Wednesday, 25 November 2009
As Dave and I crested Dore Moor the sky didnt look so perky. We parked up and could see Sam and Lu and persons unknown over at the nose. We started out towards North, but quickly turned back when some light rain started gusting in. As we reached them at the Nose the heavens opened. "The jobs fcuked", and so it was - back to the Climbing works. Proud new dad Cofield is greets us as we arrive, flexing his guns in the doorway, I hasten to congratulate him before Dylog, Garry and I set about some of the yellow problems. To my delight I seem to be climbing well (its all relative!) better than monday anyway, and I manage to flail up a couple I'd dropped then.
If ever I become a publican (not likely), the public house I run will be named "The Flailing man".
Adam, Worm and Sam phase in and out and its like actually having a team session outdoors. Thats what I like so much about climbing. Those days when everyone is out and you are climbing with a team. And thats what you get so perfectly in Sheffield. There are always people about to go climbing with, your options sometimes feel limitless, but sometimes you'll miss the trend or others will be out when your not. Its not that people in Sheff try particularly hard, but that its easy to be motivated when there are so many people around you going well.
I've had a good day today, and I didnt even go on the board! to cap it all, as I was winding down I got to climb with Rob Smith, Andy Reeve and even the mighty Bogginator.
Tuesday, 24 November 2009
Dont worry, this isnt going to be a blow by blow account of a circuit at the climbing wall, just a generalised statement in which I will tell you that Dylog, Percy and I had a good time flailing on some of the new yellows. Its interesting climbing on things other than the board, as it highlights the value in so doing. Stubbs and I were talking about this last night on the Twatter. If you over do any one board or crag you become a specialist, and too much specialism gets you up only things at that specific venue. This was particularly evident at the Mill where the rule is that its hands for feet except where the hands are wood, and you dont stand on wood. This is a good rule and allows both rules to exist side by side. Stubbs argument is that because its harder on small foot jibs, so it makes you stronger for when you have bigger feet - and I sort of agree, but I also think theres a stylistic difference in how you climb with hands for feet. Perhaps its something about the way in which you move?
So, it is with this in mind I propose a new ideal board configuration. Maintain the same density of bad wooden footholds, but also allow feet on resins (and perhaps a few more resins to make this possible)?
Dylog left and was replaced by Keith. Been far too long and it was nice to see him. He claims to be weak, but is strong. Climbed some good problems on the board, and invented/got shown a few other new ones. For those who might go and try, write these down :
This first one is one I set myself last night, although is so obvious I would be suprised if it hasnt been done already. Essentially climbing the original easy problem :
Start matched on undercut bar
Right to good square pinch (using the top of it)
Left into good undercut above Monkey shot
Right all way to good Beastmaker pinch
Ninja stab to Beastmaker crimp
This one from Ned, dunbar pinching (pinky and thumb around either side) allowed :
Fat legs ucut pinches
Which reminds me - i need to investigate wiki pages.
Monday, 23 November 2009
Doyle had warned me, but I still wasnt prepared - the whole cave was completely the wrong colour - condensation saturating almost every hold. There were people in the very back pulling on clammy holds, but I was warned that sudden dismounts were of the order of things. My boots remained in the car. Doyle had offered a backup tour of the Mill, so it was there we headed. Before we talk about that, whilst on the subject of the cave, I think there was ed Robinson's mate Dave there - who I thought had gone away somewhere? and also Richie Crouch - who I think I have met before. Richie looked pretty strong and was doing what I think a reasonable link through the dirt at the back towards the wobbly jug. I have tried these moves, and I dont think I could even pull on!
The rain continues to fall in stair rods. The car steams up, theres standing water on the road and no sign of the sun. We drive towards the mountains and pull up outside a large stone mill building. My enthusiasm (which would usually have been at fever pitch by now) is dampened by the river running down the road, and the rain scratching at my face. Doyle fumbles with a heavy padlock - inside, I'm met by a scene I imagined from Jerry's youth! Wow. What a great space. Its a two storey working building which is partially rented out to the board collective. The board is upstairs. Climbing the aforementioned stairs is terrifying - its dark, theres sharp looking tools strewn across the floor and the magnified sound of the wind and rain frustrated by the roof of the building. Just like the school theres some grimness required before the fun begins, and when he manages to plug the lights in I am greeted by a behemoth of a board in an incredible spacious layout. This is an awesome facility!
The mats are covered with the detritus of climbing wall manufacture, which is why its a bit unloved at the moment. Unjustly so in my eyes - a really good climbing wall quality board with proper mats and everything. Granted it could use some homely touches, but it is also a working building - so what do you expect. I get a good tour from Doyle and although we only have a two hour session, when we leave I am ready to do so. Do some good problems and leave one of my own. I have a pic, and will upload it in a bit.
Spoke to Edlog yesterday (the scarlet pimpernel! will our paths ever cross again?!) and he reckons the tor was mint on saturday. I had a big change to do (network integration) early this morning, so my 7hrs will be done by lunchtime, and I wonder about heading torwards. Rubicon will surely be flooded? I would be suprised if the Tor is allright to be honest - I mean friday was ok, so perhaps thats why it was alright on sat...
Thursday, 19 November 2009
Yesterday was something of a mammoth session, although I sadly missed the beefiest mammoths who arrived just after I left. But as one of them (keith) has threatened to break my arm, leaving 'bone sticking out', this does not seem entirely unwise. Would have been nice to see Edlog, but he only would have burnt me off, thats fine too. The third mammoth - Ned, will have been gutted to miss out on the masterclass Foley and I hosted yesterday - 'Bitching and Procrastination 1'.
