Monday, 31 March 2008
Jon and I head round to fissure surge, which is one of Ed's recomendations, the boys have already got it equipped, so I get to have a go on a top rope. I struggle through the sequencey lower bit, but crush the hard final jump to the crack. My hands feel sore! Jon has a redpoint, and he climbs well but fails just before the jump. I go again on top rope, but hands are too sore.
Watch Nic attempt a 7c+ but he falls. We all head home. Am drunk. Good night.
Saturday, 29 March 2008
We arrive. Its 0945, there's only one terminal and one baggage carousel, which is great, everything is off in perfect order and real quick. Ryan air must hate flying here because they can't fuck it all up for you. Roy and I have both managed to loose our hire car and such like info. I have my blackberry, so I can retrieve everything, and its not too much trouble. Anyway, we collect the cars and hot foot it to Apt. We (me, Nic and jon) go shopping and then meet them at the crag.
I'm still in a strange head space with respect to routes, I feel a bit scared, or perhaps, I don't and was just really tired today or summat.
Anyway, we start at sector scorpion, there's a 6a crack which Nic directs us to, its great having a sport climbing hero on the team, he romps up everthing at light speed and knows where all the classics are and where everything is. We do a 6c to the left, and I just want to go to sleep, but its brilliant and I love the climbing. The best thing about it is that the pockets are positive. So although the moves between them might be quite hard, the holds you get too are all quite good. Which reinforced my confidence, I think it gives me the fear when I have to use slopers and I have to clip off them and stuff, but not here, here everthing has positive edges. Its well bolted too. You clip, do some hard moves then you cover some easy ground before clipping again. In other words, all the hard bits are just above bolts so you feel comfortable going for it.
Its pretty hot in the sun, so we move round to the tcf section, I don't want to climb but jon clips up tcf and I have to have a go. I have a great time. Its well within my limits and its just what I need, I need to push it and be climbing above bolts to get my confidence up. Anyway, I have a good battle and get it done and we move to Dresden, which is immeadiately left. Its really run out but I get it done and am delighted. We head home and have a nice tea. Going to bed now. Night.
Friday, 28 March 2008
Ed Brown called on Wednesday and gave me a list of things to do, some which are hard (ulp) but some of which are reassuringly easy. Apparently the routes are likely to have very bouldery low down cruxes with a bit of rumbling above - which sounds great, and completely like everything I have ever done!
Bought that 80s birth of extreme film from the Foundry on Wednesday, and have stuck it on my ipod for psyche (and something to do on the plane). Its a very early start - got to be at the airport for 5am, so am going out with her for early tea and few pints tonight, as I will lie awake worrying about missing my alarm unless am medically put to sleep. Hope I feel allright tomorrow, although - I think I am basing how I think I will feel on how I felt that day I had to go to London and didnt sleep the night before. This is different though, I was stressed about going there, and I'm really looking forwards to this trip.
So, climbing gossip - Wednesday night I went to the Foundry. Felt like I was rubbish, only really, I made that judgement after about 2hrs climbing, so think I was ok, just tired by then. Hung out with Joe Picalli - always a pleasure, James Foley, his mate charlie whose sirname I dont know, and Justin Plumtree! blimey - Justin was civil! I've always found Justin a bit of a strain to get on with, it always appears to me that he's only interested in his own advancement and that he really doesn't like me. But, climbing with him on Wednesday was fine, he was good company and I got some new problems to do from him. Tom Pape also in attendance, although sulked off when there were too many people on the board. Its interesting that the hard problems on the wave feel a measure easier than the easy problems on the board.
Its certainly true that each of the three boards in Sheffield have very specific styles to them. Its no good specialising in any of the three as that just leads to being good at climbing on that one. Will we get back in to the first and foremost board? no developments to report there. I dont think it looks good. If the school does remain closed we have to get another board going - and soon. I think I'm missing the angle (of the 50) these other boards aren't as steep, and they have their good bits, but that one was special. Le Sausage has a plan to buy a property which has some sort of suitable outbuilding attached, and to move the boards there. I dont care where it ends up as long as it does. Bring back the board! It would be interesting to have a session at the school now, to see how (if) I have weakened. Talking of the Sausage, Ed Robinson found an old episode of On the edge with a full page spread of a long haired Sausage questing up the cromlech (think its the cromlech), he looks like a 70s Yosemite hero, running shorts and wild feral boy hair. Brilliant. Certainly a cut above his UKC y-fronted photo debut :
Anyway, other news - Westie climbed three grit 8a's last week. Waddage. I think I should have opened a climbing wall, then I could bust out the big grades when it suits instead of commuting and working like a dog. Ah well. Keith has busted out another 8a+ in font too, and seems to be going from strength to strength. I presume this is just from the climbing mileage, and that whilst he is there he cant be training like a shirehorse?
