Thursday, 26 November 2015

The siege of summer

We all like the story of a good siege, where the protagonist succeeds after a battle and gets to make pronouncements about the deeply personal nature of their struggle, of how they overcame adversity and how they are now both richer and wiser as a result. Well not me. I have managed over all these years of climbing to manage not to absorb any wisdom whatsoever. Wisdom is overrated. If you are wise you probably get to the top of everything really quickly - like Ned. And look at how miserable he is.

It's been a long time since we spoke, and much has transpired. I don't think i ever really convincingly went back on Mecca except when Ben Thompson (world's worst belayer, but ripped face cat lover) wanted to try. As is the case with me and other people on that route, they get interested, look good and either do it or cant be bothered and move on, whilst i do ok for a bit but lack commitment to actually finish it. Anyway, another child has happened (three weeks ago today), and i got involved in (which is the siege bit) Grooved arete at Kilnsey. 

Years ago when i first had a go on this route, i think i had a couple of sessions trying it and still had moves to do. Specifically the weird move by the third bolt to get to the pocket. I couldn't do it. Well this year I could. I said then that if i managed to get through that bit (and its not hard, its just a bit weird and slightly sketchy) then i would spend an age getting up to the 'jug' at the top and running out of steam, and that is what happened. 

As a boulderer, the moves on GA are really steady. No one move you wouldn't comfortably do straight off the couch, but no appreciable rest either. Route climbers slap their way to the jug, but to them it IS a jug, so they get it all back and then complete the only mildly pokey move after it to get to the top. Me on the other hand, i follow a different pattern. First go, putting the drawers in, do it in sections - feel good. Go 2, the most likely go to yield  success, I am over excited because i think i'm gonna do it, over grip everything and go too fast from the jug. Fail. Go 3, the pressure is off, climb really well up to the jug, now over compensate for previous rush, wait too long, realise diminishing returns, panic, try, fail. 

In one session this summer, i got to the bloody jug four times! After the jug there are two slightly go-ey moves, which on their own are really steady. James and i went back one last time, when really it was too late in the season and really hard to keep warm, and i think i have found microbeta which should help complete it next summer. Hopefully (if i can remember what it was!). 

Anyway, its gritstone season now - something about which i am excited. I love the change of seasons in terms of climbing style. I have many hopes and aspirations for this season of luck based scrittle, and the list of things which need 'mopping up' grows ever longer. By this i mean, these are things i have been on before and should really have done : 

Wob - yr5
Bens wall - yr 10? 
Seans arĂȘte - yr2
Art of white hat wearing  yr 2 or 3
Full power yr lots
The dray, caley yr2
Scary canary, caley
Dick hymen, alms cliff
Back in the ymca  - 9a
Flick of the wrist (travs thing at bbg, a bit shit but good lunchtime fodder)
spare rib at stanton - kept nearly doing this last year but wimping out being scared. 
la poo (yes it is poo, but again a good one for lunches)
striker direct
Andy Browns wall, Cratcliffe, me and ned took harry to this after a night on the plonk with J_Fol (britains best bum doctor) and i nearly did it hung over, so should be possible! 

Things i would like to do :
Lay-by arĂȘte 
Red baron roof
To me to you
Silk sit 
Western eyes (elbow permitting) 
Back Street mime artist
Golden egg
Solomon seal
Ape drape - i know, i know - never done it though.