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Thursday, 31 December 2009

Homage to the Dyer

Just re-watched this footage of Dyer doing Silk Cut. It really is dismaying how he climbs this, you forget what a beast he is cos he only climbs 3 times a year. Sick man, oh yeah. I know your blushing now Neil reading this. Anyway tough shit you beast.

Tuesday, 29 December 2009


Back in the day myself and the Cattells did a few cool problems in the Craftnant valley. Yesterday i went back with Floppy to check the place out again. First we tried Danny's unrepeated 7c Grasswind, really cool feature:

We made slow progress, i reckon Chris could do it next sesh though. Then we moved over to my problem Wonderwall, i was keen to try a right hand finish to it but wasn't too optimistic as i find this problem nails even though i originally gave it V7. Anyway i managed to pull one of the finger jugs off it. Chris did the new crux but didn't link it, its probably 7c now. CJD also dropped his shoe down a chasm so had to walk back to the car with his climbing shoe on, schoolboy error!

Sunday, 27 December 2009

Cave Addiction

I have been considering attending an addiction class to help me get over my current addiction to the cave. I can just see it now, "i'm Chris, i'm 27 and i'm addicted to a cave full of goat shit in wales". I have been there so much this winter but i'm loving it, it truly is a fuckin great place, so much to do if you like hard climbing. Today after a 3 day break i joined the Scouse masses (apparently they're trying to get the cave extradited to Liverpool but i can't see it happening). I managed to get into Sams Finish three times from Broken Heart which was pleasing. Got the start of BH dialled just a bit rusty and unfit on Sams. Hopefully i'll soon be at that last move redpoint crux again and this times i won't capitulate. Then i worked the Wire again, forgot how good this is and considering how much more wired i seem to have the heel toe clamp on BH these days it could be a goer with some work. The contiuing theme of dropping Pit of Hell with fingers 1 mm from the last slot continues, this time it was Richie Crouch.

Friday, 25 December 2009

Your Christmas Sermon

As another year draws to an end rock climbers everywhere reflect on their climbing achievements and memories of the year. Ticks are important for most climbers but also each year it is important to learn about your aspirations and also how to get the best out of yourself. I have certainly had my best year in terms of ticks in my 12 years on the rocks. For me it was brilliant to find some route form again. The 8b ticks were extremely satisfying but i know its not the limit for me. I think sport represents what i want to focus on in the next few years. I've done a lot of bouldering in the last few years but now cranking hard moves on amazing cliffs is what really appeals. The Diamond seige was a great experience too, in the end i ran out of time but the process of getting fitter on the route and getting high, fighting, giving it everything on such an incredible route was immense! I also got a taste for first ascents and i hope to do a few more in the next year or two, the lines are out there. Training wise i am glad i resurrected the deadhang board and i look forward to getting started on this next year again. I have also learnt the benefits of strategic weight loss, if done correctly at the right time it certainly can give you the edge. I think my biggest mistake of the year was maintaining my work during a period of time when i felt in fantastic shape, i really should have crushed more!
Climbing at your limit is so addictive, once you've felt those endorphins after doing something hard you will crave that feeling until it happens again. After i climbed Halfway on Monday my mind started to wander and i found myself thinking about Director's, would this be possible for me one day? I certainly never thought i'd do Trigger nevermind a low start to it. After all its only nine moves into Halfway and with my kneebars..... And this is the nature of the beast, success is brilliant and its important to enjoy the meaningful ascents but most climbers will always be looking forward, striving to improve. Next year i plan to get into the best shape of my life on routes, i can't wait. Here's to some meaty crushing in 2010!

Thursday, 24 December 2009

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Bonnie 3rd Ascent

Pete did the 3rd ascent of Bonnie 8a+ today, another seige paying off. Shauna returned to crush Lou Ferrino yesterday. I pottered in the Cave, managed to get through into Sams Finish from Broken Heart again though. Think this will be the focus of my attention in there now, was so close earlier in the year.

Tuesday, 22 December 2009


Walked up to Moel Y gest with Floppy and Nodder today but was wet, some good looking problems though. Ended up at Hylldrem doing some nice eliminates:

Monday, 21 December 2009

Halfway House!!!

