Sunday, 24 February 2008
Saturday, 23 February 2008
Despite the wind, conditions were perfect! the route really took some figuring out and having not climbed at Dinbren since before Siurana in October i was having to readjust to yarding off small sharp sidepulls and underclings again! Only this time they were smaller and sharper than any i'd tried to use before coz of the grade! after some time working the route the 2 distinct crux sections became clear and were the only sequences causing me any troubleThe problem with working a route at this time of year is that you risk loosing your belayer to hpyothermia! Caroline was frozen belaying in that wind so on reaching the top i lowered off straight away - letting the holds and moves seep into my sub-consious. i can now understand where the route gets it's name!
There it is... the line, one crux between the 2nd and 3rd bolt with the final redpoint crux being getting to and past the 6th bolt below the capping roof which is a walk compared to the rest. Like all good routes but unlike many typical sports lines this route gives the full tick with a required top-out over the capping roof involving some deft pulling on loose jugs! Great! Hmmmmm.... really got me thinking.
You know when a route has inspired or enticed you when you do a session on your board after getting home from trying it.... it had and i did. now i just need to be able to hold those 2 non-crimp ripples at the top... weighted fingertip hangs it is then! A good start to cragging for the year
Thursday, 14 February 2008
Aside from going climbing soon, this morning i just found out that H.A.P. has moved her blog to http://www.cragbaby.com/. Go check it out - this is a super psyched climber, runner, person who is excellent at setting goals and manages to mix climbing updates with lots of interesting news about everything from culture to family via eco-issues!
Heres a close up of hold 9 that i mentioned earlier - don't ask! I know theres nothing there - it just works! Anyway after that session i began to work the crux of another problem that goes directly up from holds 5 and 6 to hold 10 - this is a recent addition and has begun it's to-date unrepeated life as a sandbagged V8+. As i could do all the moves to 5 and 6 in one i figured it would be worth working. But man what a move! A full on campus heave and throw for a crimper from two tiny slots that you're forced to openhand! After probably 20 tries from a standing start i began to stick it and could finish it to the last hold but didn't have the energy to link the two overlapping sections! It's a beast of a move and felt harder than the crux of Jerry's Roof for sure!
Well time to go... or was it? I still had not looked at the V9 traverse, Thug Mentality. Last visit i managed to work the start sequence and bagged a V7 in the process but totally failed to make any headway on the first move along the lip of the cave - pathetic! Well i couldn't resist trying it and out of the blue things started to click.
I knew from the start that i'd have to find my own beta for this as the video of Sam campusing through these huge horizontal spans was of no use to me at all! Today i found a great combination of a right toehook in the starting cave along with a left heel-toe lock on a crimper near the lip that let me cross-over with my left hand from hold 2 to hold 3 (momentarily) before moving onto 4, the big sloper! From that position reaching hold 5 was easy and a high foot in hold 2 let me cross over with my left again to hold 6! I had just linked the middle half of the route! Awesome! Although i think i ripped an oblique in the process though!! Oooowwwww!!! Anyway, with my right side splitting i kept trying the final sequence... Right hand on 5, left on 6, pull up the legs to get my left foot beside my right hand and throw with my right hand to the big fatty pinch 7. From this position i could actually use the finishing sequence from Sams video and heelhool the finishing jug before dropping onto and swinging out of it with both hands. And there it waits - nicely in 3 sections and requiring way more stamina than i currently have but no move is stopper! I am soooo psyched!!! There is now a V8+, V9 and V10/11 for me to just keep working on till i send them or die trying - It's good to have goals :)
Meanwhile on one of my other favourite sites, Dave MacLeod has been writing about his recent new Mixed routes on the mountains and boulder projects in the glens - It seems he has an uber project on the go but is still finding the time to force new lines up to font 7c as demonstrated in the latest video he posted of him sending on the Heather Hat boulder. Check it out!
Back home in Ireland i see Neal is injured but blogging away happily - Keep the faith Dude! He has made the short list of a blogging award so fingers crossed that turns out well!
and On Irish Climbing Coaching the lads are still working towards enlightening the masses - this time with a nice piece on the drugs aspect to sports - worth a read!
And finally on North Wales Bouldering the usual suspects keep the hard lines comming on the Ormes and at the local Pantymwyn crag
Wednesday, 13 February 2008
It's the Sony Ericsson K800i and so far i've no complaints - but then again i'm not up to speed with the latest trends, plus i'm generally easy to please... I just like the fact that i now always have a camera to hand! Plus i've copied some of my favourite climbing clips onto it - like Sharma on Dreamcatcher, Dave Graham on some 9a in Rodellar etc... Great for killing a few minutes waiting on somebody...
