Friday, 23 October 2015

Bolton Boy's School Spanish Climbing Trip

It was that time again, the Bolton Boy's School Spain trip. We had a psyched bunch of lads who all had some big goals, so the pressure was on to provide good venues and good coaching. We started off at Sierra de toix in the afternoon on the day of arrival. The aim was to get moving well on easy routes, but that said, half the team dispatched a nippy 6b. Day 2 took us to Salem. A venue that definitely did not offer holiday ticks, but short routes high in the grade. Despite this the lads did extremely well. Barney redpointed his first 6a+, Adam flashed a steely 6b, then a bouldery 6c and Anosh ticked off a good selection of routes. I managed to bag a few routes too, the best was a 7a+ that was high in the grade. Especially when putting the draws in. Day 3 was a hot one at Alcalali. This was a great crag, with a real mixture of routes. Once they got warmed up, they rattled through a load of routes. Nearly everyone flashed a 3 star 6a+, and half a good 6b. Ryan is the newest of the climbers, but managed a real selection of 5 and 5+'s. I flashed a great 3 star 6c+ before dropping the flash of a 7b+. It went second go at least. Day 4 we headed into the mountains to Forada to escape the poor local weather. This was an amazing crag with a big selection and variety of routes. Despite being tired, everyone did extremely well. Ryan climbed his first 6a, Anosh was on fire and ended a long day flashing 6b. I flashed a top 50 7a and got a really hard 7b second go. Defo a venue I want to go back to. After a rest day due to bad weather, Day 6 took us to Bellus. I think this is an outstanding crag, and we went to a different sector to last year. Again everyone excelled. Ryan climbed another 6a and a 6a+, but was showing real signs of tiredness now. Aston again climbed really well, flashing routes up to 6b+. Adam did his usual and cruised pretty much anything in the 6b/+ range. I climbed yet aother bouldery 7b second go. We escaped the sun and moved around to the north side later on. the aim was to find a project for the final and day. Here Adam made a super quick redpoint of a steep and sustained 3 star 6c. Day 7 was back to Bellus to send projects. We all warmed up then got stuck into it. Ryan Flashed a super 3 star 5/+, as did a very tired Barney. Anosh quick despatched the 3 star 6b, he'd bolt to bolted the previous day. Aston on sighted the hard top 50 6a/+ and Adam made another super quick redpoint, this time of the tricky 3 star 6c+. I rounded my week off climbing Warlock 7c+. A great trip for everyone.

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Busy Times, NGB's and F.A.

It has been pretty busy lately, as the year seems to have been. The usual route setting has been interspersed with some white water kayak work for Bolton School. This has been a nice change in a weird way. This weekend I have been back on the NGB train, with a CWA Training Course. The candidate were very strong, which made for a great course. We had more time to focus on the coaching aspects of the award as there personal experience was good. All seemed to go away from the weekend full of ideas and understanding. Yesterday I ran an SPA refresher day for Martin. We managed to shoehorn in a massive amount in the time we had, and he goes away with a lot to work on to get ready for assessment. The aim of the day was simplifying what he had been shown previously, and giving him a methodical approach. Today I got a morning to myself to go climbing. I had been tipped off about some new lines locally and one that still had a point of aid. After trying to get a partner and failing, I decided to just go and check it out on my own. The plan was to work it out and then try and squeeze in a quick hit to lead it this week. After abbing the line and cleaning a few holds here and there looking at how it might go, I flashed it whilst belaying myself. Happy with this I set about checking the gear out. After climbing it clean 6 times in a row, whilst faffing with gear and belaying myself. My patience failed and possibly ego got involved, and I decided to solo the route. All went well, thankfully and War Dance at Reddyshore Scout received it's first free ascent at E5 6b**. A cool route with some good climbing. I have other bits of work this week before heading to Spain to work at the end of the week. Hopefully the sun will help me shake the throat virus that still clinging on.