Friday, 18 April 2014

A busy Couple of Weeks

Things have been pretty hectic over the last couple weeks with work etc. So not as much time to get out.  The beginning of the month took me to the Peak to shadow a Gold DofE practise expedition in some pretty horrible weather.  Since then, the weather has been improved.  I've had the odd session at Woodhouse in between route setting and site visits, but have been feeling a bit weak still.  A quick morning visit to Heptonstall helped pick me up, with ascents of some routes I had not done before.  Holdless E4 6a, Just Jump E4 6b and No Safety, No Surprise E5 6b are not in the current guide, but will be nice additions to the new guide.

Tuesday saw a turn around for me at Woodhouse.  An early start gave top conditions on the Clingen Face.  After warming up, I rattled through Angel Face, Angel Face Reverse, Angel's Crossing Extention and Angel Face Roof Eliminate, all 7b+.  With a couple of 7b's and 7a+'s it was a great session.

Today I went to Troller's Gill with Ed not expecting much after setting Wednesday and climbing in the wall a little yesterday.  I felt sluggish warming up, but thought I'd get stuck into Kick My Habit 7c anyway.  It was pretty dirty and dusty at I put the draws in, but after a good brush and quick climb through the tricky sections it felt fine.  I had a good rest, then sent it first go.  Pretty psyched with that.  I had a quick play on Mhoody Dhoo 8a+ next.  I could link the first 3 bolts and do the finish up Angel Heart, but there are 2 or 3 moves in the middle I can't work out.  I pulled a big hold off today, so the way I would have done it no longer exists.  It's a bit gutting, but I might work it out yet.

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Wilton Classics

Today after checking the weather, Elliot and I settled on Wilton 1 as the rain was not due till the afternoon.  I have only done one trad route this year, but as always was thinking of something tricky.  First up I gave Pathetique E5 6b* a severe make over as I waited for Elliot to turn up.  It was an awkward one to clean, as the line is not very obvious under all the dirt.  It would also be easy to stray into the routes either side and miss the crux out.  I'm pretty sure I cleaned the line, as Elliot could not do the crux sequence.  I was psyched to Flashed the route, but almost dropped the crux first try when I mess up the foot sequence.  After reversing down and having a second look, it went smoothly.  I'm glad, as it's not a route to fall off.

Elliot cruised up Cameo E1 5a*** as are warm up.  He then tried Soot Monkeys E6 6c** on a top rope.  I fancied Parasite E5 6b** which had been climbed recently.  Elliot had said the pegs were poor, so I abseiled down to check.  He was right.  The climbing also looked blind, so rather than have a horror as my third route of the year, I gave it a quick climb, belaying myself as I went.  Happy is was ok, I went for the lead.  It would be fait to say a pissed up to the pegs, and feeling like it was super easy, I decided to just miss out some moves and crank straight up.  This meant I used a smear that was not clean, and also meant my foot popped straight off as did I.  Gutted, but happy the pegs held, I got straight back on.  This was an error as I was a little pumped by the peg this time, and the rest of the route felt harder than it should have.  Excellent climbing though, and probably a little under graded for a true on sight.

Starting the second crux

Leaving the pegs behind
On the jugs after the run out

Friday, 28 March 2014

Getting Back In The Swing Of Things

It's all been a bit hard work since coming back after the winter.  I'm no where near as strong as I was before going away, so have been struggling on the boulders.  A few hits to Earl Crag has seen me close to a few classics, with one more visit needed.  Woodhouse has given a couple of good sessions to aid getting stronger, along with the wall (needs must with a toddler).

I had a quick trip into Cow's Mouth Quarry last Saturday and Soloed Visions from the Darkside E5 6b.  This felt like another Lancashire chop route, with the grade reflexing a headpoint feel, not an onsight.  I thought this would be the case, so gave it one quick toppy, the soloed without any pads.  They would not help anyway.  The climbing is very good and worth a look if you are in there for the other E5.
Making the hard starting moves

Today |I had a quick couple of hours a Woodhouse as it was the only place dry local.  I added a new eliminate Angel's Breast font 7b to the Clingen Face.  The aim was to climb on a different part of the crag, but the weather had made it's mark.

Cupping the breasty sloper

Monday, 17 March 2014

SPA Training

I spent a windy weekend in the Peak running an SPA Assessment course.  A busy day at Froggatt on Saturday for personal climbing, before moving to the Foundry in the evening to cover the climbing wall aspects of the award.

Yesterday took us to Millstone and Lawrancefield for all the group rigging and management parts of the assessment, with some problem solving thrown in.

A successful weekend for most, with only a short term stumble for others hopefully.

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Catch Up

It has been a busy few weeks since being back down South.  I got straight back into my route setting work, trying to catch up after nearly a month away.  A few busy days has seen me back on track, but as holds need to be returned and replaced, I get to chill out a little.

The Technical Advisor work has been the same, catching up with folks through meetings and visits etc.  It's been great to get folks moving forwards or back on track, but generally all things going well is always good.

Last weekend I ran a CWA Training award out of ROKT and The Leeds Wall.  A small course of 7 this time, but a great mix of candidates who brought a lot to the course.

I have even managed to do a little climbing.  Some indoors, which is not like me and some bouldering outside.  More new problems, nothing hard, but pleasant sessions with toddler in tow.  I'm looking forward to getting fit and stuck into some more interesting problems and sports routes this year.

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Fiacaill Couloir

A very snowy Fiacaill Couloir

Yesterday was my last day with Peter, Paul and Dave, so we opted to have an experience and grab a route.  We pushed through the wind to find shelter on a busy Fiacaill Buttress, which was in great condition.  The Couloir was quiet when we went up, after a team had just retreated due to a big fall.  All ok though.  All the guys did really well, despite a little moaning and throwing of toys at the back.  We avoided the Goat Track, which was receiving a fair bit of new wind blown snow, and journeyed around the corie to 1141m and down the ridge.  Good views and manageable wind made for a great last day.

Steeper ground

Zac on the Seam

Nice walk out

Friday, 21 February 2014

Cairngorm Success

We ventured out again today, with a plan to ascend Cairngorm in the wild winds.  A cunning plan to shelter through the ski area to the restaurant worked well.  The more consistent winds, rather than gusts made it easier to manage.  That said, the winds were strong as we went from our shelter behind the restaurant up to the summit.  Everyone managed really well, and made consistent progress to the top.  We had the full winter experience as we descended, and found a nice drift low down to dig some emergency shelters.  A good day despite the forecast.

Happy Summit Team
A nice but windy walk off
Emergency shelter practice