Thursday, 26 January 2012

The Quest for the Holy Grail

I would give you some more info but I think the video covers it.
Full Screen and volume up loud if you please.
(you may wish to click the "watch on you tube link", for some reason the embedded vids on here load really slowly for me)

Thursday, 19 January 2012

January so far

Winter took a while to get here this year but it seems it finally remembered we were sat indoors waiting for the heat to go on holiday for another year. And so it did. And we did climb. And we have achieved several goals.

The first day of note was a trip to Hepburn with a view to try and get Preparation H done. As sometimes happens, I was distracted by some other hot of the first ascent press problem, which looked rather good. Dan Varian was on hand to provide beta (as it was indeed his very own problem) and after a scuffle here and a tussle there I was stood on top a happy man. It's called Trivial Pursuits, 7c. Previous to this I'd done the arete “Titanic” on both it's sides. Better on the right, should you care. I didn't even get round to trying Prepers, as we shifted on to Back Bowden. I felt pretty tired by this time but had a few goes on The Bitch, but struggled to hang the two hard moves, it didn't feel totally out of reach though. Dan popped over muttering something about showing the Count of Essex his arse or something? Strange boy. He did however inform me that there was now an improved foothold for the crux move on The Bitch. It looked natural but he tried the move and said it was a bit easier than when he'd done it in the summer.

Here are some photo's of Trivial Pursuits by Mark Savage:

Next day out was with Nick to Hangman's, where I'd never been before. This was the day of wind. There are really only two problems here so I was keen to get em done and not have to do the walk in again. The wind made it bitterly cold, jokes aside it was to the level where we were nearly getting whipped off the rock and down the hill. Strangely, both the problems are given 7c despite one being twice as hard as the other. Despite the efforts the grades made to confuse me, I managed them both. Paranoia is really good climbing. Shame there's not much more there really. Such is life.
As it's round the corner and in the trees we scuttled off to Hepburn again. I was keen to show Nick Trivial and thought it might be the time for prepers. Sadly the battering the wind had given us had seemingly drawn all our energy out. I was also about 6th day on at this point and nothing happened worthy of a mention.

Next day was Caley. Unlike the previous two times it was neither wet or warm so there were no excuses. To keep a short story short, I warmed up on a couple of the moves and the top out of Zoo York, then did it second go from the sit, which I was pretty happy with. In a bit more detail; I kept my heel beta (no toe hooks) and it worked really well. [as an update to the toe hooking issues described last time, I did borrow a sportiva solution and it turns out its just dragons that don't toe hook so I don't feel quite so bad] The top out was a little sketchy as I wasn't fully warm and had precisely 0% feeling in my fingers, causing all but my back to to slip off the final crimp as I watched in horror. I thought, fuck it and went for it anyway and moved slowly towards the more slopey finishing holds. As I grabbed the more rounded top holds a little bit of feeling came back into my hands and the top out felt fine. I read somewhere on the internet that one of my mates, a horse dressed in black, then made an ascent of something “significant” at the crag. Better watch

to find out more about that.

The closing chapter of this short story is set back in Northumberland. We went to Callaly to try The Young. It's been said a thousand times before but this really is amazing. Cool to climb too. There was a bit in the middle that felt a bit stretched out and the final moves are nails and you're in a very dangerous position. It didn't get climbed that day, but I'm sure it will some day soon. The whole day was bitterly cold due to the orientation and lack of sun, so the next day we went to Bowden Doors for some sun. There are still a lot of things I haven't done and was in the mood to just try what took my fancy. We warmed up at the roof and I did V crimps 3rd go, which isn't bad as far as I'm concerned. I then proceeded not to do Born Lippy, Pulp Friction and Honeycomb wall. I'm very keen to go back on Honeycomb, hopefully get it soon! Some very strong young lads climbed rather well that day too. All the above received ascents and additionally so did Working Class sit, maybe there'll the a UKC article about it?