Friday, 24 October 2014

Bolton School Spainish Rock Trip

Adam enjoying the techy climbing at Abdet

Ben Loving the views

Andy in Echo Valley

I have spent the last week working with students from Boy School Boys Division in Spain. The aim was to give them a good progression from all they have learnt at home with me and their school staff. A lot of ground work has been done, so we were very hopeful for a good trip. The temperature was high for this time of year, 32 degrees in the shade at times. Which presented a different challenge. The lads adjusted well, we found venues with shade at times and got fully stuck in.

Anosh cooling off by the sea on a nice 5
Ethan on El Albaran Volador 6a***

Anosh on Es Carlota 5***
Anitesia 6c***

After a toprope each on the first day, they got straight into leading. This theme continued through the whole week. I was really impressed with how they took everything in their stride, and really focused on pushing themselves everyday with no imput from us. Each day had success and setbacks as they tried routes that suited and did not suit their styles. This seemed to drive them on more as they learnt from every route. The second last day at Montessa seemed like a sendfest. 3 of the 6 onsighted their first 6b's and 1 redpointed his first 6c. Others fought hard to break new ground, but the week had taken it's toll. The week finished at Bellus, with a wide range of 3 star routes on good steep rock. Everyone, despite being tired dug deep and were rewarded with some good ticks. One of which was a top 50 6a that some flashed in great style. I even took advantage of the quality climbing and onsighted a 3 star route at every grade from 5-7a, with a 3 star 7b thrown in as a quick redpoint. An awesome venue. 7a***

Thursday, 16 October 2014

SPA Assessment

The last 2 days was spent in a damp Peak District running an SPA Assessment for McKinlay Mountaineering. A busy course with 8 candidates. Personal climbing was in tricky damp conditions at Froggatt, but all did well. We then moved to the Foundry to cover the climbing wall aspects of the assessment. The group management section was done at Lawrancefield and Millstone to give a mixture of rigging and management challenges, but all did well. A very successful course, with everyone passing. The first for a while.

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Rainy Days

I had a couple of hour at Woodhouse this morning to continue my attempts to get fit and stronger again.  After all the rain, it was the Clingen Face that never disappoints.  The arĂȘte was soaked through, but the slot not too bad.  So, I plugged it up to dry and warmed up on a number of the eliminates.  Whilst lying around in between problems, I noticed a sequence I had never seen before.  Truly eliminate, but offered good moves.  As the slot was still wet I did a shortened version to give a nice little font 7a.  Once the slot was useable, I managed to link the whole thing.  Climbing Angelface Reverse into the new finish to give Rainy Days 7b+.  I then did the 7b edge eliminate and a few other things.  My attempt to video Rainy Days failed on the last move as I'd used up my fingers on the problem after the F.A. Error.  Did video the short version though whilst waiting for slot to dry.

Rainy Days from Adam Hughes on Vimeo.

Monday, 6 October 2014

Busy Weekend

On Saturday I was at The Leeds wall running a CWA Assessment for McKinley Mountaineering.  The 2 candidates did a great job, and both passed comfortably.

The worlds smallest spotter
After a pleasant 50 miler on the bike on Sunday morning, I had a quick hit at Woodhouse in the afternoon.  This is one of a handful of sessions I've had in the last few months, so repeating some of the hander problems I know well is really helping me get so  strength back.  After warming up and then doing the 7b+'s on the Angel Face.  I was really happy to redo Interfacing Angel 7c, which I put up last year.  It's strange for me to find some strengths coming back quickly, but my fingers struggling to come back.  Hopefully they won't take too long

The crux

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

SPA Assessment and Scary Monsters

Over the weekend I was running a SPA Assessment in the Peak for McKinley Mountaineering.  The candidates did a great job a Burbage North for the personal climbing section, before we moved to the Foundry.  A long session at the wall set them up nicely for the group section of the award at Lawrancefield and Millstone.  This went well for all but one, but everyone worked hard throughout the day.

Yesterday I managed to sneak a quick route at Trowbarrow.  This was the first since June, so I was pretty happy with my flash of Scary Monsters E5 6a*.  Fingers crossed it's not so long before the next one.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

SPA Training and a bit of route setting

Last Saturday I ran the first day of an SPA Training in the Peak.  A busy, full course, with a good variety of experience between the candidates made for some good discussions.  We spent the first part of the day at Stanage looking at all aspects of personal climbing, before heading to The Foundry to look at the climbing wall part of the award.  A good day seemed to be had by all.

My back seems to be on the mend, so I ventured out for a boulder on Tuesday.  I picked my way through some trusty problems at Woodhouse and managed a handful of things up to 7b+, which was a real surprise.  Hopefully strength and fitness will return quickly.

Today, a bit sore from bouldering.  I have been route setting all day and testing some circuits.  It's fair to say a poor year climbing and an injury that has kept me out for a month, is painful to come back from in more ways than one.

Monday, 15 September 2014

A Mish Mash of Things

It has been a strange few weeks which have been a struggle, due to a mountain bike crash at high speeds that involved a drystone wall.  I'd like to think of it as a draw, but jury is still out.

Despite this I have managed to do some window cleaning and a lead climbing session with Bolton School students in preparation for our Spanish climbing trip in October.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed I will be able to climb properly by then.