Monday, 19 August 2019

Grinding to the Finish line

So at the beginning of last month a window of opportunity opened on the Tosheroon, following my visit with Ethan. I had not only a spotter, but a very talented photographer (Charlotte Milner) keen to document my lunacy. I'll say straight up that I didn't do it this time, however like Turbo the snail I'm achingly close and I'm not giving up. First burn was fairly short, as expected, but spun me into a whirl of technicalities and beta choices..

Previously at this point I'd switched about face on kneebars to tackle the next section facing left. However, the play with Ethan had shown me that removing this tiring and so far fruitless switch didn't stop me getting any further. (both ways still ended with me flumping a meter further in. So with this in mind I tried the easier of the styles to adopt from this position:
Feet First.

Unfortunately, the leg work was not giving me any forward propulsion. Hands stuttered, and once again I Flumped. Ben, my Man-at-Arms, somewhat darkhorse, and fellow lunatic then bravely stepped forward for his go...

Ben did some impressive hip jams and faught bravely to match my flump spot.

Convinced that staying facing right was the way, I moved to a head first approach. This meant an awkward squeeze as the crack narrowed above me head (well chest actually) and flared widely below my kneebars. Once switched from feet first to head, I had to commit to a series of high kneebars for my left leg. This meant I felt like I could fall on my head, but allowed me to establish some tenuous fist jams to drag myself forward. The first on these is the picture above, opposing mounds in the crack wall gave a couple of sweet pots for me to establish, share and move off to the next. This resulted in a new highpoint, and the end of the constrictions. The flare below gave little to work with, but the fist we good enough for a pivot. I cut loose and stabbed a kneebar above my head....

Missing the crucial pocket to drive my heel into, I couldn't stick this. If I had, I may have thrown to what appears to be the handjam at the end of the fierceness...

There now remains three and a half feet of unclimbed Tosheroon, as I've down climbed into the maw in 2015. The psyche is high, but the windows are few, and the summer holidays of fun and family have sucked away my fitness. There is another window early September, but I may not feel fit for the fight. The last weekend in September may give the last warm window this year, Therefore I must get prepared!

Watch this Space.

Friday, 9 August 2019

Cornish interlude

So Stuff happened at the beginning of July and I was all"gotta get the pics..." However, the pics aren't here yet so its now August... Summer holidays have kicked in and the kids are running free, so not much climbing.

That said we went to Cornwall! There's been a lot of chatter on UKBouldering about the bouldering possibilities of West Penwith and Bosigran in particular. So I was quite chuffed to find our holiday home was only 4 miles from that bastion of trad, where I had spent many weekends in the nineties. First and foremost though this was a family holiday, so that meant beaches.

Quite excited to get close to choughs down here, I got a lot closer than this, but this was my only pic. The north Wales choughs are a lot more wary.

Portheras Beach. Some cool blocs, but would require quite a lot of pads.
We had a couple of visits here, the waves could be quite gnarly, but there was this freshwater pool for the 3yr old, and I just kept counting the others....

A colder blustery day meant a walk around Bozigran head. I was keen to show the kids where I used to play, and look out for any bouldering possibilities.

Dylan, his monkey, and some possible blocs around commando ridge. Soon after the moaning started so we curtailed wandering and went back for grub.

Once the weather cleared I was able to get an hour to explore the Carn above Bosullow.

My Hidden stash of boots and chalkbag....

Cornish blessing (I think) on the stile to the carn. My poor translation appears to be "Love the good saints held within". I certainly loved the bouldering.

Just the right height, and a couple of the lines had flat grassy landings. Essential as there was no room for a pad. Too hot for the best line (I kept greasing off) but did a few as the vid below shows.

Be Interested to know who else has climbed here. As it was I found an interesting stash under a boulder..
Any ideas what links Mark's gospel and the Matrix?

Next window of opportunity was an evening to revisit bosigran on my todd. For me this meant ssoloing Black Slab, an awesome diff, and something I did every trip here (nearly 20 years ago..)

Immaculate crater pulling..

Porthmoina Island (I've sat on that many moons ago in my youth) with the ridge in the background (ditto)

Following topping out I was presented with a proper looking boulder!

Unfortunately, the heat was once more against me. Further up, above Kafoosalem I think was an easier proposition with an ok landing, as shown in this vid:

So, all in all, a special interlude, with some happy kids and a happy dad