Monday, 12 May 2014

Horror In The Moors - Homing In On A Project

The Terrifying Future Of The Moors
The Hypocrisy Of  Moose, Psykovsky's