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.