Sunday, 30 March 2008

West Sphinx Direct E3 5b And SesameE1 5b- Wainstones

Both lines I had wanted for a long time. I started on West Sphinx, It went well and a crap friend (over-cammed and with half its teeth sticking out) in a pocket 'protected' the lower crux. I had failed here before, but shouts from Luke down below spurred me on. I pushed and got my foot on the 'dinner plate' where my hand was and then pushed again to reach the beautiful break. A ground fall was on the cards and the juggy crimps were truly beautiful. I arsed about with opposing nuts for a while, but then decided just to ram a 0.5 cam in my good hand hold. It was an oright placement and might have held a fall.


(the picture shows the Supper, Supper direct. West Sphinx is slightly to the right, past the roof and up to the eye)


The feet were called on again to serve their host one last time. A simple move of quickly 'popping' up feet was an epic with this chasm down to Luke- the belayer who was eating a pie. He caught me looking and quickly springed into action with encouragement and belaying. I said I was thinking of trying to escape, but he pushed me on for the direct. I summoned that last bit of strength and pulled for the 'Eye' of the sphinx - a pocket. A slopper! A bit further. There, a jug, but filled with water. Jesus, I panicked for a moment, but then realised only a couple of crap cams stopped me hitting the ground. I sorted my self out, swapped hands and then pulled the easy last foot to the jug an 'forehead of the sphinx'. Scrambling away I smiled and shouted in celebration. The epic was over, the Sphinx was beaten. I stood triumphant on his forehead and looked down at my smote enemy, then had some pie. –nice.


I had certain aims to get my head in for this year’s season of hard slabs. One of those was to solo Sesame. It’s not a slab, but the exposure is good training, on balancy moves. A truly brilliant line – that also provides a warm up for the future epic of Ali Baba. The groove feels over-hanging and with no gear is a truly bold climb. I was not afraid of the groove, but the crack above. I cruised the groove as expected, with a little difficulty on the crimpy pinch and the jugs were reached- over? The easy traverse led to harder ground and a precarious layback and then an awful ‘barn-dooring’ reach to a good jug. Again, ‘Jesus’ was shouted around Wainstones. A truly brilliant day and two brilliant, classic ticks

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