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Sunday, 27 July 2008

Full Circle and 8c Dreaming

This weekend i went to the orme. I met up with Danny, Liam and Mickey and Tom Newman - a strong team. On friday Tom did Trigger Cut (with my kneebar), he agreed it was 7c+ with the knee. This confirms my thinking on Halfway being 8a for me. Anyway it was greasy on the orme this weekend, hot hot hot. I performed a bit shit on the box truth be told. Danny and Liam crushed Full Circle despite the grease. Danny thought it was no 8b, maybe 8a+, whereas Liam thought 8a was appropriate. Strong bastards!

I was keen to see Micky pull down and i got my wish today on Louis Armstrong, watching him climb one word sprung to mind - mutant! Anyway i had been hatching a plan all week to go on a a bit of a reccy down LPT. I wanted to check out Infanticide, Neil Carsons 8c. Ding Dong came down with me and we checked it out. It was an interesting experience, the climbing at the top was fiddly and unobvious. Anyway i may check it out again sometime. It has a very hard move through the lower rrof too. Long live Neil Carson. After i went up to the cave and had a blast on In Hell, much to my surprise i got into RA- the first time i've done this. Very pleasing. Oh yeah also i got jiggy with it on the orme - another first for me.

Your Sunday Sermon - Aspirations

We should all have aspirations both in rock climbing and in life. Whether it be to get a big house or to become Alan Sugars next apprentice or to crush font 7a it is healthy to aspire. Our aspirations inspire us and encourage us to keep going in a certain field. The majority of rock climbers aspire to climb harder, this is the norm. Young Danny Cattell has made it his life long mission to climb Johnny's problem on the box, this sick collection of frctionless crimps draws the young star to the box time and time again:

Richard Simpson aspired to climb Action Directe when it was but a pipedream, he trained hard and dedicated himself and eventually accomplished his goal.
In climbing i aspire to achieve many things. From 8a bloc to French 8a flash, but the pinnacle would be to complete a power endurance Font 8b and an 8c route, this is a dream that i think is feasible. I reckon i've got ten more years to get these goals in the bag. Anyway aspire away my friends, aim for the stars, who knows you may get there!

Sunday, 20 July 2008

A New Love and a Wedding

On saturday i found myself smitten with a new board known as the Mill. This superbly constructed set of wooden overhangs is now the Welsh equivalent of the famous schoolroom in Sheffield. When i came on board i knew that getting it filled with mint holds was going to be the key so i contacted my old mucker Rich Simpson and he gave me a very good deal on all his old training holds. He gave me a lot of holds but the important thing was that they were lush and varied. Anyway problems are being put up thick and fast by the likes of Nodder and Liam Desroy. On sat i did a couple of beauts including one problem on the 50 that i think could become one of the board classics. My dilemma is although i'm keen to train at this place i only get the weekend to climb outside in Wales and i don't want to neglect my projects.

Jamie on a 7a (Den)

Sat night i went to the evening do at Katzys wedding. Mule and Danny turned up and me a mule ended up being very silly for most of the night. Anyway congrats to Mark, he's a real man now!
The bride and groom (and Pete Chadwick)

The messiah Jesus H Panton

Today i had another lonely but fruitful session on the box. I felt ok despite it being 3rd day on and got to my highpoint again. Realising that this move was going to continue to cause me problems on the link i played around and discovered i could get the last small crimp keeping my feet low. This is key and i now think i should seal the deal soon. Shame i've got a job really!

Saturday, 19 July 2008

Your Sunday Sermon - Climbing Evolution

In the sport of rock climbing many factors affect performance. It is often the case that a climber will perform a particular feat in his life and never get close to doing it again. Factors such as weight, finger strength, power, power endurance and stamina vary considerably during a climbers career depending on what training or type of climbings he's doing etc... For example once upon a time i used to do a lot of deadhanging and thus had very bony fingers. I used to climb a problem called Basic Knitwear in the school with a weightbelt on, during the last few years of my school career i couldn't even do the moves! Once upon a time during a strange period i got down to ten stone (am 6ft 1!!) and almost crushed Hooligan Start (8a+) at Raven Tor. In 2003 i climbed 30 meters of French 8a. The purpose of this weeks sermon is to illustrate that in your climbing things don't stay the same and you will climb routes/problems/moves that you will never do again. The key is to enjoy those past ticks and moments of glory. At least you've been there. Although you may never get there again there will be many other successes to come. The key to climbing your hardest is persistence, just keep going! Amen.

Something i may never do again- onsight E6, Grezelda Grezelda, Pembroke

Sunday, 13 July 2008

Weekend shizzle

This weekend i went to the orme. I started seiging Trigger Cut again, although i have done this problem i find it hard and can't repeat it, so instead of deluding myself on Halfway House i'm gonna try and get this done again. I also climbed on the Box and got close again on my proj, feels close now. Today my fingers were a bit stiff so i went down LPT where i met Doyle jnr and Holger. Doyle jnr is trying Melancholie- get it done youth:

Ioan also informed me that he reapated Flashpoint too with the heel in close method. he bummed it.
I haven't done a hard pumpy route for almost a year but i was too tempted not to give Bad Boy a go I was pretty nervous cos i knew what was to come. Anyway i forgot my feet at the start and almost almost fell off the end but i made it. Biggest fight for a while, i felt sick. Out of my 46 ascents of this route this was one of the hardest!
This weekend it cost me 70 quid to fill my car up- whats that all about!!!

