Tuesday, 11 February 2020

Those Wile E Coyote moments...

There a definitely some openings for new words in the dictionary. The emotion uprising when  the mud has sucked off one  wellie, and the other starts to sink (soulsquelch?), or the feeling that you have fallen for more time then you had accounted for..
This was my experience during my last window of opportunity in Cwmffynnon (falling, not the wellies, I have the approach dialled).
It was an excellent morning with wintery sun, and inversions in the valleys.

I chose to warm up on Troubles Braids, I'd forgotten what good value it was at a highball 6a. No snappy holds, but certainly wakes you up and set me up for a highball day. 

Frank's Wild Years was next. Softer in grade at 5c, but a few fragile holds and unusual moves requires a steady highball head. 

After that it was off to the days objective. A highball crack I'd spied on the walk last month. 
Unfortunately the crack was still wet from last nights rain. However, I was drawn to the wall to the left. Vertical with a slight scoop around halfway, the top edge was looming at around 5 and a bit meters. There were a couple of edges, but the majority of the climbing was on harder mineral slivers jutting out of the volcanic tuff. Ace when they're bomber, but the odd one occasionally goes bang. Certainly exciting for a highball. With trepidation I sussed out the first few moves, and spied out some form of line. The climbing was tensiony and surprisingly powerful, and this urgency of movement delivered me 3/4 up the wall to a good pinch an no real recollection of how I got there. 
My sequence to this point came in from the left and I realised I had no knowledge of the various nubbins being offered as footholds for the last moves to the top. Slowly getting horribly pumped I poked each nubbin in turn with my boot. Hey ho. I had to commit.. 
Unlike Mr Coyote, I didn't hover in the air as the pebble ejected from the wall. It was a moment mid flight that my moment came, as I sort of assumed I would have landed by now.. Although I did soon enough. 
Slightly giggley and no worse for wear I contemplated my situation. I could call it a day. However, I was so close and if I left it there was an infinitesimal chance some other nutter may do it first..
I'm pleased I persevered, as the moment I blindly slapped for the top sloper is now burned into my psyche, fond memories. 
I named it after a blog post I made on a similar topic; "The Cutthroat World of Esoteric Bouldering" and I guess it's between F6c+ and 7a. I certainly had to dig deep. 
Hope you enjoy the video (I included the fall) and I'm sure there's more to come. 
I'm getting rather overtly keen actually.