Saturday, 27 August 2011

A Quick Evening Of Contest, Ground Up

After a day of rain me and Dooge were keen to take advantage of a brief sunny spell an hour before it got dark. A couple of days of heavy rain had rendered the possibility of dry cragging unlikely, but we reckoned Lion Buttress might go, with its impermeable weathered outer service and its westerly aspect. Hopefully we could try the thing I'd fallen off in the dark the other night; an unclimbed wall with bomber gear at half-height.

We rushed to the crag and found it perfectly dry. RAD. Keen not to be climbing in the dark again and optimistic that it would be nice and easy in the light, I geared up and got the bomber kit in with perfect ease- I love placing gear when you know just how to place it, so satisfying.

With my 'bomb shelter' now in position, I rocked over with that familiar ease, a world away from onsight, but still not quite at home with my position. I got the tiny razor dish with my right and muddled around with my feet in the break, desperately trying to get them into a position that felt comfortable. A vague move to a hold I thought would be quite good was met by horrifying sharpness and I plummeted below.
"Damn, that was harder than I thought it would be."

Up again and this time really feeling the power, determined to just crimp the tiny right-hand hold to dust and statically move to the strange micro-spike. I do just this and it's in the bag. I get the little left hand edge and hold my position, just one final move out right. The move out right is a slap to a larger sloping hold which is pretty poor, but I'm going to get it- this route has had enough of my skin and I can hang it. Then BANG, the micro-spike rips. Shit.

Down at the bottom again and I'm almost laughing at how much of a fight this has become. Secretively I'm quite pleased it's ripped, if it hadn't it would have been done and that would have been my and the route's relationship over and I would have branded this wall 'E5 6c**' and into memory it would have gone. But no, it's not only pushed me off, but it's almost re-written the rule book of our contest. That hold was crucial and it's going to be a silly leap now.

I go up and down a few more times, slapping right; nearly holding the poor hold on one occasion, but most of the time just falling increasingly bigger distances.

The route is still up there- triumphant for the moment, but i will be back and I will have my best jumping shoes on for our next meet.


Anonymous said...

Are you videoing these attempts? It sounds quality and it would be good to see a vid of you finally getting nailing it. What grade do you reckon it is now the hold snapped? Dave

Franco Cookson said...

We are indeed filming it (albeit camera shoved in bush and left). Hopefully we'll get it soon.