Thursday, 30 March 2017


Sooo I only went and sent my Clegir project!

Only 4 weeks ago that I reported I was applying a little psyche to this long term project ( a mere 3 years not as long as Some). This mainly involved repeated watching of my link attempts vid, plenty of boulder setting at the wall, and replacing the Slivers with The Slivers mk2.

Once again I think that success came down in part to improved core. However, trying really hard was also a big factor. Skadoosh is basically a 3 move bloc. Hold the starting holds and weight the foot dink off to the left, Dyno to the crux hold of the Filling, bring your left up to the adjacent slopey crimp, then dyno for the finish of the Filling. All of these elements brought their own challenges.

The day of success was Monday. Dry and sunny, not much wind, but pretty low humidity. It was an unexpected trip out as I thought I was on baby duty, but got a last minute pass. Upon arriving at the boulder I was keen to try some further links on the project, but discovered I'd failed to bring my tripod to gather some footage (data folks!) or my brushes to squeak the holds. 

Resigned to a bit of a slap about I started my warm up on the 6B+ James' Sit Down, and lapped it a few times. I then moved onto the 6C the Filling which shared some ground with the project. Got this a couple of times and then chalkballed rubbed and bashed the project.

First plan was to link to the end from after the crux dyno. I got this second go I think, and ditched shoes for a rest, hydration and a wee(weight loss you see).

I was feeling quite good about the top, and thought I should really go for it from the bottom, as if I didn't really believe I can do it, why was I there?

First few slaps were ineffectual as I wasn't getting the foot/ body position right. This started to come together and I was getting a confident launch. Next slap was short, but almost on target. I then slapped the hold! didn't hold it but that was a case of more belief, surely.

Rest,  boots off, fiddle with the camera wedged in the tree. Check data.

Slap! Hold! boom! fell on my bum. This was a good sign, if I wasn't committing I'd land on my feet so giving proper guns.

Slap! Hold! Match! Step through! Launch!


Still a good sign, I just needed to land the initial slap precisely to give a good enough hold for the final launch. My Biceps were still fresh as daisies, it was my contact that was preventing proper power. Some goes I even was able to readjust on the hold, my left giving good transfer; power maintaining contact.

I'd texted the missus to say sorry but I was Really Really Really close to success and was staying out a bit longer. Pressure was building with a few dabs sapping my confidence, and causing me to thin out the landing, only to drop between mats next attempt.

20-30 attempts down the line, I resigned myself to getting it next visit, and at least I had some good data to peruse. Unfortunately I then went to peruse said footage and accidentally deleted it.

Sore of skin and fingers, mentally a little battered too, I was a bit put out.

I talked myself into giving it one last good go, so I could take away at last some footage. I wedged the camera in the tree again and stepped up to the plate....

Skadoosh 7A+

Looking back, the removal of the pressure of succeeding may have tipped the balance, either that or the rock just got bored of shrugging me off.

Well chuffed. On top of this, 2 weeks ago I managed to send one of Big G's open offwidth projects that he put on the latest Boulder of the Month. More when I get the piccies back off a mate.

Keep trying hard!

Thursday, 9 March 2017

New Toys, New Ploys

Wednesday I got out for a wander. No ordinary wander, this was a wander in wellies to ascertain how much of a ball ache it really is to slog up to the Super prow from Pen y Grwyd. I have nominally nominated the Super Prow to be the recipient of this years patioing efforts. The reasons for this is that now one will ever go beyond a top rope on this thing without the landing being sorted a bit. That, and its such a ridiculously monumental task, I'd really have to try hard to top it afterwards...

"Oh yes, I thought I'd spend my precious free time in 2017, moving 2 tonne of boulders around at 650m altitude, a mere 2km or so from sensible things like roads.."

after half an hour of bog slogging, our objective is sighted...

This trip was also the first outing for my new camera. For years now I've relied on my camera phone to record the monumental delights I've encountered. On the whole its been great, but avid followers may have noted the old phone is occasionally corrupting some of the masterpieces lately, and as I've just moved to a sim only contract, I ain't getting an upgrade anytime soon. Cue a trawl of ebay and 20 quid later I now own a Pentax Optio P80 ; 12.1 mega pixels in my pocket now, with a x4 optical zoom too. All in a tiny package easy to slip in my pocket.

All this is distracting from the fact I was now sweating buckets and had lost the cup off the end of my walking pole. Still the objective was now tangibly close.

Behold the Super Prow

I neither took this approach or used it to egress. However, I had a nightmare on both, so this might be a better Idea.

The start of a patio...

The Idea of slogging up here for a bit of neolithic engineering was seeming more and more daft. Especially as if your feet came off out of control you'd probably swing off down the valley without some form of leash on...

lying on the lip of the patio, looking at the sky..

It had taken me 70mins to reach the patio site. this left me 20mins to shuffle rocks before the sprint to work had to commence.
The prow and the car. I made it between these points in 45mins.

A couple of shots (using the zoom) of a potentially fruitful craglet cluster

(from higher up)

I'll leave you with a shot of the Troubles Braids area. Still lots to do even here...

Come and play (bring Wellies)

Thursday, 2 March 2017

Skill Acquisition; The Wuxi Finger Hold

So Years ago I pretty much pinched James' Boulder. Did the sitters, built the patio, the whole territorial pissing thing. What was left was the aesthetic central line with attractive starting holds, and a damn ugly squatting start. This was the Skadoosh Project. I'm still no closer to doing it, In fact I'm a little further away, as once more years ago, I actually latched the crux dyno.

However, as an exercise in patience, I thought I would apply a little psyche to the issue, and maybe slowly sneak up on my would-be adversary.

This is the opening skirmish; a little video showing what I can do, rather than focusing on what I can't. That'll be the crux dyno then, and linking it all of course. But as Bobo the Bear says "Baby Steps Sir, Baby Steps".

I'm posting quite a lot at the moment as I'm actually getting out a bit, certainly more than normal. I'm also getting a little excited again, Finding the Happy Happy Joy Joy of climbing once more.

Watch this Space
Not for too long though, it may rain or the kids get sick or I break myself again, or I may just forget to post. I wouldn't want you to get bored.