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Sunday, 15 May 2011

Someone at Malham please convince Ondra to pop over to LPT.

This week was a mixture of training and cragging. I went to check out a very cool project with Neil Dyer, a line up a short but sustained red wall. It was very ansteys-esque and very hard too. Probably 8b+ or 8c, come on Neil pull yer finger out! He probably won't try it for another 3 years or so. I went to the Dulas with Heason and we hung out in the roofs. Ben tried Temple making quick progress. Since i did it everyone has used a easier more efficient foot sequence just before the last crux which seems a bit less draining. Ben also did the first crux some mental foot above yer head in a hole method, pretty different really! Looked cool. I worked on the end sequence of my proj and made good progress. The finish is a bit weird as the right wall comes in at the end and your feet go on a slab. This doesn't feel like it detracts from the route when you're on it but looks funny from the bottom. Its bad cos it means its not quite as cool as Temple but good cos its makes it do-able. The moves are all good anyway, i need to experiment a bit more. Ben had a quick go and even got a double knee bar in. I don't care what grade it is, the easier the better as long as its cool. We will see. I went for a quiet and gloomy mill sesh with Nodder (the electricitys off!). He's training religiously at the moment and not getting distracted with routes like he did last year. Its probably what i should be doing but i don't have the self discipline at the mo. I realised thats its time to stop complaining about being shit as i'm not actually that weak. Hopefully there's much more to come though. Yesterday i went down LPT with Pete Harrison, amazingly my first time down there this year. It felt good being down there, its such a good social crag as everyone has to go down at the same time. I even did a new 6, the short but good Bosch Bastards. Then i tried Life's a Beach, this is a previously neglected 7b that's become quite popular with a couple of new bolts. It is also probably one of the hardest 7b's on the Orme. An initial tricky wall leads to a ledge but the final slabby headwall is the crux and even though you're fresh when you get there it has a very tricky move. I did the move first go but then was losing purchase on the crimp on subsequent goes. Boooo i can't do slabs. It was raining though. I had no plans to try Bad Boy before i went down as i thought i'd get too pumped but was pleasantly surprised to not get that pumped. That route always draws me in, its such a joy. Then we headed up to the Cave's. Pete recommended a 7b+ called The Damage Religion that he'd done recently. It's one of those routes that you walk under on the way to Breck Road but never glance up at. It should get more attention as its well bolted and has a very nice bouldery crux sequence. I got the beta off Pete and set off. I utilised what he'd said but also did what felt natural and ended up climbing it a bit differently and managed to flash it. I wasn't kidding myself as it felt pretty steady, even 7a+. Its probably 7b though for most of average stature. Kind of summed up my climbing these days, shut down on Life's a Beach then flashing that in the same day. I'm really keen for some other routes round these parts especially The Mask and Taipan if anyones keen? It's been a good week which has helped my confidence a bit. You don't really know what the state of play is just climbing on your own routes.
Pete Robins went back down Pigeon's and extended Koo to the top of the crag this time. This takes it from 7b to 7cish. I'm quite keen for this as i've always enjoyed Koo. It needs a lower off putting in for it to become popular.

photo by Calum Muskett:

Ondra's back at Malham, still dreaming that he'll come over to these parts. He needs to crush the Orme and do the old aid route at Dulas 9a+.

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