I woke up this morning and cut up an old Dragon with the intention of glueing some rubber to my neoprene knee pad. Part two of the plan was to try some jeans out (extra grip!). Team Liverpool was in the Cave and i could tell it was slightly warmer. Warm and dry - a good sign. I also felt quite good warming up and had soon done Trigger Cut. The combination of knee pad under the jeans seemed to work well and i was soon at the shothole on Halfway. Knowing exactly what to do i made sure of it and crushed it into oblivion, i let out a slightly embarrassing roar (considering the place was packed). I first did Trigger Cut in 2006 and have been tinkering with Halfway ever since so it was nice to put it to bed. Shauna Coxsey almost made the first female ascent of Lou Ferrino, she's only 16 and really impressive to watch, really strong and static! She fell right at the end, i'm sure she'll be back to finish it off soon. I'm quite keen to check out some other venues now (weather dependent).

Sunday, 20 December 2009

Draw thee waters for the siege, fortify thy strong holds: go into clay, and tread the morter, make strong the brickkiln.

Usually i would say a good seige is good for you, the resolve of a climber in finishing off a climb at their limit is very important. On Halfway i'm having a frustrating time, the cave has been wet for 2 months, now its dry but in all honesty its too cold for limestone right now. Warming up takes forvever, in fact i'm not sure if i have warmed up properly in the last few sessions. Horrible icy cold weather, chill factor high! Then there is the fickle knee. Today i did TC first go the knee felt bomber, then i went from the back and it felt turd again. My trouser was in exactly the same position. I hate shit like that! Some goes i don't even make it to the shothole on Halfway, so epic. Obviously i'm not gonna give up i just hope its over soon!

Monday, 14 December 2009

The Seige Continues

My Cave efforts have been intensified, like the wolf who can smell the blood of his prey i can feel the end is near on HH. Yesterday i had a huge session but only managed to get to the shothole once. Today i was a bit tired but managed to fire Trigger first go of the day. I just didn't have the juice for any burly link. The climbing on this thing is so cool. Here is some footage of Danny nearly linking TC from Rockatrocity a while ago:

Monday, 7 December 2009

Over Halfway

Blogging isn't very exciting at the moment as there is not much going on, i have been continuing my cave seige and in the last few days have improved and made a breakthrough. In the summer i dropped Halfway House after the shothole half a dozen times. I was far stronger then than i am now so it was obvious that i needed to figure something out at the end because even if i got there in my current state i would inevitably fall. So the last few sessions have all been about trying to wire Trigger Cut. I repeated the problem (only the 3rd time i've ever done it) and got some nice beta for the bit after the shot which has caused me so much trouble this year. Today i went for Halfway after doing TC and found myself at the shothole, i fell going for the last sidepull twice. An important breakthrough which means this problem is now firmly on the cards. I will rest tomorrow and then go back to it fairly confident. This must be one of the problems i've tried the most ever! At the end of today's session i fell just shy of the RA jug on Pilgrim, more progress. It just goes to show if you put the time in you get progress eventually! Have been climbing with the Robinator a fair bit, he's been trying Bonnie and Daisy From Concrete, always impressive. We even visited the box the other day and dragged ourselves up Mr Whippy, Chocolate Wall, Jack Daniels Connection, Last Orders and Last Rites. Nice to keep the finger in there. I hope your all finding bits of dry rock to climb on during these wet days, it sure is grim!

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Freezing Frost Monkeys

And to think back in September on the Diamond i was telling people "theres no rush, its not necessarily too cold in November". Ha ha, little did i know a month of solid rain was to be followed by some bitterly cold weather. Going bouldering is an epic now nevermind routes. Takes so long to warm the hands up! I've finally started doing the sensible thing on Halfway House, that is practicing Trigger Cut. I've got to the shothole six times in the last two days. The kneebar is now bomber and the crux is the end. The main problem with this problem is that after 4 goes my knee is in agony and starts to bruise. So after climbing today i popped into my local Travis Perkins and picked up a kneepad, hopefully this will protect my knee a bit more. So maybe there is light at the end of the tunnel on this particular problem, well i have been trying it for years after all! Just need to get a bit stronger and keep the seige going.