Friday, 28 May 2010

Another narcissistic exploit: The Path to Hypocrisy

I was asked to write an article for the MUMC journal so i thought i'd post the finished thing up here as well. I couldn't be bothered to go in depth with a load of clichés so kept it quite factual, but hopefully interesting:

I keep going- with a belayer I’ve only just met, who looks worried. He’s set up a belay below me for some reason and I only notice this as I decide the only way is up. The top of the scoop looks like a good flat ledge and I’m committed, so I go for it. Wrong move. The slap for the top is met by a sloper and I now realise the consequences. The hairline crack below me had given me nothing and there is nothing before my belayer. The buttress seems to fly past me reasonably quickly, but the pain of the trees and craggy hillside seems to slow the second part of my fall somewhat. I come to a halt in a Holly bush, only about 4 feet short of the ground-proper. I’m bleeding quite a lot, but I can move. Cool.

It’s the Cleveland MC meet at Danby crag- a dirty crag with very few good routes, a lot of undergrowth and many dangerous moss-covered boulders. Me and my new favourite belayer decide to leave this new route, as it’s a bit suicidal, and elect to wander round, looking for some more cool lines. And then I see it. The blunt arête: slabby on one side and slightly overhanging on the other. A gear flake at just under half height seems to invite; with a wall that looks like it offers holds.

I return for an onsight attempt with Dooge and I fail, ripping a zero cam and hitting the ground again. Dave abseils down the line and tells me that on no account should I try the upper arête ground-up. So it began; months of waiting for it to dry out before I managed to get three or four shunting sessions on it. Finally, with the upper part linked, I set out on the lead.

Guarded by the cushion of pre-inspection, the route seems strangely friendly. The un-practiced bottom moves are as hard as I remember, but I arrive at the flat hold with little issue. Tricams and RPs in, I move round to do the tricky rockover, followed by the crux and now out of reach of the gear. I know just how to do the move and I feel solid, my body clamping around the arête. The top rockover is spicy, but I’m showboating now and the line is beaten. Back home for potatoes and beer.

2 comments:

Rebecca said...

"I’m bleeding quite a lot, but I can move. Cool." Haha, yeah.. Cool.. :P

Dave Warburton said...

You do that, after you've hit stuff. AS your so pumped up with adrenaline and things everything is a blur.
It is quite cool, when things work painlessly, or less than you expected :-)