Thursday, 3 June 2010

El Rincon

Lats night i went up to Dinbren and met up with Vince. Rob and his girlfriend were already there brewing up in the car park and everything felt very chilled out. It was warm and sunny and there was no breeze. After Fridays attempts and relative success on El Rincon i was keen to try again but would happily accept more baby steps of improvements - fine tuning a sequence here, fighting a bit more there - i knew this route was going to take some time and i was enjoying the process because it felt so damn impossible in the first place. By the time we had warmed up the sun was just leaving the route but the holds still felt warm. I went up it placing the draws and repeating the big link from Friday evening - sweet! Now if the setting sun would only create that familiar cool breeze i reckon I'd have a really good stab at the redpoint today. Vince went off and he worked and then redpointed Lulaby a nice 7b and then we returned to El Rincon. I tied in and gave it a redpoint attempt with my foot full on the gas! everything felt at my limit and i was grunting and shouting my way up through the crux and then through the traverse... locking off on the split finger side pull crimp i pulled my body in close to the rock, built up my feet and crossed over to the undercut and mini rest but i didn't have it in the tank and my fingers just tickled the good hold as i sailed off, coming to a halt around the first bolt. More progress!! Woohoo!! We moved along the crag once more, this time Vince wanted a go at Lee's Extreme Ways, 7c. Working the climb bolt to bolt Vince echoed my first impressions of this climb - Pumpy! Lowering off Vince asked how many goes do i seriously think i can have on El Rincon in an evening? I didn't know but my fingertips were feeling fairly raw at this stage and things were getting cold - this was going to be the last effort. I tied in and stuck the initial deadpoint crux with ease, no more awkward had faffing, every hold was taken correctly and my new foot sequence executed correctly and quickly. This time i was aware i was climbing quietly, instead of grunting, i sealed my lips and breathed through my nose, keeping tension. At the end of the crux i made a snap decision to clip with my right foot on a higher and far worse hold, allowing me to clip and continue straight into the next tricky traverse sequence without having to reposition my feet. Crossover, gaston, shouldery lock, pinch, snap to undercut, tense, span to split finger side crimp, build the feet, lock it down, huge crossover into the undercut, stand up onto edges and control the barndoor while matching. Relax - it's in the bag! Clip, chalk, breath, side crimps, layaway, high right foot, sloper, backstep, bump the left hand up onto higher edge, smear left foot high and rockover onto it, dab the left hand intermediate, go again with the left to the high sloper, high smear with the right foot and reach to the pinch! Yes!! After that the finishing roof passed in a blur - it had never felt so easy or controlled! 8a+ or nails 8a i don't care. Current consensus at the crag from the Yorkshire wads is that they've been on easier 8b's and i'm happy to give it the 8a+ for now which it was originally graded and get on the current online database. Chuffed and once again my eyes have been open to whats possible with a bit of effort! After that we returned to the 7c and Vince dispatched it no worries, opting as i did to skip the last bolt and run to the chains. A perfect evening!

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Great effort! As for the easier 8b's comment, sounds like they've been spending too much time in Kalymnos! Its a good 8a, bouldery 8a+'s are like font 7c/+ e.g. Caviar, Pump up the Power etc....

Dave said...

Hi! Cheers for the comment - I'm happy to take "Good 8a" for it, no worries - I'm lacking experience at this grade and am still just breaking into the "baby 8's" so obviously theres alot of bluring between where 7c+ ends and 8a starts and so on. Has me psyched for loads more though! :o)