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Saturday, 3 September 2011

Hole + Diamond

I've been on my project a few times this week. I've done some good links on the end but the first hard moves remain as hard and as awkward as ever. The route is about 10 serious moves and some easy climbing either side. I am getting better on it but progress can mean learning a bit about the body positions. It remains an inspiring challenge, i've never done a route like this before and i think it is going to take a fairly monster effort to complete. Luckily Tommy is trying The Madness Reigns to the left. It's nice watching someone on it. I feel a lot of enjoyment watching people on my routes. It's certainly more enjoyable than the stressful redpointing i underwent! Seems a bit silly i gave it 7c+ now but i was lacking in confidence after 6 months climbing 7c. My project brutalises the bottom of my fingers as they have to wedge in to allow me to move through the roof. My foot is also bruised as i have to jam it in a hole and hang off it. I'm going to leave it for a week now as i felt a bit jaded today and lacked the necessary growl. I really need to raise my game a little for this one and could do with getting super skinny. This is almost a big a challenge as the only nice thing that happens in work is my lunchtime panini. Think of the bigger picture, topping out on this route will be better than any bastard panini (even a mozzarella and chorizo one).
Back at the Diamond people have been getting stuck in. Pete Robins made the first flash of the Waiting Game and Dyer got the 4th ascent. I went down on Thursday night and raised the belay of the Brute. When we re-equipped it in 2006 we didn't know what went on with the route and so stuck an extra bolt by an existing eco just under the jugs. This turned out to be in the middle of the final sequence and although it was still fine clipping from the finishing jugs above it was a bit unclear and strong people would be able to cheat and clip without doing the final moves. So i stuck two new bolts in. They're not that much higher but it is now obvious where it finishes and hopefully people won't be able to clip it early. I also grinded the old bolts off so its nice and tidy now. Pete Harrison surprised everyone (but not himself) by crushing Never get Out of the Boat 8a. A few sessions ago he was struggling with the high crux but he looked solid on his first proper redpoint. It is quite an impressive second 8a, certainly a step up from Mussel Beach. All the more impressive considering that when i first met him about 2/3 years ago he'd only climbed 7a+! Happy man:

Apparently when George Smith first bolted NGOOTB it had a big hole that made it too easy so he covered it with newspaper and resined over it and blended it in with rock dust. You can't see where the hole was now, he obviously did an excellent job. It's funny to think there's a page 3 girl from 1989 stuck in the rock halfway up the Diamond. She'll be there forever now!
Jim is working Skip of Fools 8a+. I must admit i always thought this looked like the lesser one of the newly bolted trio even belaying Pete on it didn't excite me in 2009. I have to say i think it looks brilliant now. Its great watching Jim going for it on big links. Hopefully he'll get it soon:

I ticked the final one of the North Wales big 3 7c's. There are 3 7c's that stand out from the rest in terms of quality. They are truly great routes that would stand up anywhere. Bad Boy and Boat People are joined by newbie Release the Hounds at the top of the pile. Boat People is a fantastic route, i really enjoyed it this year. It is really meaty for a 7c. It packs in quite a lot and features superb atheletic climbing with a need to really go for it. It's a little more run out than most the routes round here. I'm not normally nervous before setting off on a 7c but i was on this one. I almost dropped the last tricky move, i really thought i was off. Keith also did it that night, it is definitely highly recommended. It's about time someone did Wall of Evening Light too, come on peeps.
Dyer looking for projects:

Shauna staticing her way along The Waiting Game:

Jim on Skip and Ally on NGOOTB:

The little old Orme is currently on the news pages of American magazine websiteRock and Ice. Nice to see it getting some international exposure.
Last night i went to film Lee Proctor on his big Mywn project. He is currently locked in battle but is looking good. Come on big fella! He does well to get off the ground considering he's 14 stone (he's 6ft 6). Not many people lift me in the air when they fall off! I was going to rest but got sucked into doing a bit of climbing. I ended up trying Danny's problem Under the Bridge 7b+ in the gorge, a problem that i'd failed on quite a bit. I instantly felt stronger on it this time and got it in half a dozen or so go's using the right hand method. This is the first proper boulder problem i've done for almost a year. I was pleased to tick a bit of a nemesis and to feel strong but my first thought was if that's what 7b+ is my hole proj is at least hard 7c. I have been psyched to do some bouldering recently, i'm not even dreading winter like usual. I haven't bouldered for so long i quite miss it. It is inferior to sport climbing but i really enjoyed just standing on a pad with no harness on and having repeated go's. It's a simplistic easy life and after a 9 month sport climbing campaign i am actually craving it. So i intend to mix it up a bit and i need more strength for my project anyway. My fitness has been on a downward spiral and although i'd love to do some more long stuff like Never Get out of The Boat i'm not sure it's going to happen now. I'm in a happy place with climbing at the moment, i enjoy every day and feel like one day in this life i might do something hard.

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