Friday, 18 October 2013

90% Of The Moors Is In Your Mind. BEYOND THE BUBBLE.

Perhaps the Moors is the mind - they sure have a lot in common. Boundless possibilities, dark corners scarcely fathomable, A scape where all can be invented... To most, climbing is just that - climbing. A sport, riddled with facets and nuances, but still just a sport.

In my time in Germany I've come across the refined nugual at the centre of this idea. Climbing here is schick, people wear bright stylish trousers and have shiny gear. The idea is a singularity, with different strands, but all of them leading in the same dimension - difficulty lies in the moves and them alone. The brain is an unfortunate parasite that must be subdued, so that 'performance' can be maximised. How terrible!

The UK is going a little this way, which is kind of necessary for the NU WAVE (to get the strength in there ya know..), but I believe we've actually chanced on a cocktail that's gonna blast us straight through to enlightenment.

At this point you may be starting to think 'what the hell is he on about', perhaps you just think I'm being weird to build some kind of crappy reputation in the British climbing scene, but no, listen to the words, they make sense.

The North York Moors is the very essence of British climbing. Short routes, ultra bold, totally weird, a bit crap and massively sequency.  There is no climbing wall, there are no sport routes, there are hardly any climbers. Some of this stuff is pretty crap for the future (particularly the climbing wall), but people move and the interaction between this time warp of the insane and mainstream sport-side is gonna produce a mutant.

You might now be thinking 'this has already happened' - look at Dave Macleod, he's taken F9a fitness to trad routes. Sort of true I suppose, but then you have to ask the question 'just quite how insane is Dave Macleod?' The answer is... Not very! He stays in 'the bubble'. The bubble is that fabled climbing state in which the climber is flowing through moves, so well rehearsed and dialed, that he can 'switch off', escaping his brain. Sometimes the bubble pops and this is largely interpreted as a mistake.

The NU WAVE forms though and we're seeing people like Nathan Lee talking about 'the bubble' slightly differently. See video from Guy:
Unknown Stones, E9 from Guy Van Greuning on Vimeo.


BEYOND THE BUBBLE is a concept based on the idea that you can't be in the bubble if you're really pushing yourself to the limit. Gone are the days where you toproped a 6c move 300 times until it felt like lobbin ya dog a stick. Now it's raw, roar, roar. This happened on Psykovsky's Sequins. Push yourself past calculation, that's what the NU WAVE is about - the start of the Megatrad. Thinking about the move en route, en move. This is of course really scary, as you can't hide behind your body - the mind is at the front.

Hopefully someone who is actually good at climbing will see this and bring us into outcrop H11.

Thursday, 10 October 2013

The Kepwick Groove Is Climbed - E8 7a - 'Gold'

Richard on the scrittly 7a crux (Photo: Jo Banner)
I always say that I don't mind who climbs routes in the Moors, as long as they just get climbed. It's easy to say that, but it's difficult to control the envy when you're stuck in Munich, training for the Wangledoodle Wall for the next few months, whilst Richard Waterton is waltzing his way up classic Moorland last great problems. But yes, I'm fairly ecstactic that this thing has been climbed. I mean wow! The Kepwick Groove!

The wall is scary. It's small of course (big for the Moors, at about 10-12 metres), but it's fairly overwhelming when you first see it and if your gear rips, you're gonna die. To know it's now been climbed is really cool. It's like another addition to the small Moors family of routes above E6 and a good one at that.

This is the start of 'Gold', combined with the left-hand finish. (E8ish, with one skyhook for gear)

Link of the Kepwick Groove from Dave Warburton on Vimeo.


He climbed it with side-runners, which actually fit quite well with the route. I'm not one to support side-runners, but if ever side-runners made sense, it's here. Of course the potential there to climb the line without the side-runners is appealing, but we'll have to see what happens. I think the left-hand with just the skyhook would be a good outing at about E8 6c, but the right-hand is proper deathy. Perhaps it would be a good project when I live outside of the Moors, as its so far away from Castleton, whilst being very approachable from the south.

Let's hope it's the start of a load of new routes from Richard.