Friday, 23 December 2011

Circuits circuits and more circuits

Since my last blog i managed to get out on the grit to almscliff and I have had two hard intense indoor sessions.

So starting with Almscliff I went there with some lads from UKB all much better climbers than me but don't mind letting a punter spot them while they work the harder stuff. Plus I get good beta on my problems. 
I got there about 11ish just before Tom. When he arrived we walked up to the warm up area and he ran through some easy stuff to get going. All easy stuff that went in a try or two at most. Next tom showed me pork chop slab (5) which I managed to flash. After this John and Ian arrived. 
The conditions at almscliff were amazing reasonably dry under foot, minimal cow poo, dry rock and perfect friction. So while they warmed up Tom set me on Morrill's wall an almscliff classic 6A my anti style. Tom ran up it to give me the numbers. Then I had a couple of goes. The holds look better than they are but not too bad. To then did it again to show me how. The next attempt I got to the last move and missed the jug by a centimeter or so. I got it next try. 
I was very happy to get it so quick. 10mins 6A classic and not my style at all. I tried a couple more 6A's in this area but every one wanted to move on so I followed them. 
We got on Syrret's next a 6C roof again not my sort of stuff I gave it a go but was not felling it and dropped of twice before the crux. Tom and Ian both did this pretty quick. 
Next up was demon wall roof area I left them playing on the 7's in the roof while I first worked the crucifix (5+) which went second try I think. I then tried pebble wall (6C) with Toms sequence. It is hard but definately doable. I did not get it. I moved on to crucifix arete (6A) which was quite interesting will go next time. The others wanted to move on to another area so again I followed.
They all had a go on an unnamed 6C+ which Tom got after just a few tries and Ian flashed.
At this point I was feeling pretty tired and I started to feel cold. So I just had a go working out flying arete (6A+) with not much look as I could not feel my fingers and feeling the session. 
I called it aday as the sun was going down and celebrated a successful trip to Almscliff with a curry.

Sunday came the conditions were great again but not feeeling tired I looked to go local but with no partner to inspire me I ended up playing GTA. 

Monday afternoon I got a message on Twitter asking if I fancied a session in west yorks. I thought why the hell not. I ended up going to Rokt which for me means lead wall/circuit board. The guy I met up with (Rob) is a bit on a machine. He was also psyched for the circuit board so I had a long session on it with him.  There are several circuit on there that I was working.
The starter circuit is 6a/+ (apparently) I have that wired not done it there and back yet but keep giving it a go. Its 26 moves long and good holds with a harder section in the middle. Good loosener for the others.
The next step up is the brown circuit (6b according to the chart) I had dropped this on the last move and the move before last before.
I had also been doing sections of the yellow a crimpy circuit that is fun as I did not know the grade but I could do bits. I looked the grade on monday and its 7c .. awesome!

So monday I warmed up then did the silver and got to move 15 end of the crux section on the way back. Next I reminded my self of the hardest bits of the brown had a rest then gave it a good burn and got to move 34/36 but then flash pump was too much. I reworked the end to get the moves to get them wired. I had a rest and got it. 
Up next was getting further on the yellow circuit. I am currently failing on 1-4. On my previous attempts I could link from 3 to 7. I spent some time getting this wired so it felt easy and gave me an opportunity to work out move 8. I got this then struggled to get nine bit more work and I got it. I even managed to touch hold 10. I was pretty happy with this. I then worked further on and managed to get the moves up to the rest and then on to move 27. 27-28 was a bit of an issue. 
Rob was working the yellow circuit also which was good to watch his way of doing the moves. The only issue is he is doing yellow with only white screw ons for feet and not taking the hands off rest. He reckons it deserves 8a that way. He dropped it on move 34 of 35 6/7 times on the night (last hard move).

After I had worked the yellow i thought I would try the next circuit up from the brown which is the red (6c - 26 moves). First attempt I got to move 9 I got this far 3 times but I was really struggling and felling tired. I rested up and did a couple of burns on the silver circuit and brown circuit to finish me off. Feeling the session and thinking one last burn I got told the time it was 10pm and kick out time. I had been on the circuit board for best part of 4.5 hours.
Went home content and tired

Wednesday came and not feeling overly strong with minimal partner option I headed to Rokt again and got back on the circuit board. After warming up I did the silver then the brown to warm up. 
This time I got on the red next. I managed to get to move 16 this time. pretty happy with my progress I worked the end and got all the moves. I rested and gave it a burn I got to move 18 with 19 being a hand off rest. I got back on straight away and linked to the end. So it will go with just a little more work getting the feet and sequence wired. 
I decided to get on the yellow again I gave it a burn from 3 and 4 again and this time I managed to get to 10 first attempt. I rested then I gave it a burn again getting to move 12 this time. Nice to add in two more moves and if I can link 12-13 I will be able to link from 3-17 which will be nice progress. I also worked the end and manage to get move 28 this time and only reason I did not get 29 was I was felling tired from the session.
I again finished myself off with a burn on silver and brown. 
Again feeling tired and worked I went home content. 

The next day I realised why I did not feel great the morning of the prior day as I have picked up a cold. Which is worse today. Just in time for christmas.

So december has been about progression in my ability and I feel it is getting there. 

here is a vid from Almscliff:

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

The indoor report + vid

I have been doing quite a bit of indoor climbing which is pretty dull to wright about so to summaries. I have been splitting my time between Rokt, Depot and The works.

At Rokt I am mainly working the circuit board trying to break down the problems to manageable bits. Or desperately trying to link in some cases. There is a 6a/+ (my arse) circuit which took two sessions to link.
The next circuit up is 6b (maybe not my style). I have done this in two bits 1-28 and 26-36 with getting straight back on after the fall. I have an issue with move 19 which is I forget the feet for this move. So if I make it pass it takes every thing out of me or I fall there. I am smooth up to this point and 28 is an awkward move as I find the feet to be quite blind.
There is also a 7b circuit which I am breaking down I am not strong enough for 1-4 at the moment I can link 4-8 with move 9 being a stopper. Then I struggle on move 10 but can now link 12-16/17 with 18 being a crux for me a bit powerful. I am getting it will be nice to break it down and at least get all the moves in isolation.

The Depot I am working wood, purple and reds at the moment. I have completed most of the purples with a couple I will get first try when fresh. The wood circuit is going down nicely over two session I have just a couple of problems left. The reds are hard. I have done one I think but they take some serious work its a good test for me.

The works I am on the purple circuit mainly which is nice as it gives me an opportunity to flash and work stuff on the circuit as it a very broad grade range (6A-6B+) I am down to my last few so I guess I will have to get on the blue or wasp circuit next.

Outdoors has been pretty grim of late. the weather is crapping out big style. However I got out to holmfirth yesterday it was soaked. I managed to repeat a few problems but nothing new. I will get more done later here is a video I through together to test out my new camera:

I tried and did a few more problems but this was just a quick local circuit as I have not been up in a while.
I enjoyed it despite the conditions.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Trad this weekend?

