Thursday, 27 March 2008


We managed to make it back home to Ireland for the Easter weekend thanks to my parents forking out for our ferry ticket.... Thanks!!! The plan was to keep a low profile and just hang out with family and stuff but as usual the pull of the rock saw us making the still familiar trip out to Glendalough for some light bouldering :) Sean M, Belgian Sean, Meave and Andy were all out in force despite the Irish weather throwing at least 6 seasons at us throughout the course of our few hours bouldering! Sunshine - snow, sleet, gales, sunshine again! I always feel like a complete beginner out in Glendalough - despite living in Dublin till i was 22 i never really did that much out in wicklow (mainly because i never drove and lifts were scarse to come by - untill the DCU gang began to invest in motors at least - Thanks lads!). I spent a few visits to glendo dispatching the classics just before moving to Wales but i always find myself playing on the same routes every time i visit recently - all bullshit aside i just like the steeper lines. Or big clean arete's or faces. don't feel even the slightest inspiration from some tiny scrunched climbing-out-of-a-hole-in-the-ground problem. Heres a list of what we played on... some new problem Maeve introduced us all to which was really nice - we worked a variation to it "scraping the bottom of the barrel" - still a project :) Then it was onto the oul faithful - Chillax - this time we did the left finish - without heelhooking the lip... i had played on this last visit with Neal and neither of us could send it, this time things felt easier and i jumped at the oppertunity to bag some more precious proof that somewhere along the way i was improving! Then we worked a 2 move eliminate which Sean V. sent before our skin packed in - beautiful movement straight through the roof!

Maeve and Andy split for the Pub and warmth and the rest of us got distracted by Superswinger and BBE on the way back. Sean wanted to send BBE - in his words - it's just pure - a brilliant problem. A steep, one move deadpoint and swing provide the crux of this wee beastie - i remember working really had 4 or 5 years ago now to add the sitting start to that and i did - just before Mark Katz and Chris Davies came over for the first bouldering meet and climbed it, confirming the 7a+ grade. This Saterday i sent the standing start static first try in rockshoes - and no swing - that never happened before! my foot stayed on! Sean was getting pulled into the problem - holding the swing was killing him - each attempt saw his swing seem to slow down more and more - any of his attempts should have stuck it but they didn't - failing skin and frustration had us packing in. But not before repeating the low sitstart to superswinger (sans creaky crack)... this was another one of mine and it's nice to be able to flash a problem that i had to work on so hard years ago - don't think i'll soon be forgeting those moves! It was cool to see Sean get psyched and repeat it my way and agree it was sweet - YES! I'm not crazy! I knew that was the right line!

Then while Sean was still plugging away at BBE i used what was left of my skin and shoulder strength to go at the sit start - feeling way easier than ever before i was skipping moves and holds and going direct from the starting shelf to the left arete pinch from a high left heel-toe lock.... unfortunately Glendo granite stopped play for the day with an oputragous flapper! Ouch!

Sunday was Family day and it took all of my will power to not go out to the lads in Dalkey and try soem of the lines i was on during the summer - Sean, always eager to take advice or suggestions abotu hard trad lines, jumped onto Alexandria E6 for an onsight attempt and took what was described as an awesome exciting whipper from the Top move!! Haa! I had warned him about that move out in Glendo! :) Class - Wish i had gone out! but was nice to spend a full day with Family all the same.

Great weekedn but as usual - didn't get to meet up with most of the people i would have liked to! i think thats come to be the norm for these visits home...


Stephen Mc Gowan said...

From what I hear Sean went back and sent Alexandria during the week...definitly a great looking line, also it looks really clean at the moment!

Dave Flanagan said...

Hi Dave the Glendo problem in the first two photos is called Squamish, 6a maybe, start under the roof on the jug slap out to the quatz vein, get a heel hook toe cam to the left and mantle. Small but reasonably well formed.
What you seem to have been trying was a rightwards finish?

Neal said...
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Neal said...

yeah, Sean ticked Alexandria on Monday with Damo.

Nice going with the flapper, that's the best I've seen in a while :)
And pity we didn't get to meet up...

good to know you ticked the variation finishes on Chillax Left also - I actually was playing them a couple of months ago with Daire and flashed both those variations you're talking about. Wish I was on the same form as hat these days, sounds like you'll be kicking my ass next time we climb together!

Dave said...

Hi Dave,
Sounds like Squamish alright - we didn't use the heel-toe cam thing we just pasted our left foot and mantled from there - the rightwards finish - same start then just heelhook rightwards to a big lockoff and slap for the very rounded right arete with your left hand. one to look at - don't think it was played on before - filthy!

Neal and Steve - Heard from Sean alright about his send in Dalkey - Great route! And flapper has healed super quick - just back from a quick bouldering session and no problems... now to find a belayer and get onto the project!