Monday, 30 June 2008

Past it's sell by date - Eye Candy 003

Right - i know this is getting old so heres the last few pics from the week off - Jean Lou asked if he could take some shots of me going for my first E7 ... heres what came out Ignore the crap ropework... was more concerned with staying on!
Again, not lookin the most steady... Placing the definition of Mental protection - the smallest Black Diamond Cam - placed in a flared sandstone mini-crack. I tested this on abseil and it ripped straight out...pointless!
Ready for launch - all set up on the smears and tiny edges before the crux dyno for a rounded break - i hadn't got this move first go on a toprope ever before, so without any warmup i was all too aware i was gonna fly off at this point. Ripping the crap Cam and (hopefully) stopping above the ground providing the old Peg below me held
I caught it! Now pumped and with the prospect of making it the climbing keeps comming - the groove tapers, getting narrower and narrower, every move feels at least Brittish Tech 6a...
The climbing style changes into something more like face climbing before...
the groove totally tapers out and theres a sequence of Monos on poorish footholds before you reach the top break (Ha, ha! Break! On lead, right below the top and about 10 ft higher than this picture, with no more gear, a handhold ripped off while i was about to top out sending me into one of those wavey armed barndoors!! i just managed to hold on!)

Sunday, 29 June 2008

At last!

I've been having broadband issues at home and YouTube is blocked at work so it's taken me this long to finally upload my naff first attempt to string together some of the footage from our fun week - The vid is from one wet day in Pembroke - Lots of Wet holds from the nights rain but the sun came out so we went onsighting! Typically all the best climbs were not caught on film! and i didn't stick in any of the footage from working the Big Issue as none of us got on lead before the rain came... Enjoy and be kind - my first attempt at editing!

Friday, 27 June 2008

Eye Candy 002

Wider bridging above the crux but still nothing like a hold in sight
Nico belaying sean (in my hat) on his oh so almost successful 1st redpoint attempt. Just look at this position, Palming, hangjam-chickenwing, kneebaring, smearing, chimney-ing, face smear!!

Me belaying Nico - taking a deep breath before throwing himself into the groove for his last redpoint attempt!Me starting up Yukon II, E7 6b - damp sandstone! A great feature but not many holds - or trustworthy gear placements!

Thursday, 26 June 2008

Eye Candy 001

Some buildering around Chester - Under the bridge, the fist jam traverse

Sean starting up pitch 3 of the Quarryman (E8 7a) with me filming and Nico spotting

Me getting into the groove - we all took turns working this pitch before going for the redpoint - i think i counted 3 holds on this pitch!

A typical, chicken-winging, knee-baring, palming, smearing, chimney manoeuvre from this pitch! Physical!!

Thursday, 19 June 2008

Quick update cheat

God it's been busy here with home, work even illness again!
still not quite out of the mess yet but heres a copy of an email i sent to a friend about the rest of the week with the lads .... it'll have to do for now i'm afraid
"Well we established a new 7 foot horizontal dyno in devils gorge, went to pembroke, did 4 E2's, an E3, an E4, 3 E5's, 2 E6's and played on the big issue (Nice!!), got rained on, drove back up to north wales, went to slate - did 4 E2's, 5 E5's and 2 E6's before getting rained on and going to Llanuduno - Went bouldering in the rain at parasellas saw a V13 getting repeated, lead a wet 7a+ 3 times in LPT, went to Dinbren Nico onsighted my 8a from last year - loved it! Then sean tried to onsight it, came off at crux - worked it a bit and sent it 3rd go on redpoint. Then i got Nico playing on my current 8b project - again loved it but didn't send it - i got new beta for the crux though and he fell off at my highpoint on both his redpoints. then we went to slate to do the Quarryman - E6 6c, E5 6b, E8 7a and E7 6c - never been freeclimbed in a day - we didn't manage it despite spending nearly 12 hours on it!! Awesome though - felt like a Big wall! then we went to nesscliffe - bouldered, i lead an E7 - fell off a greasy hold onto rusty little peg in damp friable sandstone above crux, pulled back on and topped out with more excitemebt before the top (broken handhold) - the lads flashed it then, Sean did an E8 after abseil inspection, then Nico onsighted an E7 and Sean flashed it afterwards. yesterday we went to Dinbren after work for soem power endurance training - i lead 4 7a+'s - feeling psyched beyond belief - unfit but focused and hungry for pain - it's training time!"

Wednesday, 4 June 2008

Juice part 1

Last Thursday I picked up Sean and Nico from Manchester. Friday I went to work and when I came home we got stuck into some sweet climbing. First up we went to Devils Gorge for some pre-dinner bouldering. Sean spotted a (not so obvious) challenge inspired by our recent viewing of Stone monkey – a 7 ft horizontal dyno to a jug and wild swing. This kept us busy for ages until it was eventually stuck (I’ll go back and film this one for the blog sometime – it’s nuts!). After dinner we packed the car to capacity and hit the road to Pembroke. Arriving at 2am we set up camp and got up at 8 for a full day on the rock. Warming up at St. Govans we swiftly dispatched half a dozen routes up to E4 between us and made our way to Huntsmans leap – the lads loved it! Straight in for the E6 onsights – damp holds saw the ladz slip off the cruxes of both Souls and Hunterkiller – lack of trad climbing resulted in me fluffing up the 6b crux slap on Minotaur!! Not too bad though as I was fairly happy with the move once I tried it again and it’s the sort of move you do mess up onsight – a reachey (for me!) blind slap to a hidden pocket. Ah well…. Caroline finished up with a E2 lead in fine form before we went to check out The Big Issue, E9 6c. AWESOME! It was really weird to be climbing with some strong lads on a visit – they had no reason to not jump on these hard routes because they’d never heard or read about their reputation – the outlook really rubbed off on me – everything looks doo-able and fresh…. Ripe! Anyway – Nico checked it for gear and then gave it a quick toprope – agreeing that it was 8a+ … he was psyched for the lead but the following morning it was chucking rain!! Noo!! Where now?