more cloud formations
Another blue sky day warranted a roaches trip again yesterday. This time to Nth cloud and skyline. We warmed up at nth cloud and i had a couple of meek attempts at a project i'd tried last year. In fact upon returning to try again it last year i'd been sunned off it and that's when i stumbled upon the prow which is now The Darkest Cloud. Today was looking pretty similar, blue skies are lovely but bad news for small grips. And with Caff and Neil running out of eliminate warm ups to do on the 6a's we went and did art nouveau. It was baltic up there and after Neil'd seen off a swift onsight of Entropys jaw. The clouds had returned to save the nth cloud from the November sun. A big fat cumulo stratus infact, so the sun had no chance. After getting going again it was apparent that conditions were way better, So atleast i'm finally old enough for a tiny bit of wisdom to have crept in. Neil and Caff quickly got stuck into the LH project Which looks nice but climbs pretty thrutchily and with no distinct line compared to its looks. I'd come back for the RH line, whilst this is marred a tiny bit by the swivel finger arete visually it is a far better line climbing and hold quality wise. But then again these projects have been known about since atleast 2004 if not earlier, which speaks for itself, basically they're good but remote enough for no one else but a loony cumbrian to bother walking up there (marras were in the crag majority yesterday!).
The Rh Project has no footholds, just naughty smears. Which have a habit of ripping off and i think they are pretty boot dependent (i went for a good worn in pair of Sazi velcros) You basically pull on and undercut the only usable hold, which rags your pinky, Use a half pad mono to stretch upto the Gaston of fury, I'm so stretched when i get this that i can only creep 3 fingers on and my feet often blow. If they dont you snap some lock in your arm then fire through an amazing move to a lovely 3 finger slopey dish (top photo) then a large juggy LH crimp leads to a final lunge upwards for a good drag. From the last good edge it is possible to match and skulk left into the corner via a big but easy move, but this is not the line nor the problem.
Yesterday i had the rarest of bouldering moments. A perfect go. I'd had several shit attempts at getting the initial gaston and foot poppage was bugging me. I decided to just pull really F-ing hard and see what happened, luckily everyhting clicked, i really yarded down on the mono and undercling and finally got the gaston nicely with 3 fingers, a full on emergency crimp and gutteral growl got me through to the dish and still on i lunged for the top move, which is still droppable but a bit easier, i caught it in a good drag and kept over gripping to get the top. Brilliant. I could barely repeat the crux for video which adds a dilemma to the grade. As it felt fine when it went but hard. Then it just felt sharp and hard after. But then doing something this fast means it cant be too hard. For me i think its 8a+ but i can see taller people getting the gaston with 4 fingers and being much better set up (my 6'2" reach was pretty maxed out), so maybe 8a/+ is more accurate. I couldn't be on much better form board wise and this project is pretty basic, which also adds complexity. Thats more than enough space for grade talk anyway.
I decided the Nth Power would be a nice name for obvious pun reasons. And i am fully made up at flooking such a nice project. There are 4 more projects on my little whiteboard list that i'd like to get done before the new guide comes out, it's a nice incentive anyway to make more work for Cofe and Ru.