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Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Spain 2

Its still wet here but yesterday i completed my trip project: Le Cara Que No Miente. For me this is one of the most fun routes i have ever done. Burly moves off amazing pockets, tufas and undercuts and culminating in a really fun redpoint crux dyno to a bucket. When i did it the top run out slab was damp so i had to dry out the footholds with chalk which made it more memorable. It gets 8a+ but probably would be 8a in Britain. Whatever i really enjoyed it, nice to be back in the 8´s. Hopefully i can get another one done if the weather picks up a bit. I have never seen so many brits out here. Lucy C has been trying an 8b+ 40 metre route on El Pati (this is the sector with La Rambla). I´m sure she would have done it if it hadn´t been for the weather. Stam lord! I tried Mr Cheki 8b+ the other day too. Not for me though, very fingery and old skool. Makes Darwin Dixit look like an 8a+. Simpson has been ticking along enjoying himself. He did Tic i Toc again (hard 8a+), 2nd go was nothing to him. I will post some pics and maybe some footage when i get home.

Saturday, 28 March 2009

Spain 1

It is raining here. Shit, Climbing has been good so far. I´ve stuck to my game plan, no onsighting, no stamina. Fell off the last move of one 8a and fallen off the crux dyno on le Cara, should do it if the weather picks up. Today i tried Darwin Dixit at Margalef. Made famous by Dave Macleod who claimed the first 8c solo. The route is amazing, very steep start to a mono move and some pockets. It is however a long way from 8c, the holds are all jugs except the mono and thats a juggy mono! I flashed most of the moves. Very good solo but more like 8b/+. Easier than Melancholie, Simpson agreed. Cool crag. I would like to come back and do it some day. Rain rain go away come again another day.

Saturday, 21 March 2009

I am going to spain

On monday i go to spain with Simpson, Rachel and Mark. We are based in Siurana but i am keen to check out Margalef too. I have no expectations as i have no stamina or onsighting ability right now. I don't want to get stressed pumped and pissed off so i will try only short routes. There are a few in Siurana that i'm keen to check out. le Cara Que No Miente specifically. I've been on this before and its pretty cool. We will see, i'm keen to chill out and soak up some rays so its all good. Its hard to leave the orme at this moment. I hope you all crush your projects, keep the orme fire burning for me while i'm away. ciao

Arran on Last Rites:

Friday, 20 March 2009

Round 2

After getting my windscreen fixed i headed to the orme with Bennett. After a quick warm up we headed to Liquid Ambar. The tide was coming in so i abandoned my plan to do the bit i had done alright on and decided to try the first hard boulder passage. I did the move off the crimp to the undercut with the heel first go, good. Then it was the undercut to undercut move- the hardest move on the whole route for me. I kept trying it the Jerry way, but it still seemed unfeasible to slap into the high undercut with those feet. Time to experiment, i flipped my feet round, got a knee scum and toe hook and bingo i could get the undercut slowly. Pulling up on it still felt hard though. Amazing i was happy. The tide wasn't threatening too much so i tried what is probably the redpoint crux the Jerry slap. After a few close goes, i gave it some growl and latched the hold perfectly, i let out shriek of delight. Get in. Back in the Cave later i thought about all the beasts who had tried Liquid but not suceeded- Malc, Nic, Jonny, Mcclure etc... It felt nice to think that with a bit more strength and fitness and work i could be making redpoint attempts on this route. Fingers crossed.
Had a burn on Jack the Drunk after- held the slap but then my foot popped, bastard!

Thursday, 19 March 2009

Sams Finish

A year or two ago that dirty bastard Sam Cattell did a right hand finish to Clever Beaver, at the time we just regarded it as a bit of fun but i showed it too Nodder a month or two ago and he said it looked dead good.He was right it is dead good. Observe the pics of Holger and Bennett:

I finished it off today and managed Nodders 7c low start too, dead good! Bennett fucked up his skin on it, a good start to a four day trip - punt! Never before have i seen such amatuerism! Funny though.
Mcclure turned up, he informed me he had just done the barrel reverse into the groove. this is Katz 8a link from year ago and a 2nd acent i think. Pete might have done it recently though - dunno! I asked Steve about liquid and he said to him it was just a power problem. He's had one day on it.

