A scraping noise from above alerted me to the sinewy form of Chris Nicholas Webb Parsons opening his bedroom window - 'ah mate, ya flaming galaaa - aaaahm just on the skype to me shiela, mate. Ripper', and with that a key hurtled towards me. Let yourself in I thought - nice. You dont get a chance like this too often...
I creep stealthily through Ned's darkened bedroom doorway, hearing only light snuffling noises from within. I inch forward. The ginger love god faces into the opposite corner, surrounded by strange roped contraptions and pictures of malcolm smith, and appears to be examining his tail. Perhaps its itchy I think, as I leap forward and capture him in my net. A quick squirt of cat nip and his yelps are subdued. I bundle him into the car, but as I am loading him, the chiseled cheeks of one time hippy Ben Thompson make an appearance. Thinking quickly I whip out a cream horn and whilst he's dazzled, he too is swept into the back of the car.
It's not actually raining at Curbar gap, although the wind feels like its scouring our very souls for weakness. I frog march them to 'Walk on By' and force Ned to work out a sequence. Ben huddles in a cleft weeping quietly. Soon Ned and I are scratching our way upwards on rat crimps and dirty grifters. Neither of us do it, but he gets to holding the top pinch. It was only because of Ben's tears wetting the holds that we have to give up. That was Monday.
Last night on the way home from work I went back to Anston Stones. I have been trying to do that Dark Art problem for what feels like ages, but is actually about four visits. It's one of those problems which I think I was quite close to when I first went on it, but then seemed to keep not doing. Anyway, it was good nic, and I felt good. I knew I was going to do it when I started warming up. Things felt good, i knew what to do, i had the errors dialled but i wasn't going to make them. Two redpoints later it still wasn't in the bag. I was getting closer though.
There's a danger of putting your heel on the floor during the first move, and sometimes as you move upwards there's a doubt in the back of your mind whether you weighted it, but not this time. This time i must have been in a slightly different position and the holds just felt better! Everything happened right. All the holds caught perfect, adjusted to get the best out of them and moved past. As I matched up on the good dishes over the roof the thought 'dont blow it now' kept coming back, and I pictured myself crumpled on the pads having fallen from here. Engaged maximum safety slow motion climbing mode, and thankfully, this bit was both easy and well rehearsed. I scuttled to the jugs, panting like a cornered nun. YYFY!