I was asked why I am not blogging about trad simply because am not doing any.
so here we go:
Last night I went to the works again with Alex and I met up with bex. Another good session. I have almost the entire purple circuit now and I am after some new challenges. I am getting stronger and my technique is coming along as well. I need to work on my fitness and strength.
I got in another 3 hours at the works and felt I could of done more

Also suppose I should explain the omelette incident. Well I thought I would experiment. I have never made an omelette before and I was not sure how to exactly. I thought I would try to guess what you do so I did not reading up on how to make an omelette.
I made the mix but then cooked too much mixture at a too low heat. The mix was also just completely wrong.
The parts of the omelette that looked like bad scrambled egg were okay. but the part that kind of looked like and omelette was not cooked in the middle and I felt very ill after eating it.

Attempt number too was a success after some advice from Hardon. It Was Edible and I don't feel ill. 

Sunday, 4 December 2011

no psyche rest to psyche

Since coming back from chorro I have been lacking psyche majorly. I Decided to take a couple of weeks off indoor climbing and a while off of blogging two. Chorro was very psychically and mentally draining. The bad weather combined with illness, skin issues and not pushing my grade wore me down.
I just did not want to climb so I had a couple of weeks to gather my thoughts. The first week I headed to the works. This is definitely my favourite indoor wall. Its in sheff but it is worth the long drive. I went there on the Friday night then I went to the peak on the saturday but the weather was grim we hid in outside for the crags to dry we then hit burbage north only to be faced with the wind blowing rain straight at the crag. I then started to not feel well again. We tried lawrencefield which was surprisingly dry. I started to feel really ill so went back to hathersage for a bit and left nick and H to climb.
When I got back I found H on the route and Nick wearing my harness. I guess he forgot his again. I left them to climb routes while I just watched it was freezing and got colder as time went on. I soloed a VD and we called it a day.
So this week I just avoided people for most of the week just spent time at mine doing some pull ups, hanging off my fingerboard and doing house work.

Friday was the christmas meal and I got smashed. I was drunk pretty early apparently I was really talkative and babling. I sobered up a bit when the party got back to mine and then left them all drinking while I went to bed.

I woke up to the remnants the morning after. Sick on the carpet with a guy spooning my bin (with sick in it) 4 people in a room with one guy using a towel for a roll mat even though there was a roll mat down stairs ..

Feeling worse for wear I did what I normally do. Started to tidy up took photos and played some music. Metal seemed to soothe the hangover. Everyone came round and we watched a film while people sobered up enough to drive home. Nice morning after. When everyone left I tidied up and settled in to watching TV I had do a load of pull ups as I kept walking past my bar. So I was feeling feeble I was also frail from the night before so just sacked the day of and had a nap. I woke up 6 hours later refreshed but it was too late to do anything so MOTD and back to bed.

Today I had the urge to get climbing not having climbed at all for 7 days I was keen to get on something. I frantically messaged people. But to no avail so thought I would try book a coaching session with Nik Jennings fortunately he had no plans so I got a session in with him this afternoon. He set me targets and put me through a hellish session to which my core ached for hours after.
The coaching has brought back my psyche I was feeling fresh before the session I now know what I have to do. I want my 7 I now have 3 months to get ready. I just need to prepare for the next trip and be solid for when I go.

I will keep blogging for regular updates on my progress. If people want. I have noticed an increase in traffic on this blog. Not sure if thats a good thing but it helps me focus on the highs and lows

Monday, 21 November 2011

The review and the tick list

So for any of you that have been following my blog you will know my goal for chorro were aspirational. I was wanting to push my grade and climb hard. well you will know the hardest thing I climbed out there was a 6b+. This was not my goal! yes the 6b+ was onsight which is the hardest sports climb I have done but it was not my goal I wanted more.
I wanted a 7 I at least wanted a 6c.
So the first day I got there and climbed on limestone for the first time in a while. My regular(ish) trips to rubicon and peak sport kept me with an idea of the rock. I got there and fired out some easy routes on the first day.
The second day I fired out a 6b onsight which felt good then I got on a 7a and had an awesome blast at it doing every move on top rope. The light went so I did not get another go that day. I never went back (bollox, fail!)
Next day I got on a 7a and it did not fell nice and it rained. Following day I got a 6c+ on toprope really fast. But it tore my fingers apart.
I did not get on anything hard after this due to a combination of being at a bad crag and weather.

I am now pissed off disappointed and needing to work my arse off harder between now and march.

My tick list was as follows:
Redpoints attempts
Oceano gris 7a Frontalas - Had a go at it did not fell right
Arabesque 7a Arabe - I should have done this. I got all the moves on top rope but did not go back. for a few reasons
La Ley Del Cateto 6c+ Las Encantadas - did not try looked good but ran out of skin/time
No Puedo Controlarme 6c+ Las Encantadas - did all the moves fast but absolutely trashed my fingers in the process.
Redders 7a Las Encantadas - looked awesome but was in too much pain when there and felt bad dragging people up there with nothing else to do
Madriles 7a Los Cotos - The base of the crag was overgrown and hard to find routes complete psyche killer.
Cafe Bonk 7a+ Los Cotos - Los Cotos
Si Te Caes Pega Una Voz 6c Los Cotos - Los Cotos
Guettero Del Abismo 7a Los cotos - Los Cotos

Onsight attempts
Luna 6a+ Frontales - did not try
Stanage girls 6a+ frontales - did not try
Gabi 6a frontales - did not try
Amtrax 6a frontales - did not want to multipitch when out there
Welcome to el chorro 5+ frontales - did not go to this area
Checkout 6b+ frontales- did not go to this area
valentines day 6a Frontales - did not want to multipitch
Bladerunner 6a Arabe - Tick awesome
Face to flake 6b arabe - Tick onsight
Chilona 6a+ arabe - did not want to multipitch
Nombro Propia 6a Las Encantadas - Tick onsight
Bohem destrell 6a+ Las Encantadas - did not finish over polished, shit and badly bolted.
The Rib 6a+ Las Encantadas - tick
Atenea 4+ Las Encantadas  - tick
Program Genocida 6b Las Encantadas - more like 6b+ lots of lead falls then rained before I could finish
Berriche De Chinche 6b Los Cotos - Los Cotos
Number one 4+ Los Cotos - Tick
Bruner and the Bruna 6b Los Cotos - Los Cotos
The policeman stole my wallet 6b Los cotos - Los Cotos
El Viajero Amable 6b+ Los Cotos - Los Cotos
Exodo 6a+ Los Cotos - Los Cotos
Hay Un Guarillo Enla Tapia 6a+ Makinodromo - did not go
Salto Del Gato I 6b Makinodromo - Did not go
Salto Del Gato II 6b+ Makinodromo - Did not go

What I actually did:
1xtop rope dog
1xground up DNF
1xtop rope dog
did not try
1xLead onsight
1xLead onsight
1x onisght
1xredpoint setting draws after previous failing lead it onsight the year before
3x onsight

So its a long list but not much hard stuff. I am really disappointed in my trip.

