On the road to our playground... Snowdonia!
Still psyched from last weekends bouldering and with the pressure on us to collect a friend from the Airport in Manchester on Sat afternoon - we opted for a Friday night, lamp-light, bouldering session on the cromlech. Awesome! Cold, dark but very Awesome! Caroline spent a good deal of time working her sequence on the backside traverse but the lack of light kept her from sending. I took my turn on Jerry's Roof - I hadn't tried it since i managed to fluke my way to it's top over a year ago after applying siege tactics to it. Friday evening by lamp light i pulled on my shoes and pulled on (no warm up) just to try and get some blood pumping and warm up - i hoped to make it through the start and maybe repeat this a few times before going for it - but it felt so good that i just kept going on the warm up! i eventually dropped off the top-out on the lip due to darkness and wet holds! Shocked! But this was my ultimate problem a few months ago! and now i could afford to be sloppy on it - forget foot holds and sequences, cut loose etc... and still hang on - Sweet! Viva la Training!!
Driving home later that night we were both psyched - Caroline wanted to finish her first V7 (7a+) and i wanted to try and find something hard to project. So Saterday morning we get up and go back for the dispatch. Caroline warms up on the finish of the traverse while i try drying the wet holds - Towel, chalk, brush, chalk. She pulls on and despite the damp holds and tired arms from the nights bouldering she cruises through the sequence to the top out. Her first V7 and a sure sign that the training is paying off.
The problem istelf takes a long (9/10 m) sustained line across the lip of a huge roof behind the Cromlech roadside face. Grades for the problem vairy from V6 to V8+ depending on which problem you choose to exit up - it's a real test of pump resistance especially after the fairly tricky sequence of crimps and slopers at the start.
It was a really good experience to see Caroline go through the process of working something she found hard. Seeing the change as an assortment of holds, that on first aquaintance don't offer a path through them, begin to be linked by altering minute aspects of foot placements or hand sequences. And it was clear Caroline was loving it! She really had to put some thought into her sequence - mainly because the thing was so long and pumpy and any wasted energy at the start would mean the finishing steepness would prove too much for lactic infused arms.
Having worked on this problem during 3 visits to the pass Carolines frustration, eagerness and doubt as to if the climb was actually within her was obvious. On her first go today she was silent as she traversed through the technical crux moves along the lip, no easy to make mistakes, arriving at the large slopers with the potential heel-toe lock, she knew that she had climbed the start as well as she ever could and the send was on the cards. It was obvious as she left the slopers that she was giving it everything - crossing over to the holds in sequence instead of matching - breathing hard and gasping as she lurched between the spaced finishing holds. On landing the top of the boulder she let out a excited scream - chuffed! She really didn't think she had it in herself - i love that feeling. Lets hope theres lots more of this to come in the future...
With that success and with the clock ticking i just jumped on the classic thug fest - The Cromlech Roof Crack, V7. I had no love for this problem - it needs control and arms - plus plety of core tension. Well keeping with current trends - it went fairly handily! Score!!!!