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Sunday, 1 February 2009

Be Like Jerry

A couple of years ago i went to one of Grimer's Ape Index lectures when living in Sheffield. Presenting that night was the one and only Jerry Moffatt, he delivered a humorous and deeply inspiring talk. Danny C described it as one of the best nights of his life. It certainly was an inspirational talk and ranked far above other top climbers talks i have seen (John Redhead's Shaft of the Dead Man comes in a close second for comedic reasons). Jerry oozed charisma, he was the man. Flashing America's hardest routes, doing the influential routes of there time in Britain. Mastering all the arts - bouldering, sport and trad. I once met Jerry in Bed nightclub in Sheff, i could barely contain my excitement and shouted to him "your Jerry Moffatt", he looked at me and a big grin came across his face: "Yeah, i am he replied". I spent the rest of the night outside the mens bogs waiting to get another glimpse of him. Jerry's autobiography has just come out. I'm only four chapters in but its a great read. I've just got to the bit where he was sitting on the plane coming back from his historic trip to America when it dawned on him that he was probably the bst climber in the world.
Anyway whilst in Switzerland i had lots of time to ponder things. I knew one of my climbing ambitions was to tick 8c. To me it is the magic grade (not 8b+, soz Steve). Well obviously Britain is not the place for the most do-able 8c's. They're generally short and very BLOC, brick hard in other words. The pumpy ones like True North are often wet so not ideal. Realistically for me to tick 8c it has to be in Britain because its gonna take so bastard long and that is where i live! I can't be arsed moving to France or Spain. In fact it has to be in Wales, thats where i live and this is going to be a prolonged seige. LPT has three 8c's (all hard for the grade uunfortunately!), Infanticide (which i've tried) didn't really inspire me despite being a good route. Its too technical, too many small fidgety moves. No No. I haven't been on Sea of Tranquility but i've belayed Mcclure and Simpson on it and it looks far too bouldery for me. Liquid Ambar is 7b+/c into a extended boulder problem, power endurance and probably the best hard route on LPT- amazing rock and moves. In the 80's DVD it looks mega, Jerry climbs it so well. I turned straight to the LA pages in Revelations. Jerry worked up to it over three years and classes it as the best he felt about a new sport route in Britain. So i think this is the one, i will feel the holds and check the moves when it warms up. I'm under no illusions that i'm at the level to do this route yet but i believe that my climbing style wil be beneficial (I.e. start off shit seige for ages and despatch). What i lack in natural strength and ability i believe i make up in mental factors. Jonny G belives that mental factors are very significant in getting things done outside. How many beasts are out there who just can't be arsed to spend more than a few days on something! They will never climb at there limit. The ability to handle a seige is in my opinion very important when it comes to climbing at ones limit. Patience is a neccesity, of course everyone gets sacked at times but the key is to keep going. So in the next few weeks i am going to get the ball rolling by moving 30 minutes down the A55 to Llandudno, i need to be a local to achieve my Orme aspirations. Liquid Ambar is high up the ticklist and i'm prepared to try it on and off for as long as it takes. Ben Moon climbed font 8b+ at 40 so as long as i can keep motivation up i could be in! Liquid Ambar for me is deeply inspiring, i used to have a pic of Moony on it on my wall when it got E9 7a. This is my goal.


Penny said...

WWJD? What Would Jerry Do? Unfortunately, I can't take the credit for coming up with this ingenious quote but I find it helpful to ask myself this question from time to time... Perhaps in times of low motivation or when faced with a particularly scary/hard problem or route you'd love to flash.
Anyway, as far as "wad ticks" go, I'd say Jerry's number 1 on my list. Well done!

Penny said...

p.s i was looking for your film 'Obsession' but i can't find it online. do you have any idea's on how i can get a hold of a copy?

Doylo said...

Hiya, if you email me with your address i'll sort you out Obsession when i get time! Long live Jerry Moffatt!

Richie Crouch said...

Go crush the fuck out of it Chris! I do hope you will don the white shorts, pop socks and a strong bandana on the day of the eventual success. Maybe get some Fires too?

Fiend said...