Thursday, November 3, 2011

The new home of beastmaker

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

this blog is ceasing

We've moved our blog back onto our new website, so all new posts will go through that, if you are subscribed to this blog then you may wish to subscribe to the wordpress one, we have set up an RSS feed on the new site so you should be able to subscribe directly to that.

Friday, February 18, 2011

sporadically slippystones

Pic courtesy of Mark savage

I Managed to get back to slipstones the other day after heading up the previous week to try cypher with Ryan. I first tried this in 2005 with steve (dunning) and Kev (Avery) from memory, i got upto the jump that session but didn't hold it partly through punting and partly through intimidation of the line. I went back not too long after and split a tip warming up! so didn't get anywhere. 6 years later and 1 aborted freezing session in the interim i got round to trying it again. I called in on my way home to carlisle and quickly stuck the jump off a stepladder. I then headed back last week with Ryan and we were both giving it a good wallop. Ryan crushed it in an amazing display of multi talented finger strength, boning the initial pocket to kingdom come and fully booting round to snag the hold as a mono! I had just done the groove at stanton that week, so my cries of lack of skin could barely be heard above the flapping of my billowing skirt on the moors. Next session and with a good team i got it 4th try, almost first try of the day. Difficulty wise It's not too bad really just pernickety and abrasive. Quality wise it is world class and there isn't much better than feeling strong on the pinch and the undercling as you arc your leg back getting ready to "boot it" (marra joke), then the catch takes a moment to sink in as you swirl about a bit arguing with gravity.

Its funny how things work out sometimes.

Mark Savage came out and scarred his shutters with our ugly mugs. He's put some lovely pics up from the day here

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Stanton Delivers

Two years ago when i was just beginning to feel out the more esoteric peak venues, i came across Spare Rib and its accompanying boulder, and whilst this is undoubtedly one of the best problems in the UK it had no other straight up problems on it at the time, the other arete on the opposite side of the block was a prime example of a sitting duck project and on a return visit i mopped it up at 7b+, I then turned my attention to the arete to the Right of Jon in the above pic, i battled up the lower section and found that it leads you into the groove. with the top section of the arete being nigh on impossible and the groove being a stunning feature (albeit visually near spare rib.) I set about this. A session later i was tickling the hanging crack and i thought it wouldn't be to bad. So i left it for 2 years, which seem to have flown by. And after mopping up several other personal projects in the peak this season this rose back up the list. Heading back with Ryan the other day i managed to stick the crack but fully stretched and with no idea where to go, next session i abbed the top moves and sussed out the sequence. Which looks like a wholly undramatic affair when observed but from within a gossamer tension can be felt which is about as comforting as running across a newly frozen lake. the last foot of height takes alot of reeling in and my mind and body repeatedly crumbled on the foot moves. My mind wasn't crumbling from fear, just demand overload, too many minute movements were needing to be monitored at once. Bit by bit i pigheadedly pushed my kinasthetic dullardness up the problem learning more and more micro beta, which other people just do naturally or won't need. And after a little break a brew and a flapjack i jerkily overpowered my way to the top, 3rd session this year.

Stanton Deliver 8A+?
It gets hard from here... (pics are stills from a film shot by Nick Brown)

The problem starts from standing at the foot of the arete with LH on fairly obvious slopey crimp and RH on a pinch on the arete.

Between this, Pink Lady- Dave Mason's new 7c+ stand/ 8a sit. Golden egg- Jon Boys new 7c+ (and Ned's 7c+ variation - Furry Egg)
There are alot of good things going up in this area and i bet it's not long until an 8b is sniffed out.

To Celebrate i whipped over to cratcliffe and RHS with Nick and did Musclin' man (bransbys way) and my prune (stunning) My prune was a bit interesting as it was getting dark and i was getting tired and the last bit heading leftwards strayed a little too close to the bone.

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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

bring out your dead...hangs

me doing a reasonably ok 1 armer on the 35s (no thumb, no nestle)

35s 1 armer from on Vimeo.

meanwhile on the other side of the planet...
Sam Edwards larking about on a beastmaker during his first session!

