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Monday, 28 June 2010

Upside Doom/Doomside Up

I've bolted up two lines in the main Cave at Llanddulas. Upside Doom and Doomside Up share the same lower off in a hole in the roof (a la Giggleswick). I was hoping the hole would have a jug in it but it wasn't the case so i've left a sling on the lower off, the last move of both routes is to grab the sling. The right hand line (Doomside Up) is pretty shit cos its basically one move (grabbing the chain). I did this but it seemed really hard to grade, the last move was quite powerful so maybe its 6c, maybe 7a, i'm really not sure. The left hand route (Upside Doom) has a bit more sustained tricky climbing on it so is a lot better. The route is pretty powerful and has some cool moves. I did it today and think it is about 7c/+.

The Now and the Next

Whilst working the Temple i kept telling myself that when i did it i would do my best to enjoy not only the moment but also the aftermath. Too many of us climbers spend days, weeks and months desiring a specific moment (i.e. completing our projects), yet when we achieve this often the mind skips straight to the next project. For myself i know i do not spend enough time enjoying the satisfaction of completing a tricky redpoint. Its totally crazy really! Over the weekend whilst enjoying my tick i consumed:
1 box of Jelly Babies.
1 Key Lime Pie
1 Pizza
Lots of Galaxy Caramel
Bags of Fizzy Sweets
3 Milkshakes

Feeling pretty sugared out now but was nice to get this out my system after a pretty strict eating regime. I got pretty stressed on Temple so now i'm trying to relax a bit, got a few things here and there to do but the main plan is to get back to what i was doing i.e. trying to redpoint 8a's and 8a+s. Need to build up the redpoint fitness as Diamond season is approaching and i have some business there that needs completing.
Back at the Dullas Temple didn't have to wait long for its 2nd ascent. Pete nipped in on his way to Yokshire for a first redpoint tick. Yesterday Neil got it too on his 8th redpoint. At the end of my seige he spent a few days doing links and getting it wired. Good effort lads!

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Temple Of Gloom

Headed back to the roof today with Tony, as i said in my previous post mastering the mental side of redpointing is of paramount importance when climbing at your limit. I had held up pretty well on this project but was finally starting to feel a bit stressed with the experience. I think this can happen to anyone after 10 days. Things were not helped when on my first two goes today i fell off the first fb7a+ boulder problem twice, not a positive sign. I couldn't wish myself to the top of this route, i had to climb it, it was time to put in a big effort. I grunted through the start on my next go and was soon at the final fb7a boulder sequence. I had studied the footage this morning and knew what angle my heel had to be at to give myself the best chance. On previous efforts i had sat on my heel more, meaning the hold looked closer but in reality was harder to get the height needed. This time i executed the move perfectly, i got the jug clipped and psyched myself for the final falloffable move. The move to the ledge, jug to jug, surely i wouldn't fall here! I made sure i didn't drop it with a final power grunt. I was there sitting on the ledge. Looking up at the final 9 metres of headwall i prayed for no fuck ups. I peeled all the tape off my fingers with my teeth so i would have maximum friction on the holds. I wiped my feet on my trousers and set off psyched but concentrating hard. Before i knew it i was in the sunshine and the moment that i had desired was here. After my first 4 forays on this line i never thought it would go so quick if at all. And thats why it was such a cool experience! Cheers to all the belayers and to Nodder for the name. As for the grade well like with any FA it is a stab in the dark, myself and Dyer reckon it probably is 8b. It might turn out to be 8a+, time will tell. I'm really not sure either way and am not that fussed either. Anyway it might get its 2nd ascent tonight, come on Neil!!!!
Some footage:

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

The Redpoint Game

Over the last few years i have abandoned most styles of rock climbing in order to improve my redpoint grade in bouldering and sport climbing. I am quite interested in the mental game that is redpointing. To someone who doesn't understand the issue redpointing can seem like the easy path. After all you can work it as much as you want and have as many goes as you want, doesn't normally matter how long it takes. This view belies the reality though. As anyone who has become immersed in the redpoint game will tell you it can be an extremely stressful and thought provoking process especially when at one's limit. In general like anything in life the more of it you do the better at it you get. It is my belief that physchological factors are very significant in redpointing and to become good at it it is important to try and master these especially in multi-day seiges. My most disturbing battle with mental factors that i can recall was in 2003 on Raindogs at Malham. I can remember when i started redpointing putting my shoes on and feeling incredibly nervous in the pit of my stomach. I was almost telling myself i was going to fail. It is these kind of thoughts that it is very important to master. But what is the perfect redpointing mentality, should you relax? or pump yourself up and try and climb with aggression? I guess it depends on the person and the route/experience. After a significant seige on something its also important to keep believing that the end will come. I've spent over 40 days on boulder problems (not as stressful as routes granted) and i suppose belief is the most important physchological attribute. On my present project i have been pleasantly surprised with how my mentality has held up, especially since i've had so many goes in a short space of time (the ususal recipe for mental burnout). Yesterday i got the good hold but my heel slipped off a bit and i couldn't recover. This kind of thing is hard to take as luck does play a part. It is important to keep focussed however and most importantly keep positive!