I don't feel jealous that these guys are doing so well - I think its great that I can count them amongst my chums. Everyone's level seems to be on the increase which is good, I just hope it doesnt lead to strengthening the gravitation of the UK grading black hole!
The Cliffords are back this weekend. Am going to try to meet up with them next week.
Wednesday, 26 March 2008
Thursday, 20 March 2008
Monday - Foundry, reasonable session - climbed ok. Think I might have seen Helen's ripped like a race horse ex, but wasn't completely sure, so kept getting caught staring. He will either remember me and think I was giving him evils, or he will think one of those gay bouldering types fancies him (is a trad devotee). Its moderately interesting - this is a guy who spends more than all his time climbing, thinking about climbing and going out and yet he still fails to move fluidly. My point is, although he hasn't been climbing for years and years and years, he is still missing the basic skills. And, his is an apprenticeship earnt outside - trading. Perhaps its not the be all and end all! Perhaps some people just don't get it ever?
Wednedsday - after work Caley. I thought it had been completely dry for days, but apparently there was some rain on Tues. Looked mint walking up, and almost was - but for a bit of clinging damp, not really to the touch, but friction was patchy. Things facing the direction of Otley were ok, but other shielded-from-the-wind stuff was a bit distantly wet (i.e. it had known wetness). I've had such bad skin of late I decided to anti hydral in the car on the way, and I now think a half hour application is perhaps better than leaving it over night. It did the trick as far as I am concerned. Warmed up, picked up some youth buzzing having just done New Jerusalem, and headed towards Syretts Saunter (I think) which looks super thin. Haven't ever been up there before, so had a bit of a look around, and did a lovely 6c+ that involves rocking into a scoop off a pebble. Don't think it has a name, but it climbed nice. Moved to Ben's Groove. Sauntered casually up to the crack on the slab and met my usual impasse. I have no concept of what you do with your feet at this point. I just cannot move! Try a few things, but none of them bear fruit and I move again to Zoo York. It feels really really hard tonight. I can't make any of the foot locks work, and after an attempt to do it from standing which ends in a horizontal dismount, I get the fear and decide to sack it. This youth wants to do Blockbuster, so I suprise myself (and him) by busting out an ascent without any fuss. We walk down to something called Style arete (I think) and get involved with that. Both get an ascent. He goes home, I do some other bimbling stuff and head off. Time in the car when I get to it - 18:48. The clocks go back in a week and a bit - roll on evening action!
Caley is a frustrating place to have an obsession. It seems perpetually damp. I am psyched for Zoo York - the line of the crag? but it feels so hard! I think I need a spotter who is a known entity. I want to feel I can go for it without any fear creeping in! Ed reckons if you know how to pad it then its ok with two pads and on your own. I don't think so Mr Robinson! perhaps if you have a power surplus and it feels allright then maybe, but for me, absolutely balls out - its desperate. Mighty fine effort crushing this awesome problem.
Monday, 17 March 2008
Friday, 14 March 2008
Tuesday, 11 March 2008
Monday, 10 March 2008
The bad weather finally arrived in the North this morning then... Almost perfect scheduling in weather terms - a few light showers, but for the most part - pretty much climbable both days. Friday night we went to the pub with my laptop to look for birthday venues for her 30th (june).
Arranged to meet with the Captain of Crush himself, Dr Pinch - the remarkable Mr Robinson, at Calver cafe early on Saturday morning. Roy's regime has changed my outlook such that when Ed suggested the tor I genuinely wasn't keen! Perhaps this is the first year I can say that I think I finally 'get' the grit. I've always enjoyed the climbing, but I have always considered it a day off. Its not training after all! This year I've discovered the joy of exploring new areas, and actually doing problems, rather than always going somewhere to try something really really hard and always coming away empty handed, and I think the taking one step back has meant I have strode forwards already, because its changed my outlook - I approach things used to success and expect that I will do them, rather than always starting them with doubt in my mind.