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Day 8 6a+ rain and book reading

Okay so today was basically a write off. It started okay with cloudy weather afte breakfast I went up to Las Encantadas and did a 6a + I tried last time but dogged it. This time I ran up it setting the draws Brian top roped it just in time for the rain to come and write the day off. The rain lasted most of the day stopping at around 3pm. We headed back up to encantadas to try get vicky up a 6b but it was soaked still and then started to rain again.

Tick of the day goes to me with a red point (technically) of a 6a+ Crisis de Ident

So looking at my tick list it is rather dis appointing I will go into more of that tomorrow when I am back home I will also go throught my pre trip tick list.

Friday, 18 November 2011

Day 7 6a+ onsight rain and illness

So today started badly with me feeling pretty ill (I did not even drink last night so it was not that .. well I just had two) and it was raining heavy enough to stop us climbing.
The rain stopped about 9.30 so we waited till 10.30 ish and headed out to Las Encatadas (above) I warmed up by onsighting the rib (6a+) then began to not feel very well so I headed back to the olive branch for a rest with the plan to return to the crag once I felt better. Sadly just as I started to feel better it started to rain, then it got heavier so today is/was a write off.
Not much to say.

No one climbed much so tick of the day goes to me and Vix with an onsight of the Rib at 6a+ to warm up.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Day 6 6b+ onsight !!!

Today we hit Los Cotos today much to Chris' disapproval.
I warmed up on Number one 4+ onsight and moved onto a 6b+ Vix had a go first up could not work out the last move and after a little bit of thinking I managed to get the bastard onsight.

The 6b+ was a 5+ to a hard top few moves. The crux invovled hard pulling on tiny holds and outside edging on nothing. Awesome moves. Satisfied I decided to look at a 6c I had been eyeing up in the guide book but sadly the local undergrowth had taken back the base of the crag. I decided to get a load of routes in. I tried to onsight a 6a and messed the crux reading it wrong gave up due to pain in my feet.

I went onto onsight 3 more 5's nice to get a few ticks in.

Tick of the day goes to me !!!! As I onsighted a Montgroni Free 6b+ onsight (vix did it first RP with my beta)

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

day 5 rest day

Today I have achieve absolutely nowt.
I decided to give today a miss at my fingers are completely trashed.

Chris is aid soloing Africa as we speak (or escaping off)
Everyone else headed to Los cotos only to be turned away by the gaurds from the Camino Del rey (not even the tunnels).
I am realxing reading a book trying to grow skin.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Day 4 6a, sore fingers and blown onsights

Today was a projecting day.
I started off heading to encontadas for work a 6c+ and for chris to work a 7a. Chris worked his 7a for a while then vix hauled up and set a top rope of the 6c+ she had a quick play but felt confused so sent me up. I worked the route doing all the moves in isolation. Chris then had a hard session on his and linked from the start to mid height.
I got back on mine and linked to about half height and then worked the top again (desperate). The holds were all sharp and small. My fingers were absolutely trashed by the time I got down. I realised I did not have enough in me to give it another burn so called it a day for that one.
We headed to the other side of the crag and I tried to onsight a hard 6b but went off route and rested on the rope. A bit puzzled and with rain falling I called it a day and gave up.
The rain passed quickly so Vix lead a 6a I then also lead it. With my finger tips gone I called it a day. Vix then onishgted a 6a+ with a hard to read crux nice one!

Tick of the day goes to JP for his first 6a blobby right. Nice one on the grade push JP!

Monday, 14 November 2011

Day 3 5+, shutdown and rain

Today we headed to frontales with epic eagerness to get on oceano gris with Vix.
We warmed up onsighting a hard 5+ then we had a go at Oceano gris.
I went first trying to go bolt to bolt. The onsight attempt did not last long then working the route got hard and it started to rain.
The start seemed to be the crux. I worked it for 10 mins trying to move past the first bolt with not much luck.Vix went up same issue. I then went back and made it to the second bolt then again could of worked the move. I needed a lot more time to work to work it, more than this trip will allow. It's one to go back for when stronger. So its off the tick list for the wrong reason :(
The rain got alot worse so I stripped the draws to come back later.

No real ticks of note. so I geuss mine and vix's ascent of putiferio (fr5+) gets it?

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Day 2 6b onsight and hangover

Felt crap this morning still do. I perked up abit after A lovely fry up from The olive branch.
Today we hit Arabe. Nice crag with some friendly angles. I was climbing with vicky today which is always good as she it also a slab fiend.
We started with vix onsighing a 5+ setting the draws I lead it onsight also. Once we had done this feeling fresh we decided to go to sector arabesque. A picturesque area at the top of the arab steps.
I then onsighted a 6a called blade runner. Fantastic route deserves 3stars. sustained lay backing on good feet.
Next up feeling confident (maybe alittle over confirent) I tried to onsight a 6b to my surprise I did it. :) Vix also onsighted this. The comment vix made was "good to see its day two and we are on it already".
I had sent Andy (biscuit from UKC) a e-mails saying I was climbing at arabe if he wanted to join me. Strangely he did (hes not met me before). His current goal is to onsight a 7a. so I hauled up arabesque a 7a I had been looking at before I came after I was recommended it.
I top roped the route first and did all the moves and made several long links. It was within my ability. Now I have to decide if I want to project it? Cause it will go but I will need another visit at least.
I belayed Andy on arabesque While Vicky went off to climb with a friend of Andy's called Silvia. Vix went on to climb a 6a and a 6b+ both onsight well done!!

So again tick of the day goes to Vix for here ascent of El Canalillo de la mari 6b+ onsight!

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Day 1 6a onsight

today started with an alarm clock making an evil noise at 2.55am I breif considered sacking it off and getting a longer sleep. Then it hit me its TIME! I then crawled my fat arse out of bed and went down stairs. IU knocked on Vix's room door to a response of I am up!
Like a scene from shawn of the dead I went downstairs to wake Jonny up who was fresh faced looking like he was a new man (holiday excitement?).
Chris joined us and we stuck got ready a lulled tired group waiting for the arrival of JP and the lift to the airport. Around 3.30am we headed out on the hour long journey to Liverpool.
We got the airport at 4.30 checked in and travelled through to the duty free area where me and vix got a full English and I had a beer.
The flight was good and the train journey was fine after an arguement over the platform the train left from (me and JP were right). We eventually got to the olive branch around 2pm then a mad dash to the crag was enjoyed.
I got there keen as ever and got on lead first and onsighted a 4+ letting Brian, Tom, JP and Jonny lead up on my draws.
Next I set the draws in a 6a onsight again. Very high first bolt! nice little route took a bit of reading.
Later I got on a so called 6a+ absolutely no idea how that goes felt nails for 6a+ anyway I tried the magic sling trick and managed to get my gear back

Tick of the day went to vix who red pointed a 6b (formally 6c) looked nails. I am trying to save it for a flash.

