Monday, 10 February 2014

Spring is a-coming in, Lhude sing cuccu!

Some dry rock today. Back on the Wangledoodle and trying a project that we found last week. The weather is not poor! Whilst the last week has been quite wet, it has been less wet than the week before. This means that things are drying and good sequences can be linked between the wet streaks. The wind also took a dive at about 4pm, meaning that the walk back over the moor was actually quite enjoyable!

Sideways on Rump de Stump. This is the new project that takes the left-winding arete with very little to oppose the barndoor. It's an ode to obsession, looking like it's going to be eliminate (although it's not) and moves that are going to take ages to get solid-feeling! It comes down to three moves on a very positive arete, with some very powerful and balancey sequences. There are currently two moves that feel utterly wild.

The first thing I like to do with an unclimbed line is to categorise it; figure out whether it's going to be figured out in a couple of sessions or a ridiculous futuristic line. With Rump de Stump there are a few things to consider. The climbing is fairly interesting as it's steady away 6b type stuff until a very smeary section with crap handholds. Really high feet mean you end up sideways. I think the crux just scrapes in at English 7a, but fairly low in the grade. This positions it in the "mid-difficulty" projects of the Moors, which is about the difficulty that I'm currently looking for. It's also very bold, which is great, because it means that the overall difficulty of the line is going to be increased. Balancey, short and dangerous... Basically what I'm looking for.

It's still too early to say whether it's going to be new wave or not - really on the edge and long-term. Once conditions and sequences improve it might turn out to be H9 or something, which is a little easier than I'm really looking for, but still certainly worth doing. It's hard to say at the moment, but getting out on these days is what is going to make spring a treasure trove.

The Wangledoodle on the other hand is still an enigma. I played around with the entire crux sequence for around an hour and everything was feeling alright apart from the last move. I count 6 English 7a moves on this now, which makes it quite sustained! It's a bit too hard for me to be honest and a bit safe (still not a sport route like, with only a couple of R.Ps for protection), but it certainly does me some good to get on it.

Comparing these two routes is particularly interesting, as they are so opposite. Sustained vs. bouldery. A great line vs. a gap filler. Bold vs. safish. Hard vs. easier. The Wangledoodle always seemed like a complete dream; a route that was almost perfect, but just way too hard for me. Like the Mono Wall, like The Hypocrisy of Moose, I always assumed I'd never do it. I still think I might never manage it, but it is an inspiring line and I'd really like to see it get done.

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