Friday, 25 March 2011

Froggatt - Brown's Eliminate

Here is my account of Froggatt from last weekend.
The week had been building towards this day. I had been massaging people on Farcebook all week trying to get a group of us together for the trip.
I am excited ... I'm nervous.
I get an early night sacking off match of the day still feeling a little hungover and knackered from the exploits of the night before.
I wake up I look at my clock. It's 7am. I remember receiving a text message the night before when I was half asleep. I roll over and grab my phone. It's Hobbs asking if there is room in the car for the day out. I say no, as I already had four of us, I say I will text him if some one drops out. I look out the window (please be damp) there is only a morning due and its over cast (please rain). I lay there for a while lost in thoughts of issues that have been building a while (bad head space) and nerves kick in.
I can't get back to sleep. I lay there till 8 ish and get up. I stick on the replay of match of the day barely watching. I feel messed up and my head is stuck in a loop of thoughts.
I am not hungry but I go make a bowl of cereal and I force myself to eat it. The food is not sitting right. I finish it. I am looking for my climbing trousers I can't find them. I wear a pair of jeans. I start thinking what if they are not loose enough what if the material gets in the way. My brain starts going in loops again.
I grab some shorts chuck them in my bag I had packed the night before. I then grab an apple and a bottle of water. I am ready. I decide to leave the camera at home thinking the trip is all about climbing today.
I set off to pick up Staples, Matt and SaRa. Matt texts me they are running late. I arrive outside of snow island and text Staples. He replys saying he is not coming, he has too much Uni work and just woke up. I give Hobbs a call from the car park. Clearly half asleep I tell him Tom's dropped out and there is room. He's keen and says he will be ready in 10. I text Matt to say I am in the car park. I am listening to music trying to keep my brain from running in circles. I also text Les, Nick and Kasia.
I feel like I have been waiting ages and Matts head appears out the door him and SaRa come and join me. We set off to pick up Tom. I am focusing on driving with one eye on the weather thinking it could turn. Nick is in Sheff and giving weather updates if it does.
We grab Tom he says do you mind if we stop somewhere for food, I say okay we can stop in Hathersage (I just want to get there). I am nervous again, but the eagerness off all in the car to go climbing psyches me up.
Driving along I focus on the music and the road forcing my thought away from everything else.
We stop at Hathersage I think I could buy some trousers. I try some on they don't fit. I am nervous once more. (It's only a fucking pair of trousers MAN UP GET ON WITH IT).
We set off again, just a couple of miles now. We get parked up. The walk to Froggatt feel long its a flat 10 mins walk. Easy effortless even carrying a heavy pack with a rope. I try and keep talking stop thinking just keep talking.
We are just getting to the top of the crag there is a bit of drizzle in the air (no I want to get it over). The rock feels dry.
We start off at Sunset slab area. Is my head working today (It's been working overtime so far). I solo sunset slab to warm up to see if my head is working can I cope with hard moves with ground fall potential. I then solo sunset crack. The rock is so grippy the friction is amazing.
I set Tom on leading sunset crack and say I am off for a walk to see if I can find Nick. I am lying. I am nervous. I want to be alone.
I walk long the crag and spot that motorcade is free I walk up and try and solo it. The first 5a move feels solid but I can not commit. I back off and walk towards the easy routes next to great slab. There are kids top roping it. Ok can't solo them. (Fuck my head is not working how can I do brown's). I walk round and look at it (please be wet). There are some dark marks on the crimps but this is just the colour of the rock.
I return to see Tom at the top of sunset slab ... his first HVS. NICE ONE. I am psyched for him. I have to do it now.
Nick arrives and warns of rain in sheff it starts to spit. FUCK. He says if I am doing it I have to go now.
My brain goes to overdrive. I am babbling like a charlie sheen after hes "banged 7g's of coke cause thats how he rolls". I convince nick I should do motorcade to warm up. He eventually agrees so I rack up and run up it. Forgetting to place the cam and having to place it blind below my feet. The apposing micro's are crap I get them the wrong way around. I do the route no problem very fast. I take longer setting up the belay.
The rain has now passed. We grab the stuff and head to Brown's. Again my head works overtime. (Fuck I just want to get this over with). We get there and people are top roping it and someone is waiting to second green gut. I go take a pee. I try and relax. I sort my rack and flake my rope out. I then look still waiting to get on the route. I grab my helmet. (I hate helmets, someone fell to there death on this route your wearing a fucking helmet). The guy starts to second green gut. I tie in. The guy is fast up green gut (please slow down). The guy is almost to the top so I go to the bottom of the route.
I eagerly pull on climb one move some thing feels wrong I back off. I step on a large block at the ground. I then take a step back the rock drops away. I slip. I am now screaming at myself in my head (WHAT ARE YOU DOING, YOU CAN'T EVEN STAND UP ON THE GROUND, WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS). I stop force my self to stop thinking. There is only the route. Nothing but the route. I clean the grit off my boots.
I pull back on and do the easy moves on green gut before the traverse. The holds feel big and grippy. I see the move onto the traverse. The foot hold looks small and polished. I commit and rock up it feels easy (Focus you have no gear and a big drop below you). I place the gear blind. Its a Camalot 2 with a camalot 1 as a back up. I can't see it the gear is good it feels ok. I give it a couple of tugs it stays.
I shuffle back to the crux. I work the move in my head (I am thinking of nothing but the move). I match on a crimp and place my left foot on a smear. I step back down to the ledge. The move looks hard. I step up again This time a commit. I place my right foot on a tiny ledge. I rock over and do a big reach i get the next crimp I stand up (5b move) I then get the next crimp with my right hand and place my left foot on the crimp off the ledge.
The gear is now about 6ft below my feet and about 4ft to my left. This means at least 9-10ft of rope out from gear to harness, plus slack in the line and stretch means I am going to be close to the floor with a fall with a ledge to hit on the way down.
The next move is a big rock over to a good hold. I can't down climb from here. I commit I rock over and reach I get the ledge (hard 5a) I then match the ledge work my feet up. (YES I have done the hard moves, FOCUS! Still a couple of metres to go). I carefully work my way up the good holds and get to the top jug.
I top out. I shout "FUCKING YESSS!!". First E2 flashed YES. I shout with joy SAFE.
I am so happy everything has cleared from my head all this is left is the joy of the amawing 3* climbing.
I look down and see a crowd had gathered. It reminded me of the sloth all the passers by stopping to watch the you. Tom, Matt and SaRa were also there.
Nick follows me up cleaning the gear and shakes my hand. We drop a rope for tom who follows me up with no real problems.
I feel this blog is long enough and I need to get on with my work. So the rest of fraggatt will follow later in another post.

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