I spent all of November working in Scotland, bolting bits of steel together. In total I climbed twice through the month; once to check out the new Climbing Academy in Glasgow and once to compete in Climb Newcastle's winter series. The Climbing Academy is a really good wall, very impressive and to my eyes the biggest bouldering wall in the UK. They've certainly got tons of space should they want to go even bigger!
The Climbing Academy, Glasgow
The comp at Climb Newcastle was fun, though I was pretty tired after working a full day humping steel in Glasgow then driving home before the comp. I also had a horrendous blood blister from dropping a large bit of iron on it. (Winge winge excuses excuses). So after getting my excuses out, I managed 2nd with Nigel Callender coming first.
Oww! Mega blood blister
As for real climbing... It's been very few and far between.
After watching Chris' vid:
Chris Graham's crazy toe hooks! Good effort Chris.
I got psyched and went to try prep H at Hepburn. I spent quite a long while trying to use his beta before realising it was crazy and sacking it off. I kinda figured out my own sequence I think but ended up too tired to make any serious headway. Will have to go back for another session on that one.
Heading south, we had a fun day at Caley the other week. I was keen to try Zoo York. After much ado about toe hooks (I'll come back to this) I found a sequence I could do that didn't use any. I was really psyched to get it done in a day for two reasons:
1) I've never done an 8a in a session before
2) Caley is rarely in a condition you can climb on it
I didn't manage it. I just felt too tired to link it. The moves are awesome and I'm really keen to get back again for the link. So keen in fact that I returned the day after next... to find the top of the problem literally soaking. I spent a while drying it to a reasonable level (though my hands were very wet after the test climb). This was my best effort of about 4 goes:
Chubublu, The heel goes UNDER the hand dumby!
I felt even more tired than I had done at the end of my first session! Weird? Oh well one for next time it's dry down there!
I can't do em. It's always been in my mind that they're not my strongest point but only recently have I noticed just quite how bad I am at them.
In the second round of Climb Newcastle's winter league there was a problem with only toe hooks on the arete for the start and it really stumped me. I found it really really hard and didn't even do it never mind flash it! Two days later I was at Zoo York figuring out the moves. I think it is customary to toe hook at least once on the problem but I just couldn't get them to work! Thinking back there are a long list of problems where I couldn't get anything off the toe hook and ended up trying to find a different way or just simply not doing it: Zoo York, Queen Kong, La Pelle, L'apparement, Prep H (Chris' method).
Out of these, L'apparement is the only one where you really need to toe hook. Unfortunately I really want to do that problem so I better work out how to train to get better at it!
Now, to address the title:
I've taken the Christmas break as a good time to refurbish the board. It's been stripped:
and I've starting making some new holds
including a mono-pinch!
I'll post a pic and maybe a video once there are some holds on it! Just a case of waiting for the paint to dry...
Here is a vid of my previous hardest problem before the big change up: