Friday, April 9, 2010

A Law of Averages

well it's been a good week of weather! and with the evenings getting longer i've been getting out and about.

Friday: Borrowdale volcanics
Before coming back to Sheff I nipped in to say hi to the Bowderstone, it was still there, and so was the hold that bust my finger, i'll be giving that project a few more months I reckon. I had decided it was time to tackle sidekick, the last thing i really wanted to get done on the stone. After getting slapped about trying to ram a sharp bit of rock through my knee for about an hour I figured out that i only needed it for a split second and good old fashioned burl could take care of the rest. This is a brilliant problem and probably the best 8 on the stone. I remember seeing Glenn wilson try this with his half red half yellow hair(when it was v9 and still a project) back in the day in my first year of climbing! The consensus seems to be that its a tough 8a or more like a soft 8a+ and it's certainly harder than special cases. In the end i got it near the end of the session and had to try pretty hard, especially as the oxygen depletion to my brain stopped my feet working properly and my Jet7s turned into clogs before my eyes.

Sunday: Yorkshire Grit
I was driving back down the country so nipped in to see my good mate Kev in't Bingley town. Now I think i've only been to Caley when Kev's been there and I've only been 3 times, and none of those were in the last 3 years! I think i'd forgotten just how awesome it is (except for the prolific victorian chipping) There are loads of things that I want to get done here but an obvious one was the striking line of Ranieri's Reach. After declaring it piss on my third go i then got bored of controlling my limbs properly for the next 30minutes, including dropping it after the crux 3 times, after a bit of a break and a re-warming up of the support team as well as a cameo appearance from legend of the lakes, triple-daddy, Rob Fielding. I gave myself a good talking to and made good on my original declaration. This was much easier than Sidekick and is kicking a good sized hole through the ceiling into the realm of 7c+ . After that it was skin loss time on nothings safe, which went from being painful and jerky in my mind to eccentrically brilliant, especially with the top move being a good value pull off a pinky mono! Now bellies were growling by this point and Kev's easter egg was a distant memory so binge o' clock was called.

Wednesday: Peak Grit
my next chance to get out saw me tired from training but lapping up a bit of afternoon vitamin D at Curbar, i thought i'd check out what the low roof hoo haa was all about. It looked less low than i remember but it looks like some sterling patio skills have been put into place (effort!). After a good chin wag with the a nice Mr Marek whom was there also. I got stuck into la musee. I quickly sacked off trying to use the jug as the ridiculously dabby move spoilt the problem for me (as did the jug). I worked out a slightly harder (physicaly) but less dabby way of not using the jug at all by keeping the toe hook in whilst nipping along the slopers. This flowed nicely and was much more enjoyable. 5 minutes later i linked it up and found it much easier than Sidekick and Ranieri's. To me it seemed to be no harder than ben's roof (at the Tor) or columns at the roaches So soft 7c+ seems about right. I was getting tired by this point but went 1 foot further back to the newly extended start. After working out how to get my leg out of the massive, and slightly painful kneebar without my fat arse touching the floor (this sequence takes you straight into the start holds of la musee) I was getting through things ok but had run out of juice for the full thing. And by this time things were getting pretty sunny under there, so I packed my bags and shot off home. The line from the back is the full line though and a good addition to peak 8's, very unique climbing for grit too.

Friday: peak lime
I nipped out in the afternoon to make the most of the good weather. Cough. really horrible still warm conditions. Cough. My chosen sweat box was Dark Therapy, the perma goppy holds are bloody well annoying on this. Despite that it is a truly great problem slightly marred by greasy crag acne. after battling the grease for a while I had a good go where I didn't slide on the holds too much and luckily ended up on top and not on my back. For me I reckon this is a benchmark 8a, although it is a bit morpho and conditions dependent (if you ever see the start holds bone dry then get on it!), I really like the unique bulge climbing on this and it features a good candidate for legitimately busting out a 1 armer on the last move. After that i spent 45 minutes on another problem reminding myself that i have lost a lot of nouse and now have to compute hard foot moves like a commodore 64 faced with endless lines of code whilst my upper body hangs there waiting for something useful to happen. Basically I can't wait to be able to turn my brain off and just climb again!

So there we go four lovely British "8a"s and all of them completely different to each other in rock type and style and grade, yet apparently all the in the same place on a scorecard.

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