Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Walk in the Dark

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!

Friday, 17 February 2012

rock climbing

Since we've been back, I just wanted to go climbing. I have suspended any aspirations and have just gone out and done stuff (as opposed to projecting things, or getting sucked into any sieges). When we got back from Swizzers I was a bit down on my climbing, and this is what I needed to give me my mojo back. It's all well and good coming home with some big numbers in the bank, but climbing is more than just occasionally doing hard stuff, it should also be fun. Years ago Roy told me to stop training and go climbing - sage advice, and something which really helped me as a climber.

I love training, and I love doing hard moves on the board (ok, ok - hard moves for me - yeah, they might be jugs to you), but I also love getting to the top of actual rock climbs, and going to new places. So, since we have been back I have been on a bit of mopping up mission. Getting some stuff I have meant to do for ages done, and boshing out some new steady ones as well. Here's a list of the scuffles of the last few weeks :

1) Small is beautiful, burbizzle. Always quite fancied this for some reason. John Allen classic. Dispatched in a lunchtime raid the week after Swizzers.
2) Velvet Crab, burbage again. Me and Ed went out that saturday it was freezing cold and finally went and closed this one down. There's some fat guy on it in the guide, so it cant be that hard... ;-P
3) Blind Date, Burbage. Done on the same day as above, as the snow started. pretty log, but for completeness sake.
RingPiece, Ilkley. Can this really be 7b+? Went after work, thinking it didnt look that far (from Pudsey), it is, and the roads are busy. Meant to do Superset as well, but it went dark and I went for chips. Is the Pub nice? it looks it.
4) Jess Roof, Almscliff. Hooray! I have had odd goes on this here and there over the years, but I am always on my own, and its a bit scary. This one was this Tuesday. Lovely day - incredible condition at the cliff, just got on and rinsed it. Very pleased.
5) Streaky's Traverse, Almscliff - a bit shit, but another one done.
6) Buffy wants daddy, Almscliff. See above really. Quite interested in the link ups.
7) Jerry's Traverse, Stanage. This Wednesday - now I know this is a bum drag and possibly the least most inspiring problem at one of the best crags in the Peak, but its a good one to do on your own (although I wasnt), and once I got started on it i wanted it done.

Its been fun, actually doing things.