Friday, 19 February 2010

Wicklow Bouldering

We had a brief trip home this week and as usual we managed to squeeze in a afternoon down in Glendalough bouldering. It’s the one place we always seem to make it whenever we’re back in Ireland. But I’m starting to notice that the problems I get on every trip ate the same ones time and time again. There tonnes of others but not being around much I don’t know whats good and where they are. Either way the quality of the problems is excellent and they give a good day out and now I can measure how I’m climbing by how hard they feel. They fall into 2 categories for me now; ones I can walk up to and repeat in a go or two and ones that feel doo-able or desperate depending on conditions. For me (and it’s definitely a style thing) the problems I get on and climb easily enough most visits include King Cobra and everything on the hidden groove boulder, Chillax and Chillax left, Superswinger sitter, BBE sitter, Rhythm and Stealth. They all suit me. The other ones I try but sometimes can’t do would be The Fin sitter and Andy’s arête sitter. Caroline, Kev and Belgian Sean were trying the latter at Christmas but I couldn’t join in due to my shoulder being fecked. This trip I fancied a test – feckin thing felt nails! It’s a great problem purely because it’s not strength dependant – it’s all in your left toe and body positioning, Brillaint! The Fin has just changed a lot since I first did it – it’s been brushed to shit! You can see the sloper from down the hill, it’s a totally different colour now! But it still climbs the same I suppose, great problem!

It was good this trip because Caroline was feeling psyched to try something – turns out she’d never tried Chillax before although she had sat quietly at the edge of many a group of climbers playing on it over our visits to Glendalough every Christmas – it just never looked doo-able to her. This time I said she should give it a go – just hang the holds, break down each move, hold the positions. It was cool to see the progress! She was fighting herself all the way, convinced that it was too hard, reachy, slopey – yet by persisting and trying different things a sequence soon emerged that she could make work. Once she linked the lip to the heel to the jug for the first time the battle was won and she was in project mode – I knew this frame of mind well enough to recognise it. Before we finished Caroline had made it from the start, through the crux and to the jug and just fell off the top-out due to fatigue and cold hands. She was Psyched!! On the way home through North Wales the conversation centred on all the possibilities around for boulder projects – The Decoy ploy, URP, In your honour, Everything on the cromlech boulders! (Nige if you’re out there, where exactly IS the Decoy ploy beneath Milestone buttress?!!?)

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