Tomorrow am meeting up with Biscuit from UKC/B so will be interesting to see what happens

Friday, 11 November 2011

It's here tomorrow

So it here I am about to head off to the amazing El chorro to stay at the olive branch (blatant plug).
Since my last blog well.
Last week involved:
Tuesday: climbing works 3 hours of getting the shit kicked out of me by the purple circuit I did 90% of it. Some flashed some worked. The purple circuit is 6A-6B+ (or V3-V5 for the heathens) which is good to be flashing many of the low to mid grade ones. I do love the works it’s a drive! But it is worth it.
Wednesday: Rokt. I took quite a few lobs off the lead wall above the bolt. I also worked some circuits on the new board. I also did some new problems in the slab room before it got too sweaty. I was tired so the session was not too intense. I did manage 3 hours.
Sunday: I went to Pule and re did flying buttress again for the 9/10 time (at least) to let Laura try a harder climb. I then set her on Amen a very good v diff with a committing move off of a ledge. Due to poor gear she backed off. I then sent her up a severe which after a think she flew up. The light went earlier than expected so we called it a day.

This week has involved:
A rest week. This has been an opportunity to grow skin, let muscle build and not risk injury. I had one session at the depot on Wednesday. They had just put up a new wooden circuit. This tends to be crimpy but skin friendly in comparison to resin holds. The circuit was graded V3-V5. I felt it was pretty accurate with most of the problems feeling V4 and were done in an attempt or two. Some of them shut me down and one took about 819 attempts to finally get it.
The problem started on a wide finger jug at the base of a big bulge. The two simple technical hand moves heading left before a large move to a big slopey hold. You match the hold. Left hand on pulling on the slopey bit and right had guppy on the right hand end. My sequence was then to cut loose and pull my left foot high to a smooth okay foot hold then a big move to a small hold for my left then a balancey move to get your right hand in the good small finger jug above. It’s then all over just sort your feet and step up for the top hold and match.
I was failing on the move off of the big sloper. Persistence paid off and resting worked too.
Overall I had a great session at the depot but it is still not my favourite venue and its hindered by the traffic. But it is worth the journey.

Now I am ready for Chorro. My finger tips are red, bruised and sore. But I am working them with moisturiser and sanding dead skin. I am fitter than I have ever been. I am stronger than I have ever been. I am ready. Let’s get this shit into gear. I have a tick list but I am keeping it quiet. After the trip I will post on here what it was and how I did. The list is pretty ambitious to say the least.

Also I will do some regular blogs while out there and add in photos. Bring on the pain, frustration and joy you get from climbing!!

Sunday, 30 October 2011

sore fingers and new ticks

good day at stanage plantation yesterday. I went with the uni lot but not feeling the trad love I headed bouldering on my own (also slightly to wind up H).
I started by repeating several problems on the lone boulder then I flashed an easy arete problem to warm up. I then tried the 6B sit start variation. I got no where on it. I could pull off the ground but that was it. I could not work the two moves to get my on to the arete and the easy finish.
Next I moved over to bullworker (6B) but could not get the crux move. The rain came and passed so as it dried up a nice breeze hit and sped up the process. I walked over to another 6B business launch. This was rather steep so it had stayed dry. I spent some time doing this but could not find the correct foot hold to get me in a position to be able to slap the good hold.
Next I headed to the pebble where Ian (Nai from UKB) was and revisited some old problems a 6B slab which I should be able to do but have not properly worked it. I have the beta so I will give is a good go next time (air time). Pebble arete (6A) was done pretty quickly with the correct beta i.e. move round left instead of staying on the right face.
I decided to have a good go at deliverarete sit start (6A+) I had flashed the 5+ stand start before but not done tried the sitter. I had a couple of goes but could not slap the slopey pinch crimp thing which is the start hold of the stand start.
I rested by trying the start of the green traverse (7A) Still struggle with the first move. Anyway I got some better beta from ian for delierarete and put my left foot lower just pressed against the wall and second try I hit the hold more shocked to hit it I peeled off (there goes some skin). I had a minute rest and went for it.

Left hand on the good undercut and right on the crimp round the corner. Left foot pressed on the wall right pressing on the the flake under the good foot hold. Pull hard with the left and slap for the slopey pinch-crimp thing. This time I pulled really hard on the right so it would not pop. I placed my left on foot on the good notch and rocked into it and sat on the foot. A bit confused with what to do now but set on the left foot I let go with the left hand and bumped the right up to the better hold. Pysched I was through the crux of the 6A+ and just needing to do the rest of the 5+  I cracked on I got my left hand high on a flat slightly slopey hold I stepped my right foot to the notch above the left foot. Pulling hard on the holds I smeared high with my left I moved further left with both my hands. now last hard move. I got my right heel over the top of the arete and the moved my left hand further left and stepped my left foot to a higher smear. I pulled hard, rocked up and on top my right foot. It was done my first new 6A+ in a while. Awesome :)

Next I was tired so I thought I would give not to be taken away (6C) a go ... the crux is getting off of the ground and I gave it a good go and on my third one last attempt I made some progress. My skin was really going at this point so I decided to give it a miss. I went over to crescent arete (6A new guide). skin going and tired I gave it a good go and took two big falls before realising I was a bit tired to keep trying. I rested for a bit and went back to business launch to try and crack it. my fingers were practically gone. I tried a few different ways and it just did not happen too tired I made some progress though and it will happen. I flashed a 4+ to keep warm but the rain came in and I called it a day.

Big thanks to Ian for the beta and spotting. Sorry am such a punter I could not help you .. saying that two new 7A ticks and a couple of 6Cs done don't think you needed it.

The results of my day bouldering:
New ticks 1x6A+ 1x6A some easy problems
Some nice (bigish) falls
Two tips through two more almost through
One knackered punter.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

things have changed?

So have I been quietier recent?
I am not sure if I have or not. I have quite a few things on at the minute and things are getting lets say busy.
I can see a light at the end of the tunnel but we will see.

Anyway enough of that crap.
Two weekends ago I went to froggatt my favourite crag.
I took rowan for his first trip and I took dan lane as his plans fell through. We got to the crag at a reasonable time and I convinced Rowan to lead the first route. I stuck him on heather crack (I think) he did it with no real issues I then went after my nemesis from my last visit. Pedestal crack (HVS 5a). I got up to my last high point and completely blew it again. I lowered and had another go. At the crux I got in the crack moved out left cme back across. bridging working my way up. The last piece of gear at my feet. I see the jug and the end of the route I pull hard on my right hand and stretch for the jug. I am reaching an inch away from grabbing it. My right foot pops. I fall again bloody stupid route!!!! Took a nice 15 ft lead fall into air. Dan finished it off. Frustrated I bouldered the rest of the day and took some photo. Rowan then lead a Vdiff and dan followed him up it. Becci and Laura turned up and also lead the Vdiff we then bouldered about for a bit.
As the sun started to set we headed towards the boulders on top of the crag to relax, boulder, and enjoy the sunset. Sadly on the way Dan suggested that we do cave crawl. I reluctantly agreed and crawled through the horrible grovel. I did it with some swearing and some grunting. Then all five of us walked up to the boulders at the top of the crag and climbed the boulders in several ways and enjoyed the sunset.
In the pub we had a nice relaxing drink and chat.
The next day I went to Bamford with Haydn feeling tired, unpsyched and lazy we went to wrinkled wall as Nick said he had not done. Which was cool as both me and H had done it before. As Nick was racking a guy on the route to the right took a fall. Nick gave him some treatment and advised he went to the A&E. After they started to pack up Timmy fired out the route no issue. Next up was some HVS which H did with no issue low in the grade is an understatement.

Last weekend The uni club went to wales friday night involved drinking and some bad choices. Saturday I went to the slate quarries for the first time. The rock is amazing need to get back very soon!!! I was mainly sticking top ropes up route so I never really pushed myself. I onsighted two Fr5's an Fr5b and a Fr6a. Saturday involved more beer and more laughs. Sunday it was damp after a heavy night of rain. I went for a walk up tryfan for the first time. Nice to top it out. I did not jump between Adam and Eve as the wind was really bad and the rock was so wet and greasy.

Last night was a great session at rokt feel tired and feeble tonight. The pub was a good do last night just a few people drinking lots arguing and shouting at each other. A proper climbing club night in the pub :D

Monday, 10 October 2011

Flowstone Shuffle - the route

So for those of you that have been reading my blog for a while will know I had a little issue with the penmean head route. Well my blog did not go into the full details of my want to climb this route.
To be honest I was obsessed!
Flow stone shuffle is a 12m long pumpy as hell route. Nicely spaced bolts with excellent moves and is really sequency. The route gets 3 stars and was put up by Chris Doyle (check out his blog it's one of the best) when the crag was being developed.
I spent the best part of a year thinking about this route working out how I can climb it. Why I failed last time. I had fallen 4 times at the crux the year before. I had thought I had the right sequence but I cleary did not.
The route is straigh forward to the first bolt. I always started this route with out the first bolt clipped.
My sequence for this start had some novel foot placement working my way up a lay back piece of slopy flowstone to a side ways jug for my left hand and a big reach up right to another jug. The clip is a little pumpy as I have to do this off of a side pull jug holding on with my left hand and reaching through to click the bolt with my right hand.
I then return to the jug on the right with my right hand. I take a rest poor rest as the clip gets to my arm every time. Then comes the crux. I had messed up this sequence loads. I had eventually refined it.
I took a deep breath and really though about what to do I pulled hard on my hands and placed left foot high on a slopey foot hold in line with my crotch. this put me out of balance I put as much force in my foot as I could. in my head I was screaming at my self. Don't relax. Don't let that foot fucking move. I had fallen on this move at least 5/6 times I started to panic. I kept going from here I place my left foot high and far out right on a foot hold that was at chest height before I started the move. Now off balance I have to pull really hard with me left had on the side pull. Still in my head I am screaming don't slip at my left foot. I move up to a side pull crimp with my right hand.  I rocked oved on my right foot release the pressure off of my left foot and slap up left for the good side pull. Fucking yes!!! I am through the crux. I pull on the side pulls hard and balance to stand up.
I do a stepped up on some poorish pinches and clipped the second bolt. I down climbed and took the unconfortable, poor rest.
My mind is going YYFY and spinning but I am having to tell myself stay focussed it gets pumpy and still sequency from here.
I move off right to the high jug with some techy foot work I am trying to control my breathing and focus on the moves the pump is about to come.
I do the hard move back left. I grab an undercut jug and pull hard I move foot to a small edge then turn my knee out left to balance I cross through and pitch the flowstone pockets above the jug and do some balancy footwork to get my right foot above my left foot on another small edge. I move my left foot to a small foothold out.  I am pumped as hell struggling to keep the air flowing at this point. I slap my left hand to a side pull hidden pocket.
I really turn my right knee to a drop knee and quickly pull out a load of slack and clip the thrid bolt with my right. As soon as it's clipped I grab a crimp with my right hand and get get my right foot high. Really pumped I slap my left on a sloper for balance as an intermediate. Quickly I turn myleft hand round and grab a massive undercut (the one on the cover of the A55 guide). I move my left foot to a small edge and bring my right hand to match the undercut.
At this point I paniced I forgot my sequence. In my head I am screaming at myself I am pouring with sweat. I slap out left to the good side pull.
The moves ease now but I am fucked!! instead of bridging my right foot and reaching up with my right I hand I slap up with my left. It then clicked.
What the fuck am I doing I am sweaty my left hand is slipping I am pumped. I managed to slap. My left hand back down to the side pull and slap my right hand to the good flatty. I get my left hand up to the flatty above.
My arms are gone the anchor looks so far away. my fingers are sweaty I have no grip. I cant get a rest to chalk up. I get to a flat ledge I am not able to rest my arms are gone I have only one option. I rock up to the undercut and lay back on the small holds. I get my self set and clip one of the draws. I am there am done.
YYFY the pain is over.
I wont have to worry any more I don't have to think about the moves. I don't have to piece together the novelty bits of rock or the weird angles.
The celebration last for a couple of days the obsession is over.
A few days later I start to fell empty. I need a new project I need some thing to keep me focused I need something to keep me going. I need some thing got keep the pysche!!

Recently I got the slate guide. I now have my targets. But for many of my new project I need to improve by miles to be able to do it.
Train like a mofo is the key. I need to be better. I want the routes so bad. Fucking psyched

The Training Plan

The training period before my winter sports trip/s is in full swing.
My current weakness' are as follows:
Strength :- I am pretty weak
Power Endurance :- Power-Endurance means exactly what it sounds like: being able to sustain powerful moves (quote from: bodyresults)
Finger strength :- As it says on the tin
Core strength :- The large muscles above your stomach.
I am Fat :- I need to lose weight

My wieght issue is an on going struggle it has been since I was about 13 years old. I have been on a diet all this year I have not been great with it but I am trying to get better.
My core is not overly strong but my biggest weakness is that I don't know how to engage it properly. I am getting better.
For finger strength I am hanging off on my fingerboard regularly and occassionaly doing pull up off of it.
For PE I am spending my time running laps on the lead wall at Rokt.

Friday night I had a good session on the lead wall. I started by flashing a pumpy 6a+ on the main overhang then I down climbed it straight away. Felt top end 6a+ on the way up about 6b/+.
The 6a+ is quite pumpy and no proper rest. It involves big moves and slopers so hard to down climb espcially with no proper rests. It was awesome to make it down to the ground with no falls or weighting the rope.
Next I worked a 7a up the overhang on top rope. It felt good I managed all the moves but I need to build a lot more PE to pull it together.
I then ended up doing 6 laps of the easy route with no rests and hanging around tightening a hold.
Each pitch of the lead wall is 21.5m so I managed to climb over 193m on the lead wall. Its all good for the training.

Saturday I rested and just did a load of pull ups every time I walked past my bar

Sunday I really wanted to get a session in but I was struggling for a partners so I waited untill it was too late but I just ended up having a finger board session. Which is not bad as its working a weakness. I was doing finger pull ups assisted with the jugs for one hand.

My current plan is to do some core exercises monday's fingerboard tuesday wall wednesday rest thursday wall/rock friday Saturday rest/trad/outdoor climbing Sunday Wall/Rock. I am also doing pull up and some core in amungst the main plan.

So again not much interesting has happened in this blog just talking about my weaknesses.

