Caroline is breaking new ground up at Dinbren lately. During all the years that we’ve been climbing on Clwyd Limestone, Dinbren was one crag that just kept shutting Caroline down. She’d never lead a single pitch up there before a fourth night ago and now she’s lead 6b, 6b+, 6c, 6c+, 7a and 7a+. All these leads were dispatched pretty swiftly too! One onsight effort followed by working a route to the chains and then Caroline has managed to send every route on her first redpoint effort. Unsurprisingly 7b is next on her list and with a range of powerful 7b’s and b+’s to try Caroline had spent a few session just testing a couple of the better know classics to see if they’d suit her style… who am I kidding?!?! She was testing to see if she could reach all the bloody holds – forget style! First up was Bandits. Originally this was graded 7c+ and now is 7b+ in the guide – people give it whatever they feel it justifies. Caroline managed to do every move pretty quickly but the long burly lurches between undercuts through the lower overhangs left her zap’ed for the thin and technical middle section. A big ask but a worthy project… Caroline is keeping Bandits for a longer term project.
For now she was looking for something that would push her but also allow progress. Fire was next on the list – originally I put Caroline off trying this due to the really reachy starting moves – they’re brutal! Vince had figured out a different sequence to mine for the start and once Caroline had watched him redpoint it she was keen. No top-roping this time, Caroline choose to work it on lead… before long she was clipping the chains and had the rough outline of a sequence – but unsurprisingly it was pumpy. 3 redpoint efforts that day saw Caroline further refine her moves and she was now falling off the upper wall well above the crux out of sheer pump – her carrots were cooked! The following day Caroline felt like she had been run over by a bus – shoulders, biceps and back were all aching. But desperate for the tick she went up again – the route was on her brain and she was wanting it bad. Again, falling off the 5th clip out of fatigue but further refining her sequence. A few rest days are on the cards for us both and it’ll be interesting to see what difference it makes to us both. It’s really interesting to see someone else go through the process of working something, making breakthroughs and having setbacks… from an outside perspective it’s clear to see that they’ll get it any go given the right conditions, rest etc… but from inside their heads it’s this daunting task, this huge obstacle. I wonder do people think I’m such a good bet to send my projects, do I look as close to redpointing every go… I doubt it! I’ll keep posting with Caroline’s progress as and when :o)