Thursday, 28 December 2017

Brewing Next Years Psyche 2017

Things have come to a head.  I realise now that for the foreseeable future I'm primarily a blochead,  a pebble helm,  a kieselspanker. Sure I might tie on occasionally,  but this is my lot. I'm alright with this:
This was a key moment.  I'd snatched some free time and thought I'd test my fingers over on the Skadoosh boulder. This is the first independent move on the hard project I've held, and my face says it all really.  Baby steps,  but I'm keen to keep going with this one. 
Another big mass drawing me in is the Marchlyn boulder.  I'm really driven to get the Seamus low start in the bag before the fictious hoards descend. So I decided to try today:
Bit snowy, which meant no scooter,  but I was having to drag an extra pad up, so at least the weights exchanged well.
Ok not been up here when it's this wintery...
Bum. Connies stopped play, much of the rock was mint, but the freeze thaw of the last days wasn't the right kind, and soggy snow sat on the ledges above equalled yucky seepage.
However,  psyche brewed, I carried on completing the patio. Once this wing is raised level with the rest, it will be mega friendly.  
Job done. I'm psyched to train, pick off some treasure,  and enjoy all the fruits of North Wales Bouldering.

Have an awesome 2018!

Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Mates Matter

Monday saw blue skies and cool temps. It was also a day I wasn't working,  I hadn't family ties, and a friend was available.

Get in!
Ben has been my partner in crime for many years now. He's been adventuring without me for the past year or so,  off in foreign climes. So it was ace to step out once more. Even though we had played in mymbyr before,  he'd never been to The Cube before.  Also with it making it into NWB2 I was keen to observe the crowds. 

The weeks previous rain, coupled with low winds meant today was going to be tough to get good connies.  However, the mymbyr boulders on this side have the altitude and the sunny aspect from early doors so I was pretty optimistic. 
Ben actually took some waterproof footwear this time so we could take a fairly direct approach.  I selected the groove for a warm up, and the 6A! Soon had me testing the least comfortable crash out, clipping my knee in the process. Clearly some more drastic crag dressing was required,  especially as Ben was raising an eyebrow by this point.  Out came my micro abb rope and the bloc was well brushed and chalked. 
This time the groove went smoothly and Ben soon followed wondering what all the fuss was about.  Next onto Bertlemans slide, and in the intervening years I'd forgotten the sequence.  Back on the rope, and I thought I I'd found all the holds, and also got distracted by the remaining project up the middle ("Gleaming the Cube "); slopers won't go in these connies,  that and I'm too weak to pull on the stacked mono. 
I decided to give Bertleman's a tickle. Hi on the lip the wheels came off as I seemed to lack the flexibility to hoik my foot up. I threw into lambasting the upper arete, and Ben uttered "Oh God..." 
It was one of those moments, as Ben later commented,  like when Ghandi realised he was shot.  I realised that I needed to climb less like a spanner and more like someone who intends to walk away afterwards. A bit of body tension and a better stab at being flexible, coupled with an iron will not to fall off saw me through. Ben however chose to forego his attempt as I'd provided enough adrenaline for both of us. Maybe I can see why Richie Crouch recommended the guide bumps it to 6C!.
Next was a go at Frontside arete, which Richie walked away from, and gave 6C+/7A! A quick brush,  and my initial tickle saw my hands on the slab with numpty footwork skating my hooves here and there.  A bit of self talk saw me pull together some better coordination and I made my way more respectably to the top.Ben saw my less shambolic ascent as a good sign that this was more for him. A few strong pulls and he was holding the jug on the slab. Unfortunately, at this point the fickle foothold he had chosen parted company and he span towards me from height.  Fortunately although he partially missed the mats, it wasn't a crucial part. 
Still regardless of our efforts,  we both had our adventure fix, and more importantly got to climb in company. I'm realising more and more nowadays that mates are more important than I give credit or time to. I'm certainly going to try to remedy this in the new year.  
Merry Christmas xxx

The key crimps chalked on Frontside Arete.