can mentally write off the rest of the session, thinking yourself to be shit and that you aren't pulling on that day, when that may not be the case. The air temps at Rubicon were warm so the moves on the low left start were hard and I made a meal of it, leading me to thinking I must be having a bad day and not to bother. Additionally, you cant always be at your best, but its hard not to compare with previous performances. I think that comes from the school mentality - you do the same problems as a warm up on each visit and those problems gauge how well you are climbing on that day.
Anyway, went to Leeds on the Saturday night to see my sister and Fiance, back home via harrogate on Sunday and then bimbled around the house until Monday evening when I went to the Works for a bit of volume.
Friday, 4 May 2007
Pump up is a very short, sharp route climbed first by Ben Moon in the 80's. Starting in a massive slot thats also on the powerband you make a lurching move to another big slot - these are both massive, but theres something unpleasant about your body position through this move that makes it sort of wierd - not hard really, just wierd. Having gained this second bomber slot you stick your foot on the corner of the first one and roll round to a left hand sidepull 'ear'. Smear the left foot under the roof and right hand bumps to an intemediate then again a pinchy hold - pause here, then look past your hand to the infamous nobble hold (kind of a splayed finger hold where the thumb comes up between the fingers), set your gaze on where you must deadpoint and quickly make the move! its all either on or off at this point - you cant effectively adjust and really if its not right you should save yourself the effort of trying to pull it out if you havent held the nobble right. Adjust the feet, match, another foot move and the left hand moves to a rubbish sharp tiny, slight adjustment of body position before making the crux move to a right hand gaston. Assuming you've held this right - and I did fall with my hand on here a few times, a not too bad move to a good edge brings the hard climbing to an end - phew! Yesterday when I reached this point I knew I was in and that I had done it and that I wouldnt fall from there, so I clipped off this edge thing - theres a jug off left! why I didnt move I dont know, just wanted to get it done I suppose. Anyway, having gained the good rail you rumble off to the top and thats it - 8a+ archetypal power climbing ticked!
Here is a picture of Zippy on it from The power of climbing :
Thursday, 3 May 2007
Anyway, PUTP was fully in the sun but I clipped it up and had a go anyway. Amazed myself by falling of the last hard move. A big change from 15 years ago when I came and sat on a bolt being massively outclassed by it all. Back then I knew that it was a Ben Moon route and he was my hero and I wanted to do it. To cap all that, it was in the power of climbing. Anyway, I was hopeless and didnt do any of it. Then last november I had a go, sorted a sequence and it looked like it was on, but then the rain started. This year I have had two sessions trying, the first one saw a couple of attempts (more by the skin of my teeth than by skill and strength) get to the top, and yesterdays saw one in the full sun falling off with hand on the jug, and another two where slight adjustments seemed to mean it was on, but it wasnt on enough and I didnt get it finished.
Heading out this afternoon pretty psyched to wrap it up. Also going to have a look at Seans roof, and get NedVegas to flash Beginners wall. Kinda keen to get to two tier but might not have time.