Friday, 30 November 2012

Angel Face

Reachy, powerful moves at the start
Through the crux hand swap and setting up for the powerful finish
After a rest day yesterday, which involved a long day of staff training and a safety review at Challenge 4 Change. I was pretty psyched to get back to Woodhouse and see if I could finish off Angel Face V9 6c/font 7b+.    I met Huw there, and spent a bit of time trying to warm up in the excellent, but very cold conditions.  After putting in half an hour or so on Wednesday and feeling like it was close, I had high hopes that it might be possible today.  Not fully warmed up, we headed over to the problem to finish warming up, whilst sorting the moves.  I was disheartened when all the moves felt so hard today, after it feeling so close 2 days ago.  As we persevered, and the body warmed up, I had suddenly done the problem in 2 overlapping halves.  Game on!!  After a good rest, the problem went really smoothly and felt amazing.  I was pretty over the moon, and amazed it only took about an hour of effort.

Crafty heels to power up

very happy to hit the jug

I did try to go and do something else, but had used up all my efforts for the day already.  Cutting my loses, it was in to town for coffee and cake with Em.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

The Sheriff

With the rain finally stopping, it is good to live in grit country.  An evening and morning of dry weather and there are loads of options to go climbing.  I only had a couple of hours today, so opted to head to Woodhouse Scar and finish off the Sheriff V8/9 font 7b/+.  A quick go last week with loads of beta saw me get very close, but just 1 move was awkward to link.  Today I had a different idea about the move and the problem went first go.
Getting stuck into the Sheriff

Always easy when you know how

Psyched with this I had a play on Angel Face V9 font 7b+.  I managed this in 2, but the crux finger swaps in the middle is hard.  Hopefully this will go soon.

Monday, 26 November 2012

SPA Training

Over the weekend I have been directing an SPA Training in the Peak District,  There were 5 strong candidates on the course, and they made the most of a cold, clear day at Stanage for the personal climbing section of the award.  As the light was about to start fading, we moved to The Foundry to look at the use of climbing walls and some problem solving.

Yesterday was spent at a windy, but thankfully dry Burbage North as the rain had come through during the night.  Here we covered all the group aspect of the syllabus, and had a bit of fun weaseling too.

I am hoping the weather will improve through the week and I can finally get on the lead of my new route project.  Too many days have been thwarted by the weather.

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Almscliff Classics

I met Elliot just after 9 this morning at Almscliff, hoping to get a good session in before the weather hit.  We warmed up soloing around the lower man routes up to HVS 6a and some easy problems, before heading up top.  The wind was not too bad and the friction was pretty good.  After climbing the Crucifix and some of it's variations, Elliot had a go at his nemesis problem. Pebble Wall V5/font 6c.  I was very kind to go first and show how easy it is, but yet again, it holding Elliot at bay.  John and Stu turned, and John rubbed salt in the wounds when he casually slipped his shoes on and sent it.

Nicely around Demon Wall Roof
Demon Wall Roof V7/font 7a+ is an Almscliff super classic, which is apparently easy when you know how.  I had never had a serious go on this, thinking it was not my thing, but Elliot had the knowledge having sent it on Sunday.  Armed with Elliot's beta and his demo, It went down in 5 goes, sweet!!  We had a few good shots on Pebble Wall Variation V8, but both failed on the last move.  With the friction feeling good, we had a crack at Dreamland V7/font 7a+.  This is an extremely frustrating problem, but both Elliot and I hit the sloper, but failed to hold it.  Rather spend all day on one problem, we moved on.

Crimping hard on Si's Arete
Elliot made a quality flash of Syrett's Roof V5/font 6c+, I and got stuck into Si's Arete V7/font 7a+.  John explained the sequence, and it went pretty quickly for Stu and I.  After a few other things.  Elliot and I had a go on The Bulge V7/8 font 7a+/b, which climbs the bulge left of Wall of Horrors start direct to the jug.  I was getting tired and sacked it off thinking there were still a few hard moves to work out.  Elliot stuck with it, and worked out one more move to finish.  Spared on, shoes back on I latched the jug first go.  A great way to finish a productive session.

Elliot in send mode
The Bulge
Latching the jug!!!

Friday, 16 November 2012

New Kit for Winter

As the winter get closer, I am starting to get myself sorted.  This has been helped along with a delivery of new kit from Edelrid.  Most of this kit is new for 2012-13,
Sticky (top left), HMS Magnum, Raid and Sturdy (right)

The Raid alpine/mountaineering ice axe is a really well balance axe that will offer good security, as well as being a great functional tool.