This concept has been in the pipeline for a while and with some renewed psyche brought about through the making of a new website, which'll be much more training/user friendly we'd like beastmaker users to upload (or email me) videos of easy-hard feats of strength on the beastmaker (please tag the videos with BEASTMAKER and DEADHANGS), they don't have to be desperate, anything off the old records page'll do. we'll then incorporate all the vids onto the new training section of our site, if feats are impressive enough we might even dole out some prize money!

The idea is to gradually build up a library of beastmaker waddage, which anyone can watch to get psyched for doing a bit of fingerboarding, and as a result get some stronger digits (provided you don't get injured) we'll tier the vids in stages of advancement so please even if you think what you're doing isn't cutting edge it could still be useful so get it uploaded. Even full sets of reps or timed hangs'd be nice.

In other news Ned won the BBCs again to become a triple champ and reclaim the title from the crimping Irish. He let himself go a bit after the comp mind when one too many belgium waffles got the better of him. Still there's nothing tastier than a natural weight belt.
pic, ben morton.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Things i've learnt this year

One thing was for sure in my mind coming into this year, which is that i didn't want a repeat of last years bi polar year of injuries and sporadic ascents. Consistency was something i wanted from this year, it's no use getting stronger from hours of droll hangtime and not using it outdoors. This year has succeeded by being very different to last year, after a brief but effective (for my fingers atleast) training spell at the start of the year which ended with a shoulder niggle i chilled out, cashed my training cheques in the problem bank and sought about spending them in good fashion on nice lines. On the whole i've had the funnest and most consistent years climbing of my life. However i caught a glimpse off what success would feel like on a few harder projects this year whilst whistling through the days. Things which, had i gotten more deeply involved in them, would have drastically changed the way my year panned out. Instead i just bobbed along going for quick ticks, avoiding delving into the depths of top end problems and the potential injuries which come with it. This was a much needed change from last year and as a result i'm now content that the knawing rat of success is fat enough to tackle some meatier game. In terms of training the weak scraggly bits in my body which have failed me, and the harder lines which exposed them.

So basically i've learnt that every socko problem is fun when pursued with the premise of it in mind, but change is key (especially after a year), wow thats a new epiphany to the world.

I know i had the most fun on Ivan Dobsky, It climbs like a dream and out of the 30ish 8's from the UK this year it stands out as a cherished favourite.

What else...

The county remains one of my favourite places to climb in the world, but this is only after spending years getting to know it. Like the fact that, regardless of the time of year, if i leave any crag just before sunset i will spend part of my journey home along the military road chasing my favourite view in glorious technicolour

I also learnt that my average time for doing 8's dropped dramatically as soon as i got off the ferry and it went from zero in cornwall despite good conditions and attempts on projects to 1-5trys in brittany to 20mins in font, then upto nearly 1 session in germany, then back to 1 session if very lucky (or if they're not 8n) in the UK but usually 2(as it should be without being handed all the beta on a plate). I also believe that we have had the best weather out of most of europe in the UK this year. This doesn't necessarily say anything of course but it should say something. I think it's partly due to the massive variation in styles of uk hard problems, so you can't just cruise a bunch of things which suit you, you have to change tack and even strengths forced by different rock types in low quantities.

Some UK venues are definitely reaching the end of their potential in the high 7s-mid 8s, even st bees (the predominent lakesbloc news fodder of the year) is beginning to loose the secrecy of its deepest nooks and crannies. Whilst whole crags remain relatively undeveloped in other parts of the country

Peak Grit problems definitely get shitter in overall quality above 8a except for the odd exception.
Peak limestone problems get infinitely better 7c and above, except for bigger belly, which is shit (but even this has more character than work hard).

Fiveten Anasazi velcros can literally climb anything, especially on grit, the rubber on top of teams is wank for toehooking, baggy mocassyms are worlds better. But teams are great for footlocks, heeltoes and crawing (the art of scumming your feet round aretes). jet 7's got made completely redundant by teams IMO.

Dry bags by far make the best bouldering chalkbags (i knew this last year too but my drybag is now so manky it wont get confused with others if there is a buying flurry after i write this)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

back in business

Dave and Elsie have pulled off a phenomenal bit of engineering today and we have a working machine again! it's catch up time