Friday, 29 January 2010

Vauxhall Incarcerator VXR

Tuesday I still felt whalloped. Things did not bode well for the Cave on wednesday, but delightfully, by the time it came for action the fog had lifted. So, wednesday. Grey and overcast in sheff. Picked up the Pritchard and set off across the Snake. Hideous weather through the peak - low cloud, wet roads, mist etc. Manchester - similar, Chester - much brighter, hopes soared... Falsely. As we turned off the a55 into 'dudno the rain landed. Positively bouncing down by the time we got to the cave, which was a filthy sopping gop fest. V.disappointing. We jumped out of our boring Vauxhall prison, fettled some holds, called the job off, cancelled the local heroes and set off back to Sheffield.

It was wierd and disappointing to be going straight back without doing anything, but it really was sacked. You could have done about three moves. Warming up would have been desperate. Maintaining desire harder still. We could have gone to the Mill, but both agreed to get the drive out of the way. If we went to the wall in Sheff then when we finished we would already be home. An underestimated commodity. So, three hours there, back in two - we went to the wall.

At last I managed to dispatch the hard green affair on the barrel. Failed on all board projects, although got a new one from Kook, which goes a little something like this :

Wort, dowel
Beastmaker pinch
17h (I got this far)

So that was that. Back much earlier than expected, but a day salvaged. Am still keen for the cave, and it will soon be prime time for beginning wednesday afternoon half day raids. Nacho is apparently about at the moment, but may be going home on Tuesday.

I wonder whether anything will be dry tomorrow. I will be over manchester way. And very near Running hill pits. Is there much else to do up there I wonder?

Monday, 25 January 2010

Rupert of the Bailey

On friday we set a new record in our house. There was talk of going to the cinema, but it quickly became obvious that so doing would have meant having a disturbed two stage sleep - i.e. we would first sleep in the cinema, then have to drive home and sleep again. So we went to the chippy and came home to the fire. What was this new record then? being in bed at 2030!
12 hours later I felt much better. Yes, it was 0830 by the time I opened my eyes again, and 0900 when the toaster began its daily routine. Why so tired? the usual getting up at 0550 of course, and having been out until midnight at Dylogs on Thursday. Had a lovely meal, cheese, wine etc and good chats. Edlog also went out again on the Friday night! hardcore! Edlog news - he hopes to move back to Sheffield. And with such a hectic social engagements calendar surely this can only be good for his back, as all that sleeping on floors does not agree with the older gent (its his birthday this week)(43).
I came up with a cunning plan. It wasnt actually raining, and there might be dry rocks, but things looked damp - i.e. roads, walls etc. Clearly, there was still plenty of water about. So, I suggested we go to Chatsworth farm shop - via a circuituous route to allow me to determine if it was worth trying to get out later. West side story looked dry but westworld looked soaked, back towards Bbg North the drifts still ran to the top of the edge. Hampers hang was visible, but the rocks looked the wrong colour. On the road towards dennis knoll we could see people behind crescent arete and in a big air direction (might have been Constance Variable who did that amongst other things on Sat). Curbar also looked wet. Decided to go indoors.
At the Climbing Works i spied Ru's new car, and on entry found team fletcher-davies bimbling. Kidnapped Ru and set siege to the board. John Welford turns up. Between us we show Rupert some of the boards beauties. Its very interesting to see how there are some problems I think dead hard that Rupert can just do, and there are some on my warm up circuit that he struggles on. A question of styles. Something of a mammoth session ensues. I do one of the three things in my projects wishlist, which turns out to be a Saucisson special. It goes :
Raggy and Pinch
Ciao pocket
Below 16i
Resin Pinch
The other two (well, there are loads more than two, but these are those which I am working on now - too many irons in fires = channel surfing - no success anywhere!) are Sex and drugs and sausage rolls, and my very own dowel syndrome. I did a version of S&D&SR which is exactly the same save for the second hold. Which is the move I struggle with (its the jump off the resin pocket), so I substituted the dowel. Did it one side, and got to the top on the other, but failed on the final furlong. Perhaps tonight. Quite beasted afterwards.
Both Rupert and John Welford are legends. Welford though - he's been in the Power of Climbing and that makes him nearly a demi god in my eyes.
Sunday is a day of oddments. Doing things that need doing and reading the paper. Folog and Edlog try to go out. I dont know how far they got, but from Fologs text "the peak is fucked" I take it things didnt go too well. They end up at the wall. So, this week. This week = the board tonight, and the Cave on Wednesday....

