Sunday, 27 September 2009

Giveaway Project of the Month -September

This is Mount Doom, to be found near the summit of Cefn Du. It consists of a base of igneous stuff with a wizards hat of slate dropped on top. One route is currently recorded following along the low gouge before questing up the slate above. The low smooth blunt arete is up for grabs and has a bolt belay above in the gouged terrace. Looks about F7c-8?. May require a scrub.

Do the Goofy Mash Potato..

Had a good evening on the Torture rig tonight. I'm now up to 4 pull ups on a 5" parallel box. I've had to switch to some minimal taping to prevent unsightly blood loss, but even with that slight cheat My confidence has certainly taken a boost, I truly believe that I can seize my next chance in both hands and throttle it soundly. I've even managed to get of the ground with the mash potato set non-goofy...

...Sorry I seen to be inventing language. What I mean is I've found that my favoured stack for parallel cracks is with one fist setting pinkie to the rock and the other thumb against crack (mash potato) Now being a lefty I'm setting my left consistently pinkie to the wall (goofy, as in boarding) as this allows a better "squish", but I'm now working on non-goofy. Another key tip seems to be butting the heel of your palm into a "strong" thumb of the other fist.
This is probably all 101 type knowledge over the pond, but I'm slowly clawing my way into new territory for me.
This kind of specific training is nothing new to me. I've found that where intuition, or basically my body, fails me, I have to lean on the appliance of science to get through. One Sport route I put up in the quarries required me to force my thigh muscles to hoist my right calf to chest height with out any other assistance.

Next step is to increase to 6" parallel, pretty much the limit for my diminutive fists
Effort in equals Effort out.
Thus is the path for those blessed with obsession over talent

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Climbing on the anvil

Today has been a being Daddy day. Highlights include doing the whole "I'm an organised and together parent" thing while at the doctor's, while taking up most of the boy's appointment trying to get his nappy back on.. and having our sandwiches together at lunch, while laughing and dropping food (me) and pulling faces due to the discovery of mango (him).
Once we got to that sacred hour that is bedtime, I got to get on my new rig..

Having heard of training rigs on that codex of wide that is WideFetish, I decided I had to have one. Although fairly mini, It will let me beat my fists into shape, hammer-harden if you like.

I've currently got it set to about 11cm (4.5" in yank) at the bottom and 13ish at the top to give me a chance, the fist tape give a comparable friction to slate, and doesn't strip the skin too much.

I can currently do one pull up. I've also found I prefer to "mash potato" rather than fist stack in mirror image. This is probably a well known fact but I was chuffed. Next step is two pull ups, The plan is to get to five and then start tilting it more parallel.

I'm going to need more beer..

Monday, 14 September 2009

Sucking in the Hurt

So attempt no. 1 on the monster offwidth project (code name "Liquid Armbar") occured yesterday.

I hate it when a trad project doesn't go to plan....

I'd borrowed a new Camalot 6 and old style Camalot 5 to suppliment my flexifix 6, and arranged a belayer, all was positive and life affirming.

More importantly, these were big enough (just) to keep this a family man affair. It was all going so well until I started to get tired, and thirsty, and scared.
Like a sheep nibbling the verge of the A5 a bit of fear and I bolted- Straight into a layback. Quite reasonable, only there was no way to return inside and no means of topping out in this style, a rapid retreat below my last gear was followed by a plop and an awkward moment.

All was alright. Much faffing ensued, and I failed upwards to the top.

So the facts:
Its safe enough.
I can do all the moves apart from 3 feet.
The crux crack is actually only 10m.
Skin heals
Pain is forgotten

I guess its training time..

Thursday, 3 September 2009

a mornings work...

Got to have a little adventure this morning. been thinking of moving back off bouldering cracks to routes and remembered a little unclimbed crack in Mancer quarry. Its in the centre of the photo below the mass of cotoneaster. Over the last week the whole lot lost its grip and plummeted into the lake, dropping a bunch of boulders with it. So it was with some trepidation that I abbed over the edge to see if it was distilled death or not. Thankfully the line was unbashed and out of the line of remaining stone shot. Unfortunately its 20m or so of unrelenting cam #6! no chicken wing, no stacks, no kneelocks, just heel toe and scissors all the way.
So anyone wanting to lend your #6 to the cause, as a family man I need about 6 or so..