Tuesday, August 17, 2010

water proofing

This is something i've wanted to do in the peak for ages, never mind future proofing. Since coming to the peak i have yearned after climbing Monumental Armblaster and Sean's roof. Two of the finest examples of routes in their style that the peak has to offer. Both, however, seemed to be under an ever deepening clag-olith of depressing gloop. That was until this year that is, and the gloop turned to crust, from which holds revealed themselves. With Sean's not having been climbed in a decade, and quietly having shed some holds (haven't they all!) there was a fair bit of beta to be procured. The start was all easy enough, it just involved a bit of elbow grease and for the rock to be dry enough. But sure enough within a session it was only the last move stopping success, and the go before this one:

I'd stuck the last move with this beta. But after that fall and a weeks shoulder stiffness I decided there must be a better way to boulder it out. With a rope taking the swing off the jug is better beta and i can see why all the old guard say the start is the crux and can't remember much about the finish , and rope tension certainly plays a role in this too, providing a nice grey area of uncertainty as to whether you received the tiniest of helpful tugs. A few sessions, and an swift & impressive roped ascent from the daddy Adams, later (his first route since pretty much forever!). I still couldn't match the finishing jug without the face in road beta, but gradually some fun beta arose from cutting earlier off the smaller crimps and doing a hard move to get the jug, which then turned into a brilliant heel hook move once Ned'd refined it. And voila Sean's is now a fantastic 8a+ boulder which won't get you run over on a bad go. It'd be my vote for the best of its kind on limestone even if it is barely ever dry. Boulderers debolting a sport route, that'd send a clear message to the sport gods to stop stealing all the boulderers. Its not something i've ever heard of but this is a prime candidate ;) It's not like its far from the road, infact its a bit too near it really. you could bring a high jump mat if you wanted, but 3 mats is perfectly adequate with this beta. Leo 'mojo' moger (he don't know nothin') also put his mandible crimps to their usual STRONG use even after a crash diet of steak and beer.
To top the day off a rogue cyclist accosted us with a short ditty. C'mon lads you're better than that, think of your heritage think of your past."

...Indeed, perhaps i should have explained that we were training for quietus. He clearly hadn't seen one summer anyhow. This was an awesome solo effort by mark leach.

I think part of the reason for sean's struggling to dry out these days is due to tree growth on the opposite side of the valley above the red or dead buttress, this means the sun only comes in the cave for about 3 minutes rather than around 30-50 which'd vastly improve drying.

plenty more been going on too sheffside, just need ta pen it down

Monday, August 9, 2010

A Dark Hour for Bouldering

That's right, it seems as soon as the weather takes a couple of turns for the better. Which lets us look up out our soggy downjackets. We get all wistful and cocky with ignoring forecasts, and digging out harnesses from the back of pad stores, next thing you know the boat has not only been rocked but driven to the point of the mary celeste. We've been hemorrhaging core boulderers for the last 3 months, some have fled to the mountains and coasts with their harnesses and gear. But most have been seeking the sanctity of bolted cliffs. Luckily mike adams has been tending the fire waiting for others to return, with some inspiring new lines like the seldom seen kid, and hard seldom climbed lines like Sean's roof. Fear not Mike we shall return.UKC's hardest lists, show the extent of the situation. With the boulders list being over a month behind the routes in volume. And it'd be much worse if it wasn't for the stirling efforts of brothers Freeman, boldly listing and adding many a 7c-8a (a plethora of sends infact). The Stone and south lakes limestone link ups can't be tapped forever and at somepoint we'll need a powerful meme to be sewn to bring back regular summer ascents of things in parasellas, the pass and possibly even in sport strongholds like yorkshire and the peak.

I feel the loss of Big Malc to sport climbing early in the season prooved to powerful a blow. with 9a's emerging from blank stone after he got his fists on the Anvil (how manly a crag name is that!), only the iron willed boulderer could ignore the calling of the ropes. Now, I fear it would take a resurgence of The mighty G to stem this tide of ropes, or possibly a sacrifice of gary gibson to the bouldering gods.

I've even found myself bolting in the last week, with resins, it'll take alot of confession time to amend these sins. At the minute i'm kidding myself that i'm just bouldering on a rope, breaking moves down into boulder problems, it
feels less dirty that take. But with every shout of take and the tell tale signs of harness rash, i become more and more of a lost cause. Ned and I have been ticking routes down the dales from 8a+ to 8b+ all of which should kept hush so as to try and not make a bad situation worse.

I've also managed to track down a picture of the mental state of mind Caff is in whenever he pulls on (if you think its the man, think again...) well inspiring to say the least.
In many ways its been fun this year to do a few more routes. And when the veritable atlantis of crags, that is the cheedale cornice, surfaces it's just rude not to sample its fine underclings and soaring tufa lines (ok that bits made up) soaring sika lines is a bit more accurate. But bloody good anyhow.

Hopefully once i get shot of a few more routes i can get back to the boulders and start making amends.