Monday, 19 September 2011

Website is live!

I've been meaning to get this sorted for a while now, so it's great to finally get a website uploaded to the internet. Lots of work still to do but I think it's a good start!

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

An evening at Shaftoe

Last month I went out to Shaftoe and managed to get these two problems on video. The quality seems to have been reduced by vimeo for some reason. I'll try and get it sorted for next time.

Sunday, 4 September 2011

The Wainstones

Today me and me da headed up to the Wainstones. Steve and Karin had mentioned that there had been a flurry of activity recently. I always like to try out new crags and this place is only 45 mins away from my house so we thought we'd check it out. For some reason I never head down to the moors but I might start checking it out more.

The problems... We warmed up around the boulder with the easy crack (pic) problem on it, doing some fun eliminates and sit starts. Notably just to the left of the crack, the left arete/pillar climbs really well. I then did Redhead's roof, which is fun and necky. Very good at the grade - 6bish.

Then it started raining so we hid under the bivvy roof. A local lad, Sam had told us of a problem coming out of here at around 7b which I then flashed. Start on the bloc in the back of the roof with hands and feet. I then went straight to the lip but there was chalk on an undercut in the roof if you're that way inclined. Throw your heel round and a bit of a thrutch and bobs your uncle. The wet slab topout was interesting! I thought 7a for that one. EDIT - Just found this problem in this video - "Hand to hand combat"

I then tried The Hollow Sit Start from this video. Nice little prob, around 6c or + To the left of this there is a problem called the finger (pic below). At first I thought it was nails and couldn't do the first move into the mono. [I've since found out the established prob starts at the mono, not the ledge.] I thought I might as well try the move from the mono and got it about 3rd go. The pic was meant to be a vid but dads can't work cameras :p In my opinion there is a good crouching start at the lip which I tried a bit but couldn't work out the move to the mono. Someone taller would be able to lank it with their feet under the roof but I couldn't reach, maybe 8a ish from there?? I think the grade is a bit of a purely belter, about 7b from the mono. Fat fingers need not apply! Someone had also started cleaning a problem to the left again. I had a quick feel but couldn't work out a sequence. It felt hard. The ground was really boggy underneath so I didn't pursue it.

We then walked down to what was to be the main event... The big prow thing. 7a+ on one side, Cruel Intentions - 7c on the other (also featured in above vid). Unfortunately the rain came back and this time it was heavy so we had to bail. Fortunately though, this group of boulders are at the bottom of the hill so next time the walk in will be a little bit easier. Hopefully get back to them soon!

Saturday, 3 September 2011

New sets at Durham and the Matrix

Last Friday I'd been asked to do a reset at the Matrix in Sheffield. So Thurday evening I travelled down for a quick session at The Climbing Works, it's always nice to check back in and see what's changed since my time there. Not finding anyone I knew to climb with I got stuck in on the comp wall. After about an hour and a half I was totally spent, having despatched a fair number of the 7's (though I avoided the hand jam yellow) and thoroughly enjoying the death star volume bloc through the roof. Anything that goes feet first gets my vote!

I was up bright and early the next morning and working by 7.30!! I met up with Kook, Diego and together we stripped and reset the wall. 75 probs in total. Not bad for a days work. As it's the first set of a new university year they had requested an easy set but I did stick one 7b+ in there on the woody ;-)

Yesterday I was once again up bright and early and setting at Durham by 8am. Thankfully no stripping to do here... and a good job too as I moved a load of the volumes around before setting 35 problems ranging from 4-7c This bell curve of difficulty for this set is once again shifted to the right (they're all harder than last time), however, there isn't anything as hard as the two hardest problems from the last round. So if you're looking to maximise your score, it's concentration and session stamina that are important rather than maximum strength. Have fun, any feedback welcome and encouraged...

Thursday, 1 September 2011

The last couple of months...

It's been a fair while since my last blog. Here is a round up of what I've been doing over the last couple of months....

Firstly I sold the van. Sad sad times but after a little bit of renovations I ended up making a slight profit on it, just like property ladder but with vans!

Rosie was accepted to Durham University to study a masters so that meant we had to be located in the North East for at least the next year. With this in mind we swapped wheels for walls and moved into our quaint little bungalow in the suburbs. I've been keeping busy doing various bit of renovations and such like.

Not long after I'd been home the management at Durham Climbing Centre contacted me about building a symmetrical systems board in the centre. Training on boards has long been the secret of the elite boulderer as revealed in Jerry Moffat's autobiography - revelations. After deliberation on the all important angle, the board was built. 45 degrees and 8ft wide. Hayley, the manager had asked me to set the board so it was perfectly symmetrical which was something I'd never done on this scale before but was up for the challenge. The holds were delivered by Dan Varian from Beastmaker on Friday ready for a full day setting on the next Monday. After lots of measuring with tape measures and spirit levels (not the usual tools of a route setter) I finished it and set some preliminary problems. I'm rather pleased with the result and have regularly been lured out of my own garage to train on it, high praise indeed!

One of the sample problems I set

Soon after the board was finished it was time for Durham's summer bouldering ladder. Round one kicked off with a delivery of some brand new volumes. Myself and Michael Page set the 35 problems which competitors then toiled away on for the next few weeks. I have since set the next two rounds on my own and have been pleased with the feedback from the competitors.

People trying the comp problems

I've also been training fairly hard, and eating hard too. I've gained about 5kg which I'm happy with. The standard train heavy in the summer and climb light in the winter technique will hopefully pay off once the weather turns cold.

The project, more on this later...

Oh, and I heard the weather man say it's officially autumn in meteorological terms. Woo woo! not long till this dastardly heat buggers off, what what