I promise in my next blog I add a few more of my opinons. I might even do another description of a route.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

last two weeks

So my blogging is taking a back seat due to problems with work blocking but blogger.
So what have I done I have upped my climbing indoors with the winter session being on the horizon.
I managed to head out to the works which is my favourite indoor wall. It takes me about an hour to get there so its a bit of a trek but it is worth. Especially if you have good company.
Also the new students are here. Last wednesday we took about 40 students to Rokt it was a little packed but I had a good session nice to see so many people getting interested in climbing it will good to see how many people hang around.
Last weekend I took some of the freshers outdoor climbing for the first time. Okay so we ended up with a good group. Instead of the usual total begineers we ended up with a group of one new climber one done some top roping before and one with some leading experience. This made it an easy day.
We headed up to Dovestones edge. Its a good venue with a decent walk in 20mins gentle walk to a 20min brutal up hill walk with out a path.
When we got there we split to two groups me and nick (lead before) also Alex took out Rowan (Top roped before) and brendon (only indoors bedfore).
I let nick take the lead and he lead a VDiff. Alex lead question mark. Both flew up there routes and everyone followed okay too.
I then set Nick on something harder and he lead a HS without any issue. Everyone followed him up (except Alex who had lead it before). Alex then lead a VS 4c that is a nice bold route Nick and Brendon followed him up. Rowan then lead a VDiff as his first outside lead.
Next was alex who lead a HS arete and I lead my first and only route of the day. I got on a VS 5a finger crack. I am not the best crack climber but I loved finger locking it felt awesome sadly I pumped out at the crux I rested on a nut and then got it with out falling off. Gutted!! It was a really good route and I blew it :( Anyway nick followed me up. I explained to him the theory of how to finger lock before he set off and did the route no problem. Nick lead a S and Alex lead a Severe. The light was going at this point so I belayed Alex on a HVS and let nick following him. The light was going and I was eager to get on a pub crawl so we packed up and headed to the car.

The pub crawl was pretty expensive and epic! Started at SU, then Rat and ratchet, the grove, Vox, warehouse, parish possibly somewhere else. Great night got in at 3 ish. The less mentioned about drunken texting girls at 3am the better. Also realising you are sat on a table with people you don't know think they are someone else should be blamed fully on Mr Jager Bomb ...

Sunday I felt shit. So hungover and grim. Anyway we all met at uni at 10.30. A good group of people feeling grim and hung over were heading out stanage high neb. THe group was me Vix Alex oli (of helicoptor hereos fame see 9mins 30) Rowan from saturday, Adam from the pub crawl and Ben.
We rocked up at the crag around 11.30 and I was racking up at 11.45 ish when I realise I did not have my shoes. It then dawned on me if they were not in my rucksack they must of still been up at dovestones edge. FUCK!!!!
Angry at myself, I headed to outside in Hathersage with Rowan who wanted a new rucksack. In outside I tried on 3 different pairs of 5ten velcros and was set on a pair of 9's ... until I tried on a pair of 9.5 quantum's. WOW!! fantastic shoes so a £100 later I had a new pair of purple shoes :D
Anyway we rocked back up to stanage to see adam following alex up a route. I throw myself at a nice bold slab route. The new shoes hurt a bit tight but they will stretch. Rowan followed me up. He then wanted to get on lead but the route he wanted was taken to I lead another route a nice severe called cave buttress. Rowan followed me up it with no issue but a wimper in the strong wind coming round the corner. Then Rowan was keen to get on his route but again it was taken so he had a look in the guide to find another route and the rain came. So sadly we called it a day and a little bit of a failure.

I was keen to get on something harder but the routes will still be there for years to come.

When I got home after a beer in the grove I checked UKC and found some one had found my shoes at dovestones edge and brought them home. :) Arrangement were made and my Dad picked them up from go outdoors in Manchester.

Yesterday was another day at Rokt with the new students. Not as many turned up but it was probably better as it meant we could spend more time with each of them. It was nice to talk through movement and body postion in more detail. I got on the lead wall and did some top roping I am lacking power endurance but I need to get on it before I go to chorro I can build some fitness out there but I still have time to gain some before I head out so I should.

So this was a long blog not saying much. Not a lot of my personal opinion or epic descriptions about hard moves/routes. Anyway will try and blog a bit more.

Sunday, 25 September 2011


So not been blogging due to works new internet policy blocking out blogs. So no blogging.
What's happened?
well I have now had a few days climbing outside and I have returned to the wall.
So what did I achieve?
I went to rubicon and repeated all my usual problems. I tried some new ones and got a good spanking
I had my first trip to the Tor .. I was epically spanked. It felt good ...
First visit I got on the lead wall and flashed a 6a (felt 5/+ish) I lapped it up down up. What felt better was the fact it was on the main overhang rather than the lead wall. I then got up a 6b (felt 6b+ ish) I had two rests working out the moves.
So my stamina is still there.
I tried the slab room and my balance was pretty good. I feel I am slghtly lacking in strength and a bit of power.
What's Next?
Well I am in training mode so I guess a load of time spent at the wall getting stronger and tring to read moves. Laps on the lead wall. Some lead falls.
Also I need to get some more outside bouldering to help me read moves better. Also I need to get on some trad in. My trad this year has not really improved. After a solid start to the year leading HVS constantly and feeling comfortable up to 5b ish.
Targets for the rest of the year?
E1!!!! more than one. Onsight
Lead 6c-7a
Font 6B/+
Three Pocket (f'n) Slab Fb 6A
Maybe even an E2?
What should I change?
Well I have recently been dieting and cutting down on my beer intake. Which was barely possible. I have also been eating more fruit and veg.
One example is I was in Frankfurt away on business everyone had a steak. I chose the duck breast in a mango sauce with mixed veg and I ate all the veg ... shit!! What is wrong with me? I chose duck as it had veg with it over a big massive steak ... mmmm meat!
How can the people reading this help?
Not convince me to eat curry!!

Sunday, 4 September 2011

On it!

Chorro is 9 weeks away I am getting pretty excited shame I don't have a guide to plan a tick list however I have been given some suggestions. These have been noted and will be tested!

The last couple of weeks I have been a bit busy with house stuff and at work so I have need been keen for mid week climbing. Last weekend I did not get out as I could not get a partner. Not even on bank holiday monday :( This week I was trying to find partners and struggled. however I managed to get two separate partners one keen for the peak at 9am and one keen for an afternoon session near hudds. So I thought I will have two sessions and make up for lost time.

So my day started at rubicon where I worked some hard problems up to Font 7A. I did not manage anything knew sadly however I got a retroflash on a 6A+. I really enjoy Rubicon it's hard, steep and polished. Good for training.

I got home at about 1 just as Jonny got to my house. I got a some dinner then headed out to Buckstones a venue I think I should spend some more time at. It has some excellent problems. I got a few new problems ticked but got defeated by one I thought was 6A turns out it was 6B so did not feel too bad. Great problem.

I am now exhausted looking forward to my next challenge whatever it may be ....

