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.

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