Oh, Happy Valentines Day to ye all too! Resist the lure of the cheesy Hallmark mass produced rubbish! .... but still enjoy it all the same :)
Well i had my first taste of Sailing yesterday in complete calm conditions - and under expert tutiledge i could just about stay on board the tiny Toppa and even make it move and turn and everything - i now know what a boom is and everything! Great Day out and very funny to see things from a complete beginners point of view again - Fun, Fun, Fun!
Tuesday, 12 February 2008
Look, i know this doesn't count as blogging but again, i saw this and thought of you Guys out there - just look at the position he places the two cams from below the crux!! I gotta admit... i'm torn now between starting my route projecting early or doing some bouldering...hmmmm
...and more (they better arrive soon coz i'm bursting to climb!!!!)
Sunday, 10 February 2008
The other pics are from earlier on in the day. Ultimate Retro Party is a V8 that I had looked at before but I couldn't even pull on (noticing a pattern?). This time I began by working the final 2 thirds of the problem from a stand up. Pulling on from a shallow scar with my left and the undercut crack with my right, I spanned out right to the lip, used some toe clamping and all the meagre body tension I had to lock the position and cross-over with my left to a small rail then on to the finishing jug - probably worth V6/7 in it's own right. Then surprised at that, I began to work the start - despite expecting it to be more difficult than it was I dug in and soon had a sequence that overlapped my first couple of attempts nicely and I began to work the complete thing. This is where I think I need to find more focus - I just kept trying and trying it - always falling tantalising close to the finishing jug. I felt like I just wanted to send it quick and move on so we could both try more problems. I guess that’s the wrong attitude to have, as I was just getting more and more fatigued with each try. A problem like that should be wanted and waited for - making each attempt count and resting in between. Ah well, impatience won and we moved on leaving me with URP's sweet heel hooks, and balancy undercut snatching moves lodged firmly in my psyche! Again, another sequence that I was both happy to have figured out and surprised to be able to pull!
This was Caroline’s first time on rock since Spain in October! Well she didn't waste any time, after warming up with a few laps of the roof crack in the slideshow below she went on to try URP and the cramlech roof crack V7 (my one decent send for the day). We were both feeling the lack of bouldering but saying that we were getting up some things that we probably would not have sent before - Caroline had a great run of sends on the cromlech roadside face, flashing most of the lines up to V4 and getting over her initial fear of top outs :) All of a sudden things were looking possible - a great day out!
Friday, 8 February 2008
Well it's been a while in the shaping - the years in the title are irrelevant as it's not a purely annual thing - it's just time. I began 2007 with some fairly hefty challenges, namely:
climb 7c at Dinbren - Try an E8 this year- Run a sub 2min 800m this summer- Run a 16min splash 5km this summer- Try an 8a - Take more pictures- Phone a friend
Now it's time to review things...
- I managed to redpoint 2 8a's (one at Dinbren)
- I lead routes of 7c both here and in France (2 of which 2nd go, narrowly missing the OS)
- I played on a total of 6 different routes up to 8a+ in both Spain and France and could lead them in sections fairly quickly, although I never redpointed them.
- I onsighted up to 7b+
- I flashed a V8 and a V7 boulder problem
- I've onsighted E6 and toproped an E8
- I have maintained a weekly running mileage above 55 mpw since August
What does all this translate to? Well firstly I can see I have progressed a bit but I really have to work on my redpointing tactics if I am going to get the most out of myself. Spain was a prize example - I was trashed from the sheer volume of climbing 7's that I’d no skin or energy left to redpoint an 8! Although I could lead it in two sections within a days work. I need some projects, and I need the time and stability to afford me the chance to work them - hard! Regarding running I’m taking a different approach - volume of miles and focusing on middle distance road races - I just want to get fitter and faster - simple.
So now, what do I want to try and achieve this time around?
- Redpoint 3 more 8a's
- work an 8b
- boulder V10
- build up to 15 finger tip pull-ups on my board
- Increase the weekly mileage to at least 70 mpw and maintain it there
This may not sound too concise or well thought-out but it's all I’ve got. I just need to get my teeth into something and then plough away at it till I send it... I’ll update as and when I feel the need but for now I’ve made my mark in the sand as it were :)
I like his style - his talk and show was nicely pitched and didn't sound like a string of ego-massaging stories and he seemed all-to quick to put his achievements in place but he came across as just very, very sound and down to earth! With pictures from everywhere from Grit, Mournes, North Wales, Pembroke, France, Spain, all over the States, China, Himalayas - John recapped on a career full of climbing. He loves to make a joke of the controversy surrounding his hard trad leads - my favourite line running something like this...
Anyway - it was a brilliant show and another valuable top up in motivation (as if I need any more!).
Have a look at some of the pictures at the link below....
Wednesday, 6 February 2008
Check this out!