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

New Vids and LA Pics

Some uploaded stuff (nothing too exciting)

South Lakes bouldering

Spidey falling off Time for Tea

Dinbren Sport Climbing

And finally 3 sequence shots of the Liquid Ambar Simpson method courtesy of Gruff Owen:

Monday, 16 March 2009

You must be bastard 'kidding' me!

I pulled up next to Treat me like a Person (6a+) route on Pen Trwyn today when a fucking goat knocked a stone from above and it totally cracked my windscreen. Little shit. I stopped the car then a second later down it came. Fucks sake.
Anyway i've been doing some easier routes with The Cypriot. I say easy but my route finding skills have got so rusty that i'm cocking them all up. I mean when your doing a V4 move on a F6a you know somethings to cock. Bouldered in Cave and on the Box also today. Nearly did Mules right hand finish to Clever Beaver, Sams Finish 7b+, very good and worthwhile. Here's Nodder

Also had a good burn on Jack the Drunk and repeated Last Rites.

Saturday, 14 March 2009

Day of Nearly's

After work this morning i was psyched to climb. So where else to head but the Orme. Usual saturday scene in the Cave, hommes in abundance! I was reluctant and lacking confidence because of my bad shoulder. However it hadn't stopped me too much outside, although i couldn't train there are still moves on rock to be done. I had a good blast on Broken Heart falling off the last move of Clever Beaver - was boxed but happy to get there, low fitness = bad. Jim fell off the end of louey, come on fatty pull yer finger out. I was interested to see how i was going on the box, it had been a while. Luckily with this place the years i have spent climbing here always carry me through even when i'm a bit out of practice. Ted was still trying Drink Driving, being a charitable gent i offered him some beta and he said it helped but was too boxed (pardon the pun). Next time Ted. I have three more links that i would like to complete on the Box, the hardest i believe could weigh in at 8b, ultimate sustained crimping! Big numbers, we will see. I decided to give one of them a blast, Drink Driving starts up a 7a called Pill Box Original. I have done several links starting up the much harder Jack Daniels Connection (very hard 7b) and last year nearly did Drink Driving starting up this, anyway i am pretty keen to finish this off. I wasn't feeling anything special today but on Pill Box muscle memory alone i got through to the crux section. Missing the slap i fell but the crucial thing was i had more in the tank, i pulled back on and i had more strength in me. So i'll probably try this again before i go to Spain next Monday and hopefully it'll turn out not to be a freak day this time.

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Jobs a gun un (he hopes)

Just got back from sticking 6 new ecos in LA. Cheers to Bonse for belaying me for 2 hours. Observe one of the old bolts i wacked off:

Anyone who has got inspired to try this after reading this better leave it a few days for the resin to fully settle.

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Day of Reckoning

Today was the day, after months of thinking about it and studying footage i was going down LPT to try Liquid Ambar. My expectations were obviously low, my greatest hope was that the route wouldn't be so beyond me that it wasn't worth trying. I wanted a hard project but not an impossible project. Firstly on a route like this you do the moves then think about small links then big links then the redpoint. I was fully expecting to be facing moves i couldn't comprehend. Me and Tommy went down on this damp afternoon after warming up in the cave. Looking up it looked intimidating, i was so excited just to get on this classic, so intrigued to see what the holds would be like, could i hang the positions? The first thing that went through my mind though was the state of the second bolt, so rusty i was scared. I clipsticked it and pulled up quickly to get the next bolt in, i had no intention of trying the vertical start yet, i knew i could do it, i wanted to try the meat! On reaching the good holds on the start of the steep section i was quite startled to find a lot of glue reinforcement! Oh well i didn't care about that. I pulled up to feel the first left hand crimp, it was small but had good friction, the next undercut was positive too. I had a few goes then ventured higher i wanted to see what the supposed crux was all about. I grabbed the pinch simpson used, it was quite good but it was obvious going up off it would be extremely powerful. There are three methods on the crux, Simpsons powerful pinching, Moony's small crimp or Jerry's undercut reach. I opted for the latter, it was at the limit of my reach but i could get it. Be like Jerry,I almost stuck the move! get in, i did the next move and almost the move after. This was going well, better than expected. I went back down to the first boulder problem, one move felt very hard, undercut into undercut. I couldn't do it and it felt dismaying. Hopefully this will get easier with time. Quality wise this route is superb as you would expect. I estimate that the two boulder problems are Font 7c one after another, font 8a for the whole 8 move sequence and the start is about fench 7b+ up to the steepness. I got home and put the footage of jerry on, mega, so psyched bring on the seige. Looks like i may be living in Llandudno for a few more years! In the next day or two i hope to get this route rebolted and then everyone can try it safely. Long live Jerry!