Enough piffle - to Eastwood. A crag summed up by my assertion that had I done that traverse last time - I don't think I would've gone back. There's nothing wrong with the place - indeed, the rock quality is awesome, but when you have so much of the rest of the peak to explore - languishing in one slightly esoteric spot is like only eating the sprouts from xmas dinner. Its a good one to keep in the back pocket for rainy days. Did corpse crack a bunch of times to get started (lovely) and then got stuck in to the trav. First go was awesome, I felt great - everything went perfectly, until the last walking your feet round bit which left me hanging in the roof unable to stab to the footholds. Worked a new method that involved turning round in the roof and finishing the traverse upside down with a bicycle clamp. It then took me another load of fluffed goes to actually string it all together, which became a battle against my rapidly ailing stamina - the goes seemed to be getting worse, I was making more mistakes rather than elimanating them... realised this was what was happening and took 10 minutes off, and the next go was THE go and it went down.
Dr Pinch climbed gingerly, nursing a bad finger (which is still buddy taped), and managed to find a fully hideous sequence that looks great fun through the complex middle bit. He didn't put it together before we ran out of time - so I've moved on the neccessity to go back to him! Drove back to calver, dropped him off (did you go anywhere else Ed?) and blazed home to go ring shopping. Ring shopping is quite exciting but also terrifying. You can spend as much (and more) than you have. But, considering she will have to wear it forever after, its worth getting something you like. Although it felt dead exciting the previous weekend when it all happened, this felt dead exciting too. We went out on Saturday night, for tea with friends, then all to the pub, and finally - the girls on to town to go to Tonya's night at Penelopes. I stopped in the pub until 1230 (when I had long since stopped making sense) and then ran home in the rain. She didnt get home until 0830!
Got up at 0930 and felt shit. Drank alka seltzer and planned a lazy day cleaning the car, house, etc. Follicle and Dylan were adamant I was going out with them however and I got press ganged to the plantation. Met Ed, Pippa and Becky on way up and showed pippa some problems whilst waiting for Team FoleyFletch to arrive. Suprisingly felt like I was moving alright when I got going, but the tendency was to sit on my pad for ages between climbs. When I did this the hangover came back, as long as I kept moving it remained at bay. Got shown the Boston Mess which is at least 8b. I cannot generate any motion off that start hold at all. Moved down to the Business bloc, which I find singularly unexciting. I thought I wanted to do jerrys trav, but it just doesn't float my boat. Did a problem called * H top? hmm. Think this forms the top of Danny's problem. Very hard to climb into a position where you can do the thing I did I think. Then did Rose and the self employed business man, which really I should have flashed, but tried to do a really stupid move to start. Left the crag when the monster phoned and went home to do normal stuff.
Thursday, 6 March 2008
Wednesday, 5 March 2008
Tuesday, 4 March 2008
1: Felt really tired after what was really a very relaxing weekend, but for some reason tiring.
2: Shock of getting up at 0545 after two lovely lie ins!
3: My 'yardstick' was Leo Moger - Foundry hero and strong boy
4: I'm probably a bit fat after all the weekends eating
5: Getting used to a new board (always, when you first climb on a board thats unfamiliar you need a few sessions to really start to feel on it)
6: Right ear is gummed up and I feel a bit wobbly.
I knew when I first pulled on that I was lacking beans and that the magic wasn't going to be flowing, but I think I should thank Mr Moger for probably rescuing my session (as much as it could be rescued). He is one straaang punk! Trying to keep up definately gave me a push and made me try where perhaps I would have quitted.
Spent more time on the board last night, which I am ever more convinced is going to be a good place to be in the absence of the School. The reason its better than the works training board is because the angle is better (about 40 I think, the works is 30). Have a couple of Leo's problems written in my book for future reference, and have been shown some proper hard stuff too. The session finished with a hirsute Justin Plumtree turning up sans famous brown pants! they have been retired.
Finally, the Foundry have 40% of RAB stuff in their shop. Confusingly, its 40% off marked price, so if something is labelled £140 it will cost you £90. I picked up a new RAB for cragging purposes and it was well cheap. Happy.