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Saturday, 3 August 2013

Speckled Jim

I reckon 2011 was my most fulfilling climbing year ever.  I bolted 26 routes and managed to climb 24 of them.  One that got away was a line down Pigeon's Cave just right of Stark.  Dyer had spotted a cool diagonal rail above some big undercuts and there was a possible finish up a cool groove feature up and left.  I abbed in and bolted it, initial efforts felt very hard indeed. I could see a sequence but it was super fingery and powerful.  On one go i pushed my knee against a slopey ramp and as i felt it take some of my weight i could see some light at the end of the tunnel.  2012 came and went in the splash of a massive ugly raindrop.  One of the downsides of the route was that it did seep so needed some dry weather.  It dried out in September and armed with the new 5.10 kneepad i fell near the top after 5 or so sessions.  The next day it got wet and stayed wet and i spent the winter fantasising about getting back on it.  It had me captivated, when i first linked it to the top from the half height undercuts it became my favourite thing in the world.  The moves were really funky and unique and there were some great features and big slopey holds.  After slapping out to small positive part of a slopey ramp you did 4 foot moves with youtr hands in the same place to walk your feet into the kneebar.  The kneebar had to stick for 4 more hand moves before a shouldery and tensiony finish using one of the nicest holds I'd used on a route - a waterworn slopey pinch.  I resumed my efforts in spring this year and managed to do it in two with a short rest straight away.  Getting the job done would prove problematic however and i fell a lot coming out of the kneebar and tensioning to the last hold.  I packed the sessions in and started to get tired, then i got some strange forearm injuries and had to stop climbing for 4 weeks.  I started climbing again but Pigeon's was a no go in 25 degree heat, the holds are like butter in these conditions.  I really wanted to get the route done for the guide, it could be one of the last hard FAs i might do and it would be special to do another hard one on the Orme.  My first session back on the route was a disaster, i couldn't even do it from halfway and i broke a piece of the undercut off.  Everything seemed stacked against me on this one.  I glued the hold back on and then finally on the day Pete did Dark Energy i fell off the top again.  I've never been so happy to fall off something  but was dismayed at finding a foot move hard on the new highpoint.  I knew getting out the car today that the conditions would be good.  It's a bit of a nightmare crag and getting it mint is half the battle.  I warmed up on Pill Box then headed down.  There were some big numbers present- Barrows, Shauna and Ned.  I felt mutant on the dog and knew this was the time.  It went down first redpoint, the last move was proper 50/50 but i ran my fingers up the wall to the final crimp and got the jugs.  The route is called Speckled Jim (Genereal Melchetts Pigeons in Blackadder Goes Forth) and it's 8b.  The one man who i was worried might think its totally piss is Alex Barrows as he's taller than me and has some pretty nifty kneebarring skills.  To my relief he confirmed it wasn't and reckoned it was harder than Kali Yuga and La Connection,two 8bs he'd done earlier in the year. Phew!
Photo: Jack Geldard
 
The beasts were taking advantage of the good conditions.  Stiff Upper Lip got flashed 3 times by James Noble, Barrows and Ned and they all reckoned 7c+ and probably easier than Follow the Prof (also flashed by James).  Weirdly they reckoned Koo Koo was the hardest of the bunch!

5 comments:

Jack said...

Well done Chris, good to see the project come to fruition!

Jack

Doylo said...

Ta pal

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