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Last few weeks

I have not blogged for a while because basically I have not done anything. After I heard the pop in my finger I have taken it very easy. I had a two full weeks off without any form of climbing just some minor core work outs. I also did some home improvements which involved putting up a washing line, a pull up bar and a fingerboard being mounted. Photos are on my flickr ther is a link on the left hand of the page

Two weeks after the incident I was climbing again. I headed out to froggatt with Haydn and met up with Timmy there (he actually turned up).  We started but getting H up sunset slab I have done this a few times and it’s a nice solo but a gift at HVS? Anyway I gibbered my way up completely forgetting the moves but its straight forward enough. Haydn then gibbered his way up following some guy.
Haydn was keen to try strapiobante but it’s the pumpy as hell and complete the opposite to anything else at froggatt. He wanted to warm up properly first but we convinced him just to go for it.  He did he got pumped and he dropped off. Nick finished the lead and I cleaned it completely unpsyched for the route.
We moved on to two sided triangle which I managed to lead with a bit of confusion as to what’s in and what’s not and the start was 5b followed by a poorly protected 5b crux. I put some gear in the flake on the left is it in? The photos of the route on UKC show people putting gear in there so I guess so. The start is a kind of mantel off a poor sloper and on some smears nice balancey and hard you lean right over to a okay sloppy pocket rock over and get balanced then you are in the break. Next comes the crux you are on a break and you have a flake round the corner on the not within reach from the crux. I placed a small cam low in the flake then moved back half a step left. The move involves a high rock over with your right foot on a poor slopey pocket and your left hand palming down on a sloppy foot hold. Once you are stood on a you have to smear hard you now have a wide slopey hold above you head and you now have to commit to the sloppy foot hold you had just used for your left hand. It is a case of just stand up but feels unnerving as you will at least hit the least below you as you fall. I found a sneaking side pull on the arête which helped me balance the move felt soft 5b after the last move feeling 5b from here to the op is pretty straight forward just gear less. Nice route but is s basically 3 moves in 12metres.

Next we bouldered about in the sun but with my finger I quit quickly as crimping is a really bad idea. I opted for the next lead and went after a route I had been to get on for a while pedestal crack (HVS 5a) I got on it no problem then I was getting put off by nick as usual but my lack of climbing was telling as I did not read the move right and opted to rest with one of my bits of gear flying out but the other cam held. After sorting out my gear I re read the move which was straight forward something I should never of fallen off. Pissed off at my self I topped out and set up a belay for Haydn. I was attacking the crack far too directly. I did the usual mistake of listening to bloody Timmy rather than working it out on my own. The move was pretty simple. It was moving from a good jam for my right hand in the crack and using the good ledges out left for my feet to get higher before foot jamming in the crack. Straight forward 5a!!! It was simple to the top from here only hindered by my appalling rope work resulting in amazing rope drag on a straight up crack … FAIL!
The day ended with me dogging my way up chequers crack in agony as my finger was not happy.
So a good day out at Froggatt just short of inspiration there now.

The following week was pretty much the same as the week before. Lots of rest some pull ups lots of core and one climbing session however this was at the Roaches. Also on the Saturday night we went for Kasia’s house party and got pretty drunk meaning bad heads and tiredness the next day at the crag.
I went with Vicky and we picked up Dan Lane on the way past. If you get on with the climbing at the roaches it is the best crag on peak grit if you don’t you will hate it. The bouldering is world class. Boulders every where with fantastic problems that live up to and exceed the plantation at Stanage. The only reason the roaches if not as popular as Stanage is it is not 5 mins outside of Sheffield.
The day started with a bit of bouldering on the lower teir. I did a couple of easy problems then I went for 3 pocket slab. I have had three session on this problem so far but I have been hindered by weather and tiredness at the end of sessions. I soon realised I would not be able to do it o the day as it was very much a left handed problem and I cannot pull very hard with my left hand at the moment. Disappointed I moved to the upper teir to try a route to warm up. It was a HS 5a the route has a fingery boulder problem start at 5a this again was left hand intense but I made it with no real issue. This is followed by straight forward climbing to the top. Nice route.
Vicky then got on technical slab with the high neb finish. A very nice bold route when linked together.
I then belayed
Dan Lane
on Saul’s crack he did it with a fight at the crux but never really looked like coming off. He topped out and I tried to second. I was absolutely spanked by the crux. Dan abbed for his gear as Vicky refused to try and second it.
I lead central route next at VS 4b a little bold but protected well enough. The hardest part was route finding as it looks like the route has been climbed a hundred different ways with all the polished holds. Nice slab climbing no real hard moves good route.
We ended the day with Vicky leading Valkarie I was happy to belay but I really could not be arse with the route. It was hard when I lead it very solid top end VS so within my ability. I lead it clean a year before. Vicky got up the first pitch with a bit of a whimper but no real issue. I followed and made it up pulling on a draw as I really could not be arsed the first pitch is pretty wank. Vicky then lead the second pitch with no real issue except placing a bit too much gear giving here rope drag. I just could not be arsed with the route for some reason so swung around on the rope to save effort on the traverse. On lead I enjoyed the route. Seconding I thought it was a bit shit.

We called it a day after that route as it was getting late on and we were tired from a heavy night of drinking the night before.

Not the most successful two weeks but I have had worse.

Friday, 12 August 2011

New Routing and finger popping

Ok so recently I have been climbing quite a bit of sports climbing cause clipping bolts is awesome. As I said in my last blog I was so close to ticking a 7a that it was gutting not to get it.
Anyway I sent keen yoof Dan Lane (like his on facebook website!!) a text on last Friday seeing if he was keen to get out over the weekend to which he replied saying he would let me know later. So I got a message off him a few hours later to which he responded saying fancy clipping bolts on grit stone … I straight away replied with “so martin finally bolted the bridge”. I think he was a little disappointed with this response as I know he is not a fan of sports climbing in general and wanted an outburst from me. So keen as I said yes and planned to meet him the next morning.
The next morning I set off on the drive to Glossop were I picked up the keen yoof. We then headed out to New Mills Torr for bolt clipping and cleaning.
The bolts had been placed the day before and were just set that morning. WE started with the arêtes on the far side of the bridge from the parking. Dan clip-sticked his way up the route to set up a top rope and cleaned it on the way back down. I then climbed the right arête on top rope onsight feeling the route weighed in at around 6a+. I also pulled off a crimp as I climbed it. Dan then took the lead and onsighted the route with a better sequence at 6a he named it “Thin end of the wedge”. I then lead the route and found a slightly different sequence to Dan again at 6a.
Dan then worked the left arête this was a little harder and he got 3 quarters of the way up and decided to lower off. I then tried it on top rope I dogged a couple of moves but I did all the moves but decided not to lead it just yet. I felt the route was probably around 6c grade range.
We moved to the other side of the bridge. I clip-sticked my way to the top, set up a top rope and cleaned the lines as I was lowering off. As I was lowering off Dan’s mate James turned up and onsighted Dan’s route and shortly afterwards climbed the left arête which I reckoned to be 6c onsight on lead. He believed the route to be 6b+/c and named it ‘The girlfriend’.
Back to me and Dan. While James did his route Dan top roped the left arete onight and graded it around 6b. I top roped it and agreed it was about 6b. Dan lead and I lead it after him. He did not decide on a name at the time but I will let you know what its called when I know. I then worked a route on the main face of a bridge I dogged my way up on top rope and reckoned it to be 6c/+ and decided not to lead it. Dan also tried it on top rope agreed on the grade he also passed on the lead.
My opportunities came and I then lead onisight the right arête on the side of the bridge. This was the last unclimbed route on the ends of the bridge. The route was poor, chossy and loose. I was not sure of the grade I thought it could be as easy as 5+ or as hard a 6a+. So I asked dan to give it a go he onsighted the route and said he thought it was a 6a/+. The route was harder than Dan’s first route but eaiser than his second so we graded it 6a+. I called it Haydn’s arête naming after a friend of mine who posts on UKC as Hardonicus. He has a habit of cleverly trolling UKC, he hates bolts and rarely climbs routes with less than two stars. So I felt it was fitting to name a shit route on bolted loose choss after him.
I later that night got a message off of Dan saying the guy who bolted the line wanted more controversial route names. I slept on it and the next morning decided to call it revolution action after the great song by Atari Teenage Riot. Check the video below.