I have been climbing with the junior Hammertime kid, who is off to Kranj to teach Adam Ondra a thing or two. He is strong (hammertime) and light. I hope he does well. Toby overbite broke or dislocated his ankle, and Dave 'cheekbones'/the racist Mason showed us the not so prominent cheeks which rather put me off my third expresso.
Other sightings included trad uberWad James McHaffie and..... THE COPLEY BROTHERS! doing a one armer and chatting up birds beneath the campus board. I'd like to say they looked weak, but they didn't (the copleys rather than the bird - she did look weak) - although I don't think I saw either of them doing a whole problem, and I dont think the mammoths I left in my wake will have gotten burnt off. I need to get my finger out! on the subject of which, I did problems last night which I couldnt do pre wedding, so I fear I can no longer hand out the 'oh, I'm all fat and weak excuses', which is a problem - because I am fat - tipping the scales at nearly 12stone! Adam Lincoln is now apparently a stone and half lighter than me - no wonder he's bustin out the big numbers every other day!
Which leads me to another pointlet - if I am climbing well, does it matter what the scales say? clearly not. I love food and beer too much to miss out on, and whilst I know I could get a bit more out of myself by shedding a few pounds - its all about compromise - I dont want to live a monk like existence, climbing its something I do rather than the reason I am, so I will eat healthy and try not to drink been every night, but if I want one - I'm having it.
Anyway, to finish off this post of most crushing banality - here is a picture of my desk. I always think its quite interesting to see where people work. Am just a nosey bastard really :
Friday, 13 November 2009
As Between the Trees starts you could be forgiven for thinking you had tuned in to a music video. The opening sequence is nothing short of awesome. Its artistic, witty, clever and beautifully executed. Keith clearly has a real eye for cinematography, talent at the technical aspects of film making, and not to mention attention to detail. This film looks slick from the outset. Another criticism I had of L'Entranger was that I hated the titles. They were garish and in some cases partially obscured the action. He's certainly taken that on board - perhaps too much. In places I had to search the screen to see what was being climbed, but there were also some very clever bits - the partage titles for instance.
One of my favorite films is StoneLove - which is all about the dynamics of the group, the young guns coming through, and of Moffats last swansong. This I think separates it from the rest. In Between the Trees, the story is partly about the relationship of Keith and Tyler. Both of whom are really seriously good climbers, but Tyler... Oh my god. This guy is on the next level. He's like Malc in StoneLove. He has incredible movement skills and is a very pleasing climber to watch. Just how good comes into perspective when you see Keith (who has climbed 8b) humanly struggle on things which Tyler seems to dispatch effortlessly.
This is a good film. I started watching it from the default position of thinking that it would just be another selection of clips, and flicked through - it is. But watched end to end, its a journey, a story about Tyler and Keith, and a study of cutting edge kinaesthetic awareness. Keith has filmed beautifully. The lighting, the angles - all wonderful. The editing is supreme - I loved the transitions, the sync to the music - awesome. As I have said before - beautifully executed. But.... I still think that theres room for even more of the human. This is a pure climbing film. You couldnt show it to a non climber -well, you could, but they would be bored. What films could you show them? Would you want to? I dont know.
Go buy it. Well worth the money.
Tuesday, 10 November 2009
As soon as I tweeted that I was going to flex the afternoon and swan off climbing I started getting abuse that I had joined the ranks of the not working - as per a couple of blogs ago. Yeah well, I dont do so bad I suppose. A benefit of flexi time innit.
On the subject of Yorkshire's second nicest man (Tim Stubbs)(first position still held by Tom Peckitt), theres a chap with fine crag style. Whilst most of my friends rock the Crag Urchin look, theres a fly looking mofo. Yesterday he had on what I would describe as a golfing jumper and I think a hat. Now, in my head since yesterday I have made it into a corduroy flat cap, but I think that might just be my guilty fantasy. Also milling around when I arrived were Jordan 'fiend2' Buys (he was wearing socks with climbing shoes (and eating McDonalds)*second part is a lie), Dave Barrans, Ellie Howard, Vicky Barrett and then Jenny and baby Woodward.
I didnt have to cope with these punters for long however, as within half an hour Big Jim and Britains best bum doctor arrived with baby Jim in tow. Time now 2pm, and the sun was alarmingly low in the sky. Jim has gone to warm up on the Keel (!), so once warm I show Follicle the TC traverse. Only I cant remember how to do it. Ever the gent, Jim steams over, hurls his baby amongst the mats and demos the problem, only, like a floundering sea bass he fluffs the the end and rejoins his offspring on the pads. Conditions are interesting. It must be about 5 or 6 degrees, but the weekends rain is evident - it feels as though there is a bit of condensation about - things arent super grippy. Foley minces through the hard bit of TC only to fluff the easy, but fluffable top section. We move to Underlog.
Now this is a problem with a story (tells Vicky B), Anne Murray first found it and was working towards doing over a couple of sessions - it was her project, the object of her desires. Unable to wait for his future wife and baby mother to finish the project Tim Clifford has a go, but promises that if he does it he will jump off the end, only when he got there he didnt! hence the name 'Underhand'. Jim does it again, Dave barrans styles it, Foley fails, I have a thousand goes but eventually finish it, and in the mounting gloom we walk down to the Keel for jim to finish the day with a classic. Only by now baby Ellie is squawking as she is teething. Jim takes her down to the car and Foley and I do Cherry falls a few times. Yes, thats right - when everyone else had gone, and it was dark we do the hardest problem there. Multiple times. Pretty steady I thought. Managed to even do a chalk blow on 'the move'.
Finally, I would like to ask you whether Liam and Brandon Copley could be the Jedward of the climbing world :