Sunday, 20 June 2010

Infanticide 2nd Ascent

Pete Robins did the 2nd ascent of Infanticide 8c down LPT today. This was put up by Neil Carson 15 years ago. He did the direct finish Big Bang 2 years later. Nice one!
I fell off the last move of my roof 3 more times, mental block methinks!

Thursday, 17 June 2010

One on One Off

Is the new strategy which will hopefully get me up the roof. This way i'm hoping to maximise fresh muscles and skin. Dropped the last move 3 times now, got a massive flapper on the jug on one go. At the end of every session i go to the Cave to finish myself off by trying Pilgrim and other stuff. Then the next day watch footy games. Watch this every morning to get the psyche up:

Pickles did Masterplan yesterday 2nd redpoint and Dyer scored a hat-trick of 8's downstairs. WIld Understatement, Over the Moon and Mussel Beach (done that one before)

Monday, 14 June 2010

What a Difference a Week Makes

Roll back the clock a week last Saturday i was on the roof with Nodder and Jack. Me and Dave were seiging the moves, doing most of them but it felt nails (i.e. 8b+, 30 day affair!). The last boulder problem was hard however you did it, with my method involving a very powerful crimp move. This was right at the end of the roof section, i guess like usual in these situations i tricked myself into thinking it would get easier whereas in reality the beta was to hard for the position. Fast forward a week and i've just fallen off the last hard move to a jug, hang on, how has that happened????? Never has something felt so much easier in the space of 3 sessions. And thats why this route will always have a special place in my heart, the climbing is amazing and when i finally worked it out it just clicked. I love everything about this route, even the top out through the top of the cave, tis a great summit. Yesterday was rainy and humid and far too greasy so just put in some linkage. The main issue i now have with this route is that i have to drag one of the holds and this has already cut my finger, i can't do it with tape cos it slips so i'm gonna have to try some superglue on the wound. Hopefully this will sort it.

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Progress like

Been having a whale of a time in my two favourite caves. Made good progress on the roof this week. Today i did the crux finish with a different sequence that was much more high percentage. Thanks to Nodder for this. Also starting to put a few small links in, unfortunately some of the holds have been a bit slimey. It has been pretty moist and sweaty. In the other Cave i finally got into Rockatrocity from the start of left wall. A much desired moment! Was pretty boxed though. Am slightly concerned that i might be slightly neglecting my Diamond fitness plan with all this upside down climbing. Its so much fun but i need to keep the bigger picture in mind for August. Too much to do thats the problem!

Monday, 7 June 2010

Pool Of For Nodder!

Nice work to the big guy for crushing Pools, a long held ambition. Footage here of DC doing it:

Got spanked on another 8a, this time on the crack of Over The Moon, got up there first redpoint but couldn't make those rattly jams work! Nails! Went back to the Dulas, started drilling the hold but it wasn't looking good so i resined as much of it as i could which will hopefully do the job. Let the seige begin.

Saturday, 5 June 2010

The Roof

Had a great session on my roof project today. I bolted this last year and have tried the crux finish a few times since. Went with Nodder and the Ratt today, despite the heat it was cool in the Cave. Me and Nodder had a long sesh on it and we finished beasted. Such a cool route with amazing moves - very sustained and a hard boulder problem right at the end where you don't want it. Well psyched! Unfortunately a crucial hold on the first hard section is now very loose, i'm going to have to think about trying to pin and resin it.

Thursday, 3 June 2010


I have spent the last 2 days climbing at the Cheedale cornice. This place isn't often dry so i thought i'd go check it out as i hadn't been for years and the tide was in anyway. Met the Hamer boys and Char down there. Me and Char got on Powerplant, a classic 8a with a hard perplexing crux. First go up was shit for both of us then i got the crux sorted and got through it first redpoint before fumbling and powering out on the upper wall. I didn't stick the crux move again that day. Next day i fumbled the top wall again. The crux i always felt good on but never executed the move consistently. Basically it brought it home that i'm not clinical enough. I should have done this route, must improve!!! Char and Sam dispatched:
Char on Powerplant

Andy Hutch on K3:

Mcclure was at Dogs Dinner Buttress. He repeated Pedigree Chum the other day and was now trying the extended low start which adds perhaps another 8c/+ at the end. Pretty meaty, i got some footage of a 'training go'! Always a pleasure watching world class climbers operate:

Mcclure warmed down on Powerplant, i was knacked so buggered off home. Back to the drawing board!