Monday, 18 January 2010

Lesbian Vitara

In the world there are wise men to whom you should listen, and buffoons who blather on endlessly. One such wise man is Stu Littlefair. Anyone who is qualified in such a high brow field yet manages to remain quite so normal is someone to whom you should listen. That was Thursday. He says that if you have goals you should share them. I absolutely agree. I want to do Mecca. And I want to climb 8c. However, Mecca has scary falls on it, and is easier if you have the big cajones and can skip the last clip. Hmm. I then mooted my suggestion of Make it Funky, but I have big sausage fingers and will struggle with the mono. So, I wonder about the bastard? and about Jehovakill....
On Friday we went to a curry shop called Butlers Balti. Its on Broad Lane on the edge of da hood, Sheffield. Bumped into our neighbour on the bus on the way, and he explains that Butlers balti used to be Butlers Dining Rooms which was a greasy spoon cafe, and famously where Pablo Picasso sketched a picture of a dove on a napkin which lost. Sometime around 1950. Nice curry, not nice smells from me the next day.
Which was fine because I went to the climbing wall to sweat it out with Edlog. The Haigh brothers were there. What nice boys they are. I need a Roberto Stallioni lesbian horses tee shirt. I absolutely need one. Its awesome. The design is similar to that which you would find on the spare wheel cover of a Suzuki Vitara. Edlog won man of the match, pulling off an impressive flash of a hard green problem on the comp wall. Waddage, although, there can be no doubt that he was showboating to the two twelve year olds watching from the right. We got on the board. I had moob strain and wasnt firing on all cylinders. Poor Ben Moon turned up to make his return to climbing at the very peak of busy-ness (sic), although it didnt seem to faze him. I know if i was him I would hate there being so many punters there to witness my tentative return to climbing. Perhaps though when you have been the best you've nothing left to prove and it doesnt matter. Rupert arrives with Sarah in a nice new car.
Talking of new cars, my obsession with getting one this summer is mounting. I dont need one, but I do hate that Astra. Although I have no reason for doing, its just not a cosy place to be when you are in it a lot. Would you all think me insane if I got another Audi? Edlog has a nice new Golf (well, when I say New i mean new to him).

Monday, 11 January 2010

insertion sleeve

There can be no doubt about it - Saturday afternoon is a far more sociable time to go rock climbing. Usually (because of her gym class) I am a saturday morning lone warrior, but this week we had a leisurely start and then I went to the wall at three to meet Joe and Vics, Edlog, Dylog and even Anne Clifford.

Dylan turned up and refused to climb on the board, instead smearing himself in mentholated love mix and stalking around the wall like a cricketers jockstrap. Anne never made it thanks to an extended snowbound journey. She has another week in the UK though, so I still hope to catch up before she goes back (TC went on Friday or Saturday I think).

I have some new problems to put on the wiki. My open project - Dowel Syndrome remains unclimbed (to the best of my knowledge). Tomorrow or Thursday are this weeks opportunities.

The snow is now ever more tedious. More in Yorks this morning.

The boys go to Font on Saturday for 6 weeks! lucky bstards. The boys in this case are Ned, Dave and Lee. Is Dan going? probably.

Oh, and we went to watch Avatar on Friday. I enjoyed it. It is long though.

Thursday, 7 January 2010

The rightness of being wrong

I am once again sat at the kitchen table, working from home as every day this week so far. The stove is on, has been since 8am, and she is sat, laptop on knee on the sofa. Now I usually wfh two days a week anyway, but I dont think I would want to do too many more. I wouldnt for instance, want to be permanently based at home. For a start, you work harder because there are less distractions. Plus, you go a bit potty without human contact by the end of the day. The term cabin fever is appropriate here. Anyway, its good to have the option (or is it - if I didnt and I couldnt get in I would be sledging).
On the subject of sledging, the snow is really good sledge snow at the moment (technical ski terms are not in my vocabulary (having never been skiing)). Its good and deep, packed quite hard and suitable for going really fast. Perhaps a bit too fast. We went out to bingham park at about 20:00 last night and did a bit on a plastic sledge. I was quite scared - the brakes were on nearly all the way down the hill. Second and third runs were a bit bolder, but the sledge I had procured from the garden of the children in our road seemed to have other ideas and I kept veering violently towards trees and other such hard objects.
Made it to the wall yesterday afternoon. Main roads are fine, side roads are not. It was super cold last night, so it will have frozen the slush and made driving difficult. Certainly, coming home driving up oakbrook road was spicy (take a run up!). Which lead me to summising that if you drive with too much caution you lack momentum and things are actually more difficult and more dangerous rather than safer which is presumably what the cautious horses are aiming to achieve. I digress. So, the wall/board. Harry Pennells continues to astound with his new found powers. On the board there must now be few who can match him. Joe and Vics were around, Right on Dave and Char (wearing all the clothes he could find in the car, but creating quite a unique look), and a chap called Nick (?) who reckoned not to have climbed for five weeks but was well beastly if thats how long he had been off. I wish I could maintain that level after such a gap.
Lore commented yesterday about my changing the order of things, and whilst I totally agree in theory - in practice the new order worked well. You see, for me to try hard I have to climb well, and for me to climb well I have to suceed on things - success breeds success! We warmed up with no weight on, moved onto the board after about 40 mins, had an hour and a bit on the board, and then hardcore weight action for about 30 mins. Finished with a warm down. Now, when I am climbing with weight on, I am not using small holds (richie!), rather I am trying to statically climb steep problems on jugs.
Better do some work...