Your Sunday Sermon - The Evils of The Internet!

For this weeks Sermon I would like to highlight one of the evils of modern climbing media –a particular climbing forum known universally as Cocktalk. On this discussion forum many opinionated berks spout daily some of the biggest load of diatribe ever known to man. They speak of things that they have no comprehension of. I mean after the millionth thread about how hard Rhapsody is compared to Indian Face one tends to lose the will to live. And surely there is only so many top roping debates one can have! Anyway fair enough if you don’t like it don’t read it! This was my policy until a thread begun about Flashpoint. On this thread the idiots went to town on the fact that this problem had a glued hold (completely ignoring the fact that it no longer does). Joncozmysteriouslydevegetated came up with this beauty: “entertaining observation about Midnight Lightning. The words, 'I knew Jack Kennedy' came to mind.”
Yes very entertaining Jon, done Midnight have you? Tried my problem have you? Thought not so keep your witty trap shut until you have. I do concede that this forum does have a use, there is some useful information on there. Just less of the bullshit people please!

Friday, 11 July 2008

More Flashpoint

Finally some pics courtesy of Simon Panton and NWB.

Neil Dyer popped down and got the 2nd ascent this week. The good news is he didn't flash it. I've yet to speak to him to get his thoughts. he returned again and added the obvious sitter too. I'm guessing this will clock in around 7c/+. Awesome Ding Dong!

Sunday, 6 July 2008

Your Sunday Sermon - Trying Hard!

The sport of rock climbing involves many elements which are essential for success. Obviously strength, stamina and technical ability are paramount but one aspect which is often ignored is effort, i.e. trying VERY hard when one rock climbs. You only have to look at some of the top performers in our game. The likes of Steve Mcclure and Chris Sharma do not rely solely on their awesome physical attributes. They battle like their life depends on it. Don't stop until your falling off, just grab that next hold and keep pulling. Having a positive and determined attitude in rock climbing goes a long way. Before you pull on, shut your eyes briefly take a deep breath, relax for a moment and then unleash like you've never unleashed before. It is amazing how you can stay on a climb by the skin of your teeth just by sheer effort. When the Reverend Doyle climbed Drink Driving he actually missed the crux slap came back down and went again, fuck you you bastard. It all goes to show that even to climb your hardest problem all does not have to go perfectly. Just keep going!
Steve Mcclure, a man who never gives in:

Saturday, 5 July 2008

Back to Seaview

Went to the Cave where i met Liam Desroy, his pal Dave, Jamie King and Kook. The strength is now returning, i felt good on Halfway and wasn't too far from crushing Trigger. Me, Liam and Dave went to the box and i felt good there too. I finally got through the Malteser again and got to the last move of my project link up- very pleasing. mind you i felt powered out so there is more work to be done as this move is the redpoint crux.
Went back down to Seaview with Jamie and the Cypriot, was very dry. I abbed down Flashpoint and pulled the loose hold off, luckily underneath a hold remained. The new hold is solid so hopefully this problem has now ceased evolving. This has made me very happy. Anyway i think the sitter will also go at about 7c+ if anyones interested. Matt was keen for the project line to the right, the same height as Flashpoint but with a bit of a highball ramble above it, i abbed down and cleaned a couple of holds for him and he went for it. He pissed the problem and was going for the top out when he pulled off a loose hold and came very close to falling. My and Jamies hearts were in our mouths. It was a gripping moment, he looked certain to fall. Much to the Cypriots credit he regained his composure, i ran to the top to help him top out and the FA was in the bag. A excellent effort on a cracking problem. i got the 2nd ascent soon after. He has amusingly called it Caught Between the Doyle and the Deep Blue Sea, it is around 7a+. Very good few days!


Yesterday i rock climbed the amazing wall down at Sea View on the Orme. This is the best new problem i've ever done by a mile. Its the best problem i've done on limestone and one of the best i've seen in the British Isles. Its a standup start big move to a jug off an undercut, then bust out left to a thin tufa, get a heel toe in, big stretch to a pinch, hard move to a good hold then a high wiggy top out (bout 5/6 metres?). Mule found this problem on one of his exploratory rambles. Nice one mule props to you. The dog was keen for this himself but didn't get round to trying it, after some procrastination he gave me the green light to go for it. I had to ab down it to clean it and sika one hold. I also did the top out on the ab rope. Ok now for the downsides, this problem is wet during the winter months and after heavy rain. We were not sure if it would ever dry so its a big bonus that it dries up. Also the good hold after the crux has yet to reach a atate of stability. I glued it but its still not solid. So i'm either gonna pull it off and clean it and glue it back on or just leave it and hope that there is some sort of hold underneath. Its an intermediate so even if the hold thats left is smaller it will still go. As for the grade i reckon it was about 7b+ for me but could be harder for the vertically challenged. What happens to that glued hold will also affect the final grade of it. Anyway i had to try hard to climb this problem, i was pumped and it was a great experience. Photos to follow...

Now a vid by Ricky Bell of Jap Si in the states