Well i'm not dead, i've just been busy.
Last thing i blogged about was Caroline's E5 lead - since then it feels like i've not had a minute to sit down and think. Firstly we had a busy weekend entertaining Caroline's Mam and friends who came over to hike up Snowdon - awesome day for it but a weekend with no climbing and only little running. After that things got real busy. Firstly my finger began to feel normal again.... but not normal - i started to hang from the fingerboard with tape on the injury but within a few days i was training again with no tape... was feeling stronger.
Sean and Nico arrived nearly two weeks ago and we spend an afternoon in Lanberis bouldering with them before dropping them off at the BMC international meet where they ripped North Wales apart with E8 onsight attempts and numerous E7 and E6 onsights. Needless to say the combingation of this excitement and the working finger of mine set my psyche levels rising fairly rapidly! Sunday was my birthday (26) and we had study to do so no climbing on the cards. However, Sean and Nico swung by with Adam en route to Gritstone for a few days so we had a bit of lunch and the lads filled us in on the climbing they'd been up to - and we were planning what to do next week, when i'm off work - Pembroke is sounding very, very likely :)
Monday came and with my motivation levels at a new high and Adams encouraging views on Nesscliffe still ringing in my head we threw the kit into the car and floored it to the crag - we'd only been there once before and it was damp - this time it only took 30 mins to get there - nill walk in - and within 30 minutes i had warmed up an a 3 star E3 and was working a beautiful Soaring thin groove/arete, Yukan II, E7 6b. I couldn't compare this line with any other climb i've even been on - it felt utterly desperate. Technical 6b moves alot of the way protected by a variety of rusting old pegs. The seed was planted though - this would be perfect to do before trying My Piano again. It seemed like i had some close, hard trad to play on at last - it was always there, i just never thought it was feasable for mid week climbing! Doh! Tuesday evening - Nesscliffe again - this time, and after only one play on the route the night before i was way more comfortable with the unique rocktype and i managed the route clean on a top rope - the only thing now is getting comfortable with the arete dyno i do to the break - Friction holds for feet, open handed arete for left hand, throw your right hand for a sloping sandy break - looking at a 6m fall from that point minimum in the (quite likely) event of comming off. Hmmmm.... Anyway, Caroline began to work this line too and was making great progress on it before we packed up and headed home - it's good to play on hard lines!
Yesterday, Caroline had a driving lesson so i packed the pad and shoes and went to our local Limestone crag for an hour's mileage. Ended up soloing an E3, E5 and E6 plus a load of bouldering. Now i know someone commented on the validity of claiming E6 for a short route with a boulderpad below it and thinking more about it i have to kinda agree with them. It didn't feel E6 - but i suppose the intensity of the climbing was hard enough for the guide editor to award such a lofty grade. With a fairly packed and sustained 6b sequence getting you up the majority of the route, one things for sure - it's not E6 for exposure - it's for difficulty. Anyway - the point of this bit of the post is that despite the injury and layoff - moves and crimpers are feeling better than ever! Yes!
Now all i'm missing is a load of route mileage and a good summer's climbing is back on the cards!
A week in Pembroke with the Lads, Sean and Nico should get that well underway - I'm psyched!