The HMS Magnum is well designed large carabiner, with an extra large gate opening.  Perfect for winter when fumbling around in big gloves.

A perfect glove for winter climbing is hard to find, but Edelrid have put quite a bit of thought into it.  It is the thin glove that seems hard to get right, but the 2 new additions, the Sticky and Sturdy are top draw.  The sticky is the thinner of the two.  Made from synthetic leather to be robust, and with a thin fleece lining on the back of the hand to offer a little bit of warmth without compromising grip.  The Sturdy is the thicker warmer option.  Made from goats leather and with protectors for knuckles.  These also have a warm fleece lining on the back of the hand, and a thin layer in the palms.  Both models have an excellent fitting around the wrist.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

West Nab

Today I had a quick hit at West Nab for the first time.  This is another venue the Over the Moors guide has brought to my attention, as well as being a feature in the latest addition of Climb.  A huge cluster of boulders on the moor top, spread over a km makes for an interesting bouldering venue.  I only spent an hour today, but enjoyed the few problems I did.  The pick of the day was Hours of Practice font 7a, a tricky little slab.

Hitting the top on Hours of Practice
There had been a shower before we got there, so some things were a little damp.  Despite facing South, some faces are sheltered from the breeze, so did not dry as quickly as others.  Something to remember for the next visit.

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Hunter's Stone and Snowden

I met up with Huw and some of his uni mates for a boulder today.  First up we went to Hunter's Stone.  These boulders were only uncovered when the woods they where hiding in were cut down.  Despite being a bit gritty and dirty, I managed to knock up 15 good problems up to font 6c+.
Sam earning full man points on Optical illusion

Huw sending Nigel's Roof LH

We moved on to Snowden, which has a few good boulders sticking out of the hillside.  After a quick onsight for me and flash for Sam of the intimidating Optical Illusion font 6c, with it's extremely big fall, we moved over to Nigel's Roof.  After a few goes both Huw and I sent Nigel's Roof LH font 7a.  I had to leave early, but the others were still getting stuck in.

Monday, 5 November 2012

Marrow Bone Jelly

This morning has been glorious and conditions grit outstanding.  I was on Daddy daycare duties from lunchtime on, so got out early to Caley to take advantage of the weather.  After the usual laps of Otley Wall and Fork Lightening Crack to warm up, I dropped a rope down Marrow Bone Jelly E7 6b***.  Once graded 7a, the grade has slowly come down to settle at 6b, which seemed bang on.
committing onto the slab
After abing and brushing the holds and getting an idea of what to do, I had a go belaying myself on a grigri as I went.  I prefer this method to a shunt, as I always think if I can hang around to belay, then the climbing is not as taxing as if I were slapping my way up not having to think about it.  The climbing is my sort of thing, technical, balancy, but not physical.  I was pretty happy to get it 1st go.  After a few move topropes I soloed the route, super happy to have ticked a classic.  The crux at the top was not the hard part for me, I found the moves just below getting to the hands off rest the trickiest section, and a little reachy.  That said, there was a fair bit of a mental crux at those top moves.

With the job done it was back home to do my parenting duties.

Thanks to Mrs Dog Walker for the pic on my phone

Friday, 2 November 2012

Winter Blues

Whilst friends up north start their winter season, I am suffering with a serious case of FOMO.  The conditions on the Ben are good, but the cracks are very icy according to Guy and Al (more info on Al's blog climb when your ready).  Thing in the gorms seem to be in good condition too, and a little less icy for now.

To take my mind off this and stop me constantly watch the weather.  I took advantage of a dry morning and strong wind to bag a couple of routes.  With belayer in tow, I finished off the final routes at Worlow Quarry I had not done.  Things still had the odd damp patch, but it was easy to work around or it simply was not an issue.  I warmed up on some of the easy routes and added a direct start to a current HVS finish, before leading Bengal Badger E2 5c and Ammon Wrigley's Mechanical Verse E3 6a*.  Both of these were tricky and felt bold.  I then got stuck into to brushing a very green Two Dead Sheep E5 6a*.  Once I thought I'd brushed the right holds I went for the flash, only to be ejected at the top as I went the wrong way.  After a second look and more brushing I worked out where it went.  It went better next lead, but was a real finger burlfest on small holds.  I thought 6b tech grade would be fairer and F7b overall reflects the climbing.

It was good to get something done before the afternoon rain, but I am still keen to get the axes out.