Waking up the next morning I felt great. I had got some messages off the fiend Nick Allen. His Mrs the doctor is working. So we headed out to Horseshoe so I could tick my 7a. I took the lanky hippy with me as he wanted to try some routes. I warmed up by clip-sticking up my 7a and trying a few moves. I rested and gave the route a go but did not make it through the crux. I rested and belayed Chris as he tried a route. Nick turned up just as Chris lowered off so he had a go on Chris’s line he made it to the top dogging his way up.
I then had another go at my route just as I was through the crux I heard a pop in my left hand ring finger. Fearing the worst I instant dropped and got lowered to the ground. My finger went numb and ached at the same time. I believe I have damaged the tendon in my finger and I have an A2 pulley.
I talked Nick through the moves and he dogged his way up and stripped the line. Chris then stripped his line and we called it a day as Nick had some jobs to do.

Since Sunday I have been icing my finger and completely resting it.

I am now trying to decide what to do I don’t want to lose the fitness I have built up over the last few weeks but I also don’t want to antagonise my finger so it’s a hard toss up.
I have been reading up on the recovery and Dave Macleod advises that you can climb on a pulley and it will actually make it stronger as long as you don’t do any thing finger intense you also have to make sure you tape up your finger. So I guess climbing laps on the Rokt lead wall is the best way to go.

I am gutted as my training schedule has been shot down as I was seeing some big gains recently.

Friday, 29 July 2011

So close ...

So this week I had another coaching session with Nik Jennings, but this time we spent the day on real rock. We visited the quality venue known as horseshoe quarry (to give you an idea of the quality it’s nickname is Horseshit quarry). This was a day to work on techniques involved in the redpoint process.
I am not very good at the redpoint process as I approach sports climbing with a bit of a trad mentality. i.e. its all about the onsight, I need to be able to do the moves from the ground first time.
With sports climbing this is not the case especially when you are climbing something hard.
I warmed up by onsighting a slabby 6a arête. The climbing was straight forward with a couple of nice balancey moves. As I lowered off Nik got me to strip one draw to practice clip sticking up and jugging up the rope.
A clip stick is a device that allows you to clip into a draw from below which obviously is very useful when the moves are hard. Jugging up the rope is a fancy name for grabbing the rope heading down to the belayer and pulling your way up it. It sounds straight forward enough and it is, however it is always good to learn a skill before you need to do it in anger.
After the route we had a little chat and he gave me some tips one was to clean my boots, they were covered in sand. He then told me he was going to stick me on some thing hard. He then said we would look at some 7a’s. What the hell??? I thought we would be looking at about 6c or maybe 6c+ at a push.
We went for a walk around the quarry and looked at several routes at the grade of 7a. There were two on the main face, these routes were both slightly overhanging and looked to have some large holds at around 25m in length. We kept on looking around went up to the upper tier there was face climb that eased to a slab and finished up a small overhang it was probably about 12m long. It looked a bit dirty and unloved.
When sports climbing often the length of the route effects the difficulty of moves. Sports climbing routes are graded by the difficulty of the best sequence to climb the route. So a long route could be fairly steady moves but it just takes a lot of stamina to do the route so it gets a hard grade. A shorter route tends to be harder moves packed into a shorter space.
I decided to give the slab a go I started by clip sticking my way up and trying a few moves. The wall just looked blank! I set up the top rope and lowered off and had a rest.
The next time up I tried the start but I was clueless how to do it. I jugged up past the second bolt and linked a couple of moves but no real progress. I lowered off again. Nik then gave the route a go and was surprised how poor the feet are at the start. He talk me through how he would redpoint it while he climbed the route. Doing individual moves brushing the hold repeating the moves to get them wired and slowly making his way to the top.
The he marked up the holds and talked me through the sequence. I gave it another go on top rope and the moves were nails. The crux was the start moving past the first bolt. The sequence Nik used was completely nails. I again jugged past the start and worked the move past the first bolt. I managed to do all the moves from here to the top. Linking up all the moves from above the second bolt to the top. I lowered off, rested ad had another go at the start trying something different. This felt a bit easier but still nails.
Nik went up a third time and found a sequence that works. I then went up and did the start moves. I then worked the moves between bolt one and two then lowered off.
After this I pulled the rope and had a nice long rest and I went for the red point. The moves up past the first bolt are the crux and I fell on this move about 5 times on lead. This sequence on its own would be worth hard 6c+ according to Nik.
On my 6th redpoint I managed to get the good hold and move up to the second bolt and get this clipped. There is one more hard move then a couple of less hard moves but not something I would fall off from there to the top. I rested at the good hold below the second bolt. Then I went for it. High smear with my right left out right to a good hold then a big move to a little knobbing I got the hold but my right slipped off and I fell. Gutted!!
I worked the move to refine it then lowered and had a nice long rest. After the rest I went again through the crux no issue then I clipped the second bolt pulling as hard as I could absolutely knackered I Went for the move but I missed my left foot placement and off I came again. I then did the move straight away on the next attempt and lowered off. ARRGHHH!! So close!
I rested for a long time again at this point my fingers aches and were red raw. My toes were killing from wearing tight climbing shoes and standing on minute edges all day.
I set off on my 8/9th red point attempt still not having linked all the moves with out falling not even on top rope. I pulled as hard as I could but realized I did not have enough left. I grabbed the draw mid crux and called it time on the route. Not wanting to injure myself. Feeling completely gutted.
I was so close. The difference between doing the route and not was moving my hips a couple of centimeters. That’s all it would of taken to keep me balanced.
I lowered off and Nik lead the route making the moves look easy. He cleaned the draws and we moved on.
I ended the day with a onsight attempt at a 6b+ which went badly due to fatigue. I did all the moves but very much dogged my way up. I was too tired to tray and put it together for a redpoint so called it a day and stripped the draws as I lowered off.

Its amazing how close I got to redpointing a 7a only 4 days after my first 6b+ redpoint. I am hoping to get back to the route in the near future if I can find a belayer.