Monday, 9 March 2009


Some back in the day footage from Hoole street:

Broken shoulder

I'm up and running. Broadband at Doylo Manor went live this morning. The leather reclining settee has arrived. All i need now is a good women to get my tea on the table when i come back from the Mill.
I've started venturing back out to the crags and it feels good. I keep falling off broken heart just before the jugs and i don't really know why! Very perplexing, i experimented with the left heel and found that its bomber if you put it on the left of the louey hold and push it back against the roof. This feels very easy for 7c+ now. Good though! The cave is thriving these days with hommes from all over.

Darse did In Life midweek, good to see the young buck again. He runs round the Cave like a headless chicken:

Lincoln did Pit of and Ted took time out from the box to do the Highlife. I even showed Bennett round yesterday. The other day i really hurt my shoulder, don't know how. Its still not right. Instead of stopping climbing i have decided just to avoid moves that will aggravate it. This is not good for my climbing twice a day routine (be like simpson/moon etc..). The deadhanging was cut short by my injury but hopefully i'll be able to resume this week.

Went to Angel Bay with sausage yesteday to try Manchester dogs was in good nick, this is essentially a one move 8a. It fitted Lincoln like a glove and he pissed it, impressive! I feel i will be able to do this too, maybe need to get a bit stronger though. You have to do the nearest 8a to your house! I'm off to the Mill, bye.

Monday, 2 March 2009


Nothing much to report from my own climbing right now, apart from curling my fingers around bits of wood on manmade overhangs in order to increase strength and body tension. The Mill remains a source of inspiration, i enjoy the fact that i can go in and do a new problem almost every session such is the packed nature of the main board with varied holds. As usual 7a+ is the most frequent grade, these usually go down in a session. Indeed i give every problem i do in a sesh 7a+ regardless of how hard it felt. Nodder and Ian are the other prolific First Ascentionists and between us the place is getting an armoury of good problems. Neil James Mawson came the other day and flashed a load of stuff including a B of mine, better downgrade that one then. I think that the grades are close to Den grades but maybe slightly softer. It doesn't really matter as it is a higher and steeper board than the Den and thus hard to compare. We have a system of 'Mill' grades which works well and thats the important thing. I have been doing a lot more problems on pinches than usual, its nice to see an evolution in my climbing style. Went to do a few routes at Penmaenhead yesterday with Matt and Tommy though and felt well rusty. No surprise there.
Good effort to Ty on ticking 8c in the forest. He nailed Satan i Helvete assis in a sesh (spent two days? on stand). Nice to see that the young man is still progressing and doing the same business in Font that he has done anywhere else.
On a less stratospheric level Ted has ticked everything on the Box now apart from jonny's and drink driving (won't be long i'd say!). I am now starting to fear for my remaining projects. After the crimping machine has done DD he might turn his attention to these!
Peter Robbins has done Broken Heart from Louey, he used my BH sequence, good effort as this is a very insecure way of doing it. It seems Pete doesn't suffer the same groin danger as me. Probably cos he's more felxible that Dhalsim after a yoga sesh.