Friday, 28 March 2014

The Next Step

I've fallen into a little pattern over the last few weeks. I've been out most days - cleaning, shunting and soloing. The focus has been good lines, with interesting sequences and the result has been a lot of decent routes in the mid-grades.

Some New Routes Of 2014:
Midnight Sun E5 6b **
Ivanhoe E5 6b **
Franziskaner E7 7a **
Top Wizard E6 7a *
GnedelMaedl E6 6a*
Kingmaker E2 5c
Present Perfect E7 7a ***
Arete And Wall E4 6b
Hawthorn Roof E5 6a
Foxy Groove E7 6c *
Jugendstil E5 6b *
Herring Lung E2 5c
The Basstard E7 7a **
Turbot Charger E5 6b *
Turbulent Casade E6 6a
Dominion E5 6c **
Archaeopteryx E6 6c **

Each crag in the Moors has its own little style - it's a bit different to somewhere like the peak in that respect. The rock is different, the size and formations are different, the routes are different. If you compare Billet The Kid, to Archaeopteryx, to Pasketti Alpinist, to Time Captain, to A Reach Too Far, then they're all very different. So climbing new routes is interesting, as you're adding to the cannon of Moors climbing styles. I like that idea, but there's just one little niggle - Difficulty!
The Warm-Up For The Futuristic Herring Gull Project

Aye, it's getting to that time when something a bit trickier is in order. Over the years, I've learnt to follow the swell - when you're feeling relaxed then just have little day trips, gradually ticking away good lines, but then when the psyche gets high, you find the right route and you feel like you really want to do something outrageous, then it's time for a slightly longer headpoint. I still haven't found a project that really captivates me at H10+, but I have found a good range of things at H8/9 that I think I'll be able to do quite quickly and are really really cool.

There are four lines that are pretty close to the lead/solo and they're fairly different in style. At the ultra-technical slab end of the spectrum is the "Futuristic Herring Gull Project". It's basically English 7a from bottom to top, body-positiony, painful crimping. It's the least wired of all the four, but its only the lower boulder moves that need figuring out. Second least worked out is the other H8 - the Tormented Sole arete in its entirety. The original Sole waddles up the arete fairly boldly. This thing solos those same top moves, after reaching them via a 6c/7a heel move through a roof. The crux is quite well protected, but not a romp.
Direct Start To The Tormented Sole
Strangely enough, it is the hardest two routes that I have most wired. "The Rump De Stump Project" (so named because if you fell you'd get skewered by a tree stump) is steady and bold. Physical, bouldery, insecure and blind, H8/9 is the headpoint grade, but it would likely be about E11 to ground-up solo - Bonkers! I like the climbing on this though - it's not really my style, but you do this slab move to get onto good holds on an arete, before messing around with holds held upside down and then a bizarre heel and compression move. There's an arete slap that produces what must be one of the best noises produced by any route. The landing is even worse than Psykovsky's Sequins mind.
Short And Nails  - The Jesus Project Takes the Blunt Rib
And then, the beauty that is "The Jesus Project". Phwaarrr, what a move. I won't bang on about this one too much, but there's going to be a unbelievable photo of this one when it's climbed I reckon. The top move is futuristic and fairly high. It's a good lesson in the English grading system actually, as the move is a full tech grade harder than the crux on Rump De Stump, but due to it being a touch safer, it would probably end up being of a similar difficulty. Hard to know with this one, it would be good to have a second opinion on the landing - one can delude oneself with things like this.