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

weight chest/vest timing

I was log last night. Or rather, I was log on the board. Harry and I were discussing training with weight added, and Jamie Cassidy had suggested that you should warm up, then put your weight on and do big moves on jugs. So, this translates in a climbing works sense to doing all the problems on the comp wall (ok, most of them), then putting weight on and doing them all again. The problem is, this more than takes the edge off, so that when it comes to trying hard on the board then you are pooped.
The conclusion of this discussion is that we are going to change the order thus : Warm up - 30 mins, climb hard on the board - 1 hr, jugs and weight on - 30 mins, warm down/easy circuit = 30mins. I shall test the theory on Wednesday (if I can get to the wall).
Just briefly, I foolishly set off to work this morning. Got to Grenoside before it started being really bad. Thinking it might get better I pushed on, but it got much worse. The motorway was downright dangerous, people drifting out of lanes as they couldnt see the edges of their lanes, average speed 30. Took the approach that I would go in, wait for it to go quiet and then get back home, which is where I write from now. Still snowing in Sheffield.
Hope Tim Stubbs is allright in Cambridge. First day at work for him today.

Monday, 4 January 2010

Happy New Year

You would hope that given the amount of time it is since i have last posted that I would have something to tell you. Not really though, its been christmas. So, she and I broke up for the jollies on Friday the 18th. Saturday the 19th I played host to Britain's best bum doctor, Dr Pinch and their respective spouses. We planned to climb rocks, eat curry, burn things and drink whisky. All were staying at chez Morlog. Edlog never made the rocks section, as his enthusiastic driving style heralded the end of the mondeo and left him marooned in Buxton, Folog and I spent so long procrastinating that the beautiful sunny day turned into snowing heavily. We never even stopped at stanage (shrouded in mist), continuing on to Curbar instead. Everyone else in the world was at Curbar so whilst I did get to pull on rock for the first time in months, it wasnt quite the experience I would have hoped for. It feels like its condensing, but perhaps its just the traffic on the holds. Bob Smith and Harry turn up, we join them on Ben's Wall/Great White. It fully starts snowing. We sack it to the Foundry to meet Edlog who has coerced his wife into driving him into sheffield. The rest of the evening is as it said on the preamble - we eat stuff, we burn things, we drink too much booze. The next day I am ill. A slow start follows. All leave and trek slowly through the snow to their respective destinations. I lie prostrate on the sofa with a hangover. Well done, and welcome to the festive season.
Climbed again on monday, although only at the board. Did some more new problems, and completed bits of others I needed to finish. Spent an age getting there (due to the inability of other road users to drive in snow), only to discover I had left climbing bag at home. Bought some Sportiva Solutions. These are amazing - Nalle wears them. You know usually when you have a brand new pair of shoes that are tight enough to count? how they are excrutiating? well thats the thing - these arent. They fit perfectly. There are no dead spots, no gaps, no rubbing stitches or murderous buckled toes - think they could be a really good thing. Although the price isnt good! if it means I can suddenly use my heel effectively perhaps its an investment.
Wednesday was the final pre xmas board session. I felt like I climbed really well. Did more new things, invented hideous new project (of course all that good work has now been counteracted). We go to the pub with our neighbours and for some reason really get on it and end up ruined.
Thursday - XMas eve. Hungover again. The day finishes in the Nottingham with friends. We leave early to go home and read the night before xmas (I love that book/poem).
Friday - XMas day! go to my sisters in Horsforth. Its nice Horsforth. We go for long walk, eat too much, drink some and gorge on cheese.  A nice day. Saturday, we get up and go to the outlaws. Sunday we come home sweet home. Monday the 28th (boxing boxing day), I meet Folog and Charlie Gibson to go out - yes, actually out! To the plantation, which is nice. We start by doing elimanates on the green traverse, then move up to the Joker. For a long time I am being a pussy and getting the fear, and it looks like its not going to get done. James proves his legendary hip flexibility, and Charlie does a great job stopping me flying headfirst down the gully. Just as we are about to give up, I go round the top and realise someone has been going for the wrong bit and thats why I cant do it. I balance worryingly on my arse on the edge and manage to put a tiny chalk dot where it needs to be. The hold is a bit wet, but useable. I go back down and within a couple of goes its done. We move to the storm. It feels a bit wet - condesing again maybe? the top hold goes black. We try for a bit but noone does it and we go up to Silk. At which point I phone Jamie Lilleman to ask how to do it, as we cant remember. Folog shows us his 8b sequence, and to his credit, nearly does it, but then I remember what to do and we all shuttle our way up. I have a few goes on the sitter which feels feasible. I thought this was 7c, but Folog seems sure its 7c+. Anyway, it goes dark and we walk down.
I havent climbed since. We went to the Lakes for new years eve, staying in Coniston which was nice. Tonight is the first day back at work, and at climbing. I will be at the Climbing works tonight at about 1600, and I will be wearing my weight chest. I also got a weight vest for xmas, but I might not need to wear that tonight.