This evening was my 6th day on. Thurs was spent working Insomnia, Friday on Insomnia, Saterday climbing with Caroline, Neal and Steve at Dinbren playing on Rob's new 8a, Sunday in Parasella's cave and LPT, Monday up at Dinbren and today (you guessed it!) - Dinbren.
Caroline had tried Technicolour Yawn briefly on Saterday and gave it a quick speed ascent on monday while being attacked by Midges and was keen to get back on it in better conditions. I was eager to keep working the tricky traverse of Rob's new and as yet unnamed 8a. At this point it seemed like a possible but distant goal. Caroline was first up and got on her 7a+ without warming up as we arrived late and felt tired. Falling off at the mid height crux due to flash pump and a wrong foot placement. No worries - i was sure she'd send it next go no problem. Lee Proctor (author of the local guidebook and hardworking crag developer) was up at the crag and had checked out Rob's new line before we got there. He was keen to see my sequence and egged me on to try it. So without much of a warmup and with the sun still on the crux holds i tied in and went for the redpoint. The holds felt warm to the touch but for some reason i felt strong on them and made it across the traverse and even made the tricky 4th clip before falling off the warm high sidepull - grrrrrr!
Caroline tied in again and began to climb. This time it was obvious the difference warming up had made. Every move flowed and seemed effortless from the ground. Reaching the crux, Caroline moved her feet up high and latched the right hand pinch, then the left crimp. With her feet high she eyeballed the distant tickmarked edge - the crux deadpoint. But she hesitated. Oh No!!!! Don't blow it here! you've got it!! But then something different happened - Caroline chalked up, crossed over to a previously un-used edge, built her feet up and fell into the ticked jug! Wow! talk about thinking on your feet! From here to the top i knew Caroline would be safe - it was a crack afterall, Caroline's speciality :o)
To most people that send would just be another 7a+ and no big deal but to Caroline it was a bit more. It wasn't by accident that she came back to this route AFTER leading 7b and 7b+ at the crag - for her this 7a+ represented her nemisis! She was rightly chuffed to bits - it was a brilliant and quick send and really worked her weaknesses.
Back to my project. It would be brilliant to send it this evening but it would require pulling out the stops if i wanted to send it without a solid sequence for the traverse - it still felt like i was winging it. I Tied in and pulled on. By this stage the route had been in the shade for about 20 mins and the difference was just what i needed to get me into redpoint mode. No excuses now, perfect conditions! I move along the initial powerful lip moves and sink the high heel-toe lock. Swaying to get the momentum required for the crossover to the left hand edge, it feels good. Psyched, i dab my right hand on an intermediate sloper and spot my target - a slopey footer. Focused on the foothold i release the heel-toe and cut loose. Unlike the attempts at the weekend though i quickly paste the right foot on and span across to the right hand edge. Myself and Neal had discussed skipping the tough 4th bolt and just launching into the tricky redpoint crux sequence above - risking the lob. Feeling fresh and having climbed with pace to this point i looked and the awkward clip and decided. Move on! Reaching up to the high left sidepull, i hike my feet up onto the smears and reach up for the right sidepull. Gripped, I manage to get my left foot onto the crucial edge just as my fingers slip a little on the warm edge. Solid now i make the moves up to the jugs marking the end of the hard climbing. A bit run-out but onto easier ground. Pulling over the capping roof felt amazing! Chuffed! Another 8a in the bag - progress!
Now theres a good evening! Chocolate and homemade flapjacks were had - good times!