Thursday, 24 March 2011

O'Gradey's on lead H9 6c/7a **

So I got on my project today, O'gradey's Incurable Itch without side-runners.

I had the moves pretty wired, not perfect, but I was confident it'd all come together on the lead. The first couple of shunts went well and I was scared, but stoked and calmish.

On lead it all went smoothly, the E4 start bit was fine and clipping the pegs not an issue. I cruised higher up the 6b groove, now 8 metres above the pegs and into the crux.
A big move out onto the wall is followed by the worrying move- getting a foot super high and onto a little edge. It popped off. I held it. The ground was 20 metres below me and concentrated my movements.

I don't know what went wrong, the rope went over a little edge, which I had to move and burst my bubble. Negative thoughts then ensued on the crux. I knew my foot was wet from that last hold and this spiraled into doubt.
I was off.

Bounce off a ledge 7 metres below me, away from the crag and nearly hitting the other wall, as I swing Jack jumps off the ledge to take in slack. The top peg snaps, clean in half. The second peg rips. The E9 gear is now gone and i'm trusting the gear on the pre-amble E4, this is about 8 metres off the deck on a 23 metre route and a lone poor size 2 nut.

Jack managed to take in enough slack for me to come onto it and it holds! The rope starts to come tight just as I hit the floor.

I don't understand how Jack took that much slack in and when I look up at the pegs I can't believe I'm still here.

An ambulance is called and I'm taken off to Tameside General, but I'm fine. Theres Nothing broken, just a seriously bruised arse, knackered ankle, rope burn round my neck and a dented helmet. Definitely time to re-consider doing these kinds of routes.

So get on it! It's now an open project and my estimated H8/9 6c/7a has become a little harder since it is obvious there is no real gear. I'm done with it, open for you all.

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Tintwistle bouldering and Refining O'gradey's...

With most of the Manchester crew spending the glorious sunny day at BUCs in Sheffield, I was left without a partner for the weekend. A bit of asking about and it turned out Matt Reid was excited at the possibility of checking out Tintwistle, so arrangements were made.

After a moderately heavy night of DnB rave and port we were pretty tired and didn't get to the crag until 12.
The first outing was up a blank wall on the right-hand side of the quarry. It was totally devoid of holds and was basically palming off dishes and stepping up with increasing insecurity. We only managed to get a few moves up and the next move was hard, so maybe one to work, or just wait until we are significantly better.

We realised we'd shredded through our tips a little bit, so then got straight onto working O'gradey Incurable Itch (E6 7a). Still to see a side runnerless ascent, it's been a long term project of mine, with about three or four shunting sessions on it now.

Finally today I felt like I was in a position to lead it, but not before I got reminded of the difficulty and brutality of the crux. I was confident before today that my recent finger strength gains would make the crux feel easy and a lot more secure, but I learnt that this route had very little to do with finger strength and was going to feel incredibly on/off however good you were. Such thoughts made me think of the eventual grade.
The last runner is a peg, which flexes. Even with this holding, you're looking at a 15 metre, ground-scraping (and definite injury on ledges) fall. Luckily though I don't think the climbing is as hard as the last guide proposed. Probably E6 with the side runners, but for someone of my height it's a wild 6c, rather than a dimension-bending 7a, especially with my new beta.

Despite the possibility of it 'only being 6c' though, it's looking like H8 could be a bit of a sandbag....

The day was finished off on the lower boulders, which are really top notch. Matt managed a Font 7b pretty quickly, whilst I worked on doing a Font 6c no-handed. I managed to get the top, but used a hand on the top out- still quite chuffed with that.

Monday, 7 March 2011

New Problems at the Pumphouse

I had a beautiful day out with Jack Rotheram at the Pump House today. My ripped finger has morphed into a revolting callus, but it wasn't too painful today, so could occasionally use it.

Project one, which is a large rock over off a very poor edge, was sent after three goes today, which was really satisfying, latching the juggy rail with all points off.

Project two was a bit more 'pie in the sky'- one which I had tried last Thursday and just managed to do every move. After a bit of effort with the footwork towards the end of the traverse, I managed to get a move from the end. I had another rest and then failed again. Only after a third go did I manage to swap a gaston into a layback and finished off one of the more difficult problems there. Font 7c?

O, and the slate was fun. The new shoes were a bit crippling, but I managed to get up 'heading the shot' after 1 fall screwing the crux up. Was nice.

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Project at the Pumphouse

The Pump House in 1979/1980 © Jiduvah

A sunny couple of hours after lectures weren't wasted today as me, Jack and Tereza got out to the Pump House. We did a few cool lines, some of them a little dynamic and high ball, which was fun.

Tereza got bored and me and Jack hung around until we found a cool project traversing the whole of the main wall. Took us a good while to do all the moves and linking many of them together was too much for today. It definitely seems like something that I could eventually do though, with loads of difficult moves from Gastons to Laybacks.

I will be back soon for some working.

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

First Route of the Year- Wings of Unreason

Had a nice potter up Wings today. Was nice, bit dangerous and not very taxing, but a nice feature and a deserved classic.

Was nice to massage the Ego with a waltz about, but my shoes are now totally broken and I need some new ones before the Rainbow slab calls at the weekend. I'm psyched for the coming spring season of trad climbing, should be fun.

I couldn't have done it without Ollie, who took out ALL my gear.