Tuesday, 31 May 2011

A Question of Style

On Sunday morning Caroline warmed up by sending her project at the Wildside. Cuestión de Estilo takes a powerful line up a single striking tufa through consistently steep terrain. It is famous (infamous) for it's wicked crux move that utilises a painful two finger pocket that has to be taken with the front two fingers as an undercut.

It winked at Caroline back in January but she resisted trying it until she had finished her other project. Caroline was inspired to keep trying this route after watching and talking with some members of the Ukrainian climbing team who were visiting and playing on it. One woman, who had to work it a fair bit before eventually redpointing it, was discussing and sharing beta with Caroline as they were of similar height. She reckoned it was closer to 7c+. Later that day her coach informed us that she usually onsights 8a's and had redpointed 8c+, hence her surprise at being spat off a 7c.
Caroline spent some time working on her own sequence through the crux but could never give it more than two goes a day as the sharp pockets would shred her fingers and the powerful style left her wiped out after only a few attempts anyway. Just when she seemed close to sending it the weather stopped play. It turns out that despite staying completely dry in even the heaviest downpour, the route seeps really badly for weeks after heavy rain making it impossible to climb. I suppose all those tufas have to come from somewhere! Sunday we got to the crag and it was the driest it had been in over 2 months. Opting not to take a warm up, Caroline jumped straight on the sharp end and put the project to bed once and for all. A brilliant lead and one I know Caroline is especially proud of for loads of reasons.
Heres the video...

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