Saturday, 24 November 2012

Video: Physical Graffiti FA

Hardly the best line ever, but I had fun.

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Obsessing on Monos

A mono to the waist- fully locked down and a back-breaker calling you in below. That's the dream. There's a lot of training needed to get to that point though.

At the moment I'm on the weight-gain crusade. I need to get fat so that training in spring is hard. I've managed to get quite a lot on and have been working on pure pull-up ability. I'm still incredibly weak, but a lot stronger than I was.

I'm a bit ignorant of all things training and in my usual 'arrogant' manner, I've declined any help from sports science. In the place of this knowledge I'm entrusting the fulfilment of my dream to chance, common sense and passion.

On the crux of the mono wall I know where my weaknesses lie- mainly in my arm and finger strength, but also in by core strength in being able to use the incredibly high and useless footholds. So there are two things to train: (1) core (2) mono pulling.

Core is a massive weakness of mine, but is easy enough to train for. It needs to be useful core and versatile through the odd moves the mono wall demands. Bouldering should help.

The mono issues are the key issue. My fingers are strong, but my arms are weak. The mono becomes quite slippy just before the hold is latched on the crux move; at the point when the mono is becoming very reflexy. So it's important to develop not only incredibly precise beta for sideways movement on the mono, but also massive reflex strength to bear-down on a slippy mono.

I'm going quite insane with this route now. The micro matters though and the great passion for the intricacies of a unique mono are a further definition of climbing. I need to get stronger.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

A Weekend Back in the Moors

A lot's changing in the moors. Dave's got a job, Sam and Mathew are getting ready to leave the moors for University and even the amount of time I'm spending here's fairly limited.  It was good to get back this weekend though for a get together. It was the Cleveland MC annual dinner, which is always a good laugh and the weekend offered a couple of really good day's weather.

The only problem was that we're all climbing terribly. We've all been doing other things rather than climbing and are all pretty out of practice. We were mainly bouldering down at the duck boulders and getting trampled on by easy problems, but I had a look at a new line through a roof as well. Dave wasn't keen as it was really high and he didn't want to jigger his knee falling off and nor were the other two chaps. With four mats it was feeling alright, but not the sort of thing you want to fall off.

You climb about 6 metres up to a roof, with an ok, but pretty uneven landing. From here a rather scary span through the roof reached some ok incut crimps. It was about this point when I got quite scared, I wasn't really bricking it, but certainly wasn't the epitome of calm. I got a few moves up through the crux and onto some massive flat holds. From here you just need to wack your feet high up on the lip of the overhang and pull up to the top holds, but after playing with this I decided against it and took probably my biggest jump off a problem. A good bit of airtime certainly, and not the sort of fall you want to take onto your back- which you'd be doing if you fell rather than jumped.

It will be a really tip top route when it's done and I don't want to say it 'wasn't to be today', as it probably was, I just didn't want to take the risk.  I felt happy with that though- safe, in control, nearly climbing a great line in decent style. Will be up there with the other classic Moors highballs I reckon and it's great to think there are these new routes still up for grabs.