Monday, 29 November 2010

The Haddock Plan

Dosing in a room of ice, a vision comes from the walls. A swiming fish. A haddock.The Haddock Speaks. In riddles, but poorly crafted enough for the meagre mind of myself to understand.
My new aquatic friend asked me this: "what is your greatest weakness?"

To which I replied that I was weak. Not being able to climb steep ground. His advice rung pure, "To climb the Fou, your greatest aim, you must conquer your arms. Be fit. Lock off. One-armers are unnecessary, but lock off and campus and you shall next summer the pure granite walls onsight."

So the Haddock has given me the key. Depression was quashed and now I am ready for a year of devotion for the Fou.

Cheers Haddock

Monday, 22 November 2010

Processing The Impossible

I had an ab down the direct finish to Peace Process at Tintwistle Knarr Yesterday. It's been regarded as impossible by a couple of people and I reckon they might be right.

After climbing to the highpoint on the E5 (3 metres above a cluster of ok gear), you break out onto the wall. The first hard move is rocking over on the jug of the E5 and you then have no holds bigger than a matchstick for a further 4 metres. 4 metres doesn't sound a long way, but it'll be about 10 utterly desperate moves; Most of which involve laybacking off razorblade edges with nothing for your feet and popping (or wildly jumping) for the next razorblade.

Luckily there are quite a few holds on the wall, even if they are all pretty small. After the 4 metres of ultra-thinness, your first noticable hold appears in the form of a sloping crimp, which you surmount up to another small hold. Then a lunge onto a big shelf and continuing till the top at about 6b.

The end of the difficult climbing is about 8 metres above your gear and the gear is about 10 metres off the deck. The idea of linking it on a top rope is pretty out there at the moment and massively beyond me, but the wall is truly beautiful and I really hope somone with suitable ability and stiff shoes gets on it.

Saturday, 13 November 2010

New Project In The Western Peak

After a tip off of an unclimbed direct finish to an E3, I headed off out with Dan Lane for a look. It was soaking wet and looked like a minor route, so set out to have a look for other new routes.

I soon found that an impossible-looking slab offered a line of small edges with a distinctive 5 foot gap in between the holds. It took a while to figure out, but with high feet, finger strength and what is now almost becoming a trademark hyper-extended finger push I managed the crux.
Pretty Nails, and a great line. I was well stoked. The available gear made the line appear even more classic, with a good cluster at around half height (on a 20 metre wall!) and the crux at the top. 50 foot whippers await...
Unfortunately on my return home I discovered that the line had already been climbed at a reported and unrepeated E5 6c. The description relies heavily on very out of the way side runners, which must of been pre-placed to have almost offered a top rope for the crux.

A quick search appears to cast doubt as to whether the route has been climbed at all with
"Looked at the direct finish to ***** that ******* "climbed";) May be "delightfull" on a top rope;)", but after a chat with the FA it's pretty obvious he climbed it.
And others have obviously seen the appeal of climbing the line without the side runners:
"E5 6c, just a thought, but the real route is still there to be had anyway. Loose the side runners and get the proper line. Now that would be a route worth writing home about!!! That would be historically significant "done without side runners", Joe Bloggs xx/xx/200x E8/9 6c.;)"
Regardless as to whether it's been done with gear on route or not, the challenge of freeing that desperate slab's lethal potential is really enticing. To be on that wall, with gear 15 foot below and nothing but fear driving you forward is what I'm psyched for.

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Ravenswick Video

Turns out Dave is a far better video editor than I, but never mind, I got some extreme camera work in...

In HD. (only joking, we're not rich)

The Ravenswick Experience from Dave Warburton on Vimeo.

Friday, 5 November 2010

Roseberry and Ravenswick

10am: Up to Roseberry. Wet. Ab for a look at the pegs. Pull the pegs out with fingers. Retreat to Ravenswick.

I think I'm going to leave the direct for the next generation. It's one of those routes which just gives you a bad vibe. I've even set off on the lead before now and got up to the crux, but it's just unjustifiably suicidal. It's about F6c, very bold, sandy, thin, and just generally slippy and snappy. If I had to punt at a grade I reckon it would be around E7 6a, just a total death route despite it's relative ease. Hats off to whoever climbs it, they bonkers.

2pm: Arrive at a Ravenswick after cheese at mine. Most of the crag has given in to the torrential rain over the past week, but the black wall is still dry amazingly!

We bouldered around and added yet more problems to the wall. After a couple of V6ish things (The Hidden Treasure and Stranded) we finally found a new problem that really tested us. In fact it tested us so much we didn't manage it! I was pretty close to the standing start, but tips were well and truly destroyed by the end. We're off back tomorrow to try and send what will be perhaps the hardest problem there...