Last week Caroline and myself headed out to Sella one evening after work. We were due to fly back to Dublin on Friday for the weekend and this would be our last chance to try our projects before taking a week long break. Walking into the crag we could see my line in full sun while Caroline’s tufa stood out as a dark black drainage line, dripping from the heavy rain a few days earlier. What to do? The only other climbers at the crag were Agustin and Ivan who we knew to talk to but didn’t really know that well. They came over and suggested we join them at the VIP sector which was in the shade. Then we got the tour – first ascents, beta, stories of flashes or repeats of every route on the crag. Turns out Ivan and Agustin had climbed everything at Sella – EVERYTHING! Ivan even redpointed a new 9a link up at the Wildside just before Christmas. The weird thing was that I had never met a strong climber with Ivan’s build – he’s like a strong version of me. Over 6 foot and skinny and with not much in the arm department. If he can do it yadda, yadda, yadda. Agustin gave me the history of the unrepeated 8c+. Ivan climbed it years ago but since then his fingers have gotten fat so even fitting into the shallow monos is impossible. Apparently a lot of strong climbers have tried it over the years but Ivan’s huge reach on the crux prevents it from being repeated. Ivan then measured my wingspan and then gave me the sequence… as if! I warmed up on a 6c+ and then got stuck into Desert Storm 8a (pictured above and below).
Boulder problem crux on a mono and two finger pocket off the ground and then just jug hauling to a crimpy move at the chains. It’s nice to have a steep shady crag for the evening after work. Psyched!!! Agustin also told me that he had the first ascent of many of the routes at Cova Fuma and that my ascent of the 7c Impackto was probably the second ascent – sweet!
Back in Dublin we had loads of stuff to do but eventually I made it down to Glendalough… in the rain. I was soo psyched for some bouldering it was a but gutting to admit defeat at first. After a hour or more of wet boulder scrambling looking at wet problem after wet problem, crossing the river and back again we tried to dry off the cherry through sheer positivity and huge amounts of chalk. I had never seen this problem before but it was cool. Man I feel weak. No bouldering has left me with a huge power deficit. I just couldn’t hold the holds. Shocking! It’s kicked me into action regarding training though. Monday I hit the ground running – literally. Mountain run, finger board session and a core workout. This morning another hill run and this evening a session at the crag. Time to shake things up and make some progress. Al’s advise of working bouldering power through working hard sprots routes bolt to bolt makes sence – I know just the route!