Tuesday, 29 October 2013

The Crag That Keeps Giving

Using an intense power gurn to make the crux slap

With the sun out and the wind strong, I made a bid for Woodhouse early this morning.  Most things were wet as expected, but the perma dry eliminates face was dry.  As I warmed up, the sun hit the crag and the together with the wind, it worked it's magic.  In between problems, I happily watched the face dry, and suddenly realised an obvious link up that would give a great problem.  Angel Face font 7b+ is a great none eliminate problem in it's own right, as is the Interface problem start font 7a+.  Together they would make a long sustained problem, creating a crux separate from the ones within each individual problem.  This new crux is a massive bunched slap from the slot to the flake which makes the starting holds of the Interface Problem.  A further couple of powerful moves are required to move into the problem proper, before climbing that problem in full.  This has given Interfacing Angel font 7c**.

I was chilling out to recover to get a vid, when the heavens opened again and soaked the Interface problem.  So, I'll have to return for that when the weather improves again.

Back today (Thursday) to repeat it for the vid.

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Welsh Slate and a Woodhouse Cracker

Smithy cruising the Dervish
It has been a real poor week weather wise, but there have been windows on dryness.  Whilst down in Llanberis visiting friends, I managed to grab a couple of hours on Thursday in Vivian with Smithy.  I had only been here once before and climbed Comes the Dervish E3 5c***, so was glad to come back and try and tick off another route.  Smithy led the Dervish and I followed hoping to warm up and get a feel for slate climbing again.  Feeling good, I jumped on Flashdance E5 6a***.  This is bold, but steady, and I found myself stepping into the Dervish after 10 mins climbing.  I was pretty psyched with this, having no real knowledge of the route and there being no chalk on it.  It felt like a proper outing across the face.

Pulling hard on Cracker Jack
  Today after a 30+ miler on the bike, I found myself surprisingly free.  I nipped over to Woodhouse to see how Cracker Jack V10/font 7c+ felt.  After climbing all the problems on Cave buttress, I got stuck in.  It is another eliminate based around the Sheriff which eliminates pretty much all the holds above the roof, leaving a couple of slopers and the arete.  Life the Sheriff-less, which I had done.  It came down to getting my heel on and keeping it on long enough to move my hands and adjust it.  After losing more skin off my ankle, I finally managed to get my heel to stick long enough to adjust and finish.  An awesome end to a surprising week of climbing.


Vid to come

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Agent Orange

Despite the bad weather, as Rose slept this afternoon I watch the sun come out and a good wind dry the walls and roads nicely.  Knowing Heptonstall a little too well, I quickly nipped down the road to grab a quick flash of Agent Orange E6 6a**, and the second ascent.  It was more of a theoretical flash, as I had done all but 4/5 moves before, having climbed the other routes it takes advantage of.  This said, it is still a balancy and bold undertaking.

The crag was drier than expected overall.  with most routes climbable.  A good sign that there ground is not too sodden yet.

Monday, 21 October 2013

A Busy Weekend

With the weather turning foul midweek, I was happy to be inside on Saturday delivering a CWA Assessment at the Leeds Wall.  The 3 candidates were all very strong, putting on a good performance throughout the day to pass comfortably.

Sunday took me down to the Peak to run the second day of a SPA Training course.  The weather had been horrible on the Saturday, but we we got lucky with a dry day.  We got stuck into all the group related rigging and management at Lawrencefield roadside, before moving over to Millstone in the afternoon.  A busy day with lots for the candidates to take away.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Shadowline 2nd Ascent

Picking a way up Shadowline

I managed to get out early this morning before the rain and take advantage of cool conditions to grab the second ascent of Shadowline E6 6b at Heptonstall.  The route climbs the arete of Cream on it's right hand side to meet it high up, then finish as the same way.  It was all a bit greasy after yesterdays rain and the this mornings mist, so I abseiled and brushed the route.  It looked like the hard climbing was in the middle, but when I went for the flash, it turned out to be lower down.  I took a couple of falls before twigging I needed to turn my right hand around.  Once I did this it was in the bag.  A few tricky moves through the middle, but not that bad.
Still a few more techy moves to do

This is a good addition by Matt Troilett, who has also added o more direct version on Cream at E6 6a that I hope to get done asap..

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Wet and Mingin' SPA Assessment and a A Spot of Bouldering

Nick Embracing the ming!
Over the weekend I ran an SPA Assessment in the Peak.  Despite the horrible wet and windy weather, all the candidates got stuck in.  We found some shelter at Froggatt on Saturday morning to do a few routes and personal abseil, before moving inside to look at other aspects of the assessment.  Sunday was slightly better weather wise, and Lawrancefield roadside bay even had a couple of dry routes.  All the candidates worked hard again through the weather, before moving over to Millstone to rap things up.

Latching the crux reach
Today I have managed to find a bit of dry rock at the crag which is often the savior for me, Woodhouse.  I was with Rose, so as she dug around and tried to scrabble over everything I warmed up on the Clingen face.  I'm still miles away from fully fit, but things are heading in the right direction.  I managed Angel's Crossing Extention font 7b+, which has a crimpy hold that was just to much for me when I was last there.  The move off it was move dynamic than it should me, as I still can't pull fully on crimps like that.  All positive though, and not too tired after my 50 mile bike ride in the ming yesterday.

Finishing off!

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Finger Therapy

I managed to grab a quick hours bouldering today, so the only choice was Woodhouse.  This does work in my favor as I know all the problems so well, I can focus on the things that will help me get strong again.  After warming up on classics like Radium Arete, I got stuck into the tricky problems on the Angel Face.

Two weeks ago I could not hold the slot which makes up the crux of most of the harder problems without pain.  Today was a different story.  After putting a bit of time into routes and problems, I was feeling stronger than expected.  It was a real pleasure to climb Angel Face, Angel Face Roof Eliminate and Angel Face Reverse all font 7b+.  They all felt much harder than before, but it is real progress to be able to do these again.  I still can't crimp properly, but my open hand strength is improving as an added bonus.

Monday, 7 October 2013

Work Work!

Yesterday I was climbing with Izzi.  She has done a variety of courses over the last couple of years in the summer and winter, but through illness has not been out in over a year.  We went to Heptonstall first and climbed 7 routes up to VS, before mooching over to Woodhouse for a more focused sesion on movement.  Considering Izzi's layoff, she did fantastic.

Izzi working hard on weight transfer

Friday, 4 October 2013

Wild and Windy on Aberdeen Sea Cliff

The Steep prow at Longhaven
On Wednesday I managed to sneak a day climbing with Neil on quite possibly the only dry rock available to us.  We not only had forecast rain to avoid, but massive seas smashing against the crags.  Neil picked out Longhaven, North of Aberdeen after consulting some local mates.  It was a good choice, despite the easiest warm up (E2 5c?) being out due to dampness when we got there.  We climbed on Munich Buttress, which is a cool looking prow of rock high above sea level.  There was a fair bit of spray around, as well as sea foam, but we were sheltered enough.

Neil swinging around the arete on Monkey Puzzle

Not wanting to overdo it straight off with my finger in less than perfect conditions, Neil cruised up Monkey Puzzle E3 5c**.  This looked like a steep imposing line, but turned out to be a pleasurable balancy route up the cool left arete.  It had been cold belaying. so I was not overly warmed up and offered Neil to lead again.  He then turned his sights on African Face E5 6b*, which is a very good eliminate up the steep face between Monkey Puzzle and The American Route E2.  Before long he was involved in the crux which was rumoured to be a massive dyno/slap.  Neil hung in there valiantly, but could not commit to the move.  After belaying for some time, I was no more warmed up.  Even so, I took advantage of Neil's gear and climbed to his high point.  On first encounter the move felt committing, but doable, other than my fingers were very cold.  I decided to reverse and warm then up and messed that up and fell off like a complete tool.  This gave me the chance to pull up and brush the holds which were pretty chalky and greasy after Neil had been on them for about half an hour.  This made the world of difference and allowed me to warm my fingers up enough to commit to pull on them.  Despite being weak at the moment, the recovering finger held up well, and the wild slap/dyno fell to a bit of good old fashioned pulling and static grab.  Having forgot to take any rack, I then had to pull some up, before finishing off.  A really nice route, but all about one move, with the rest being around 5b/c.
Neil starting up African Face

Time had run away, and it was a long drive back to Arbroath. So we headed home happy to have climbed some cool routes on a wild day.

Happy with 2 routes stood on top of the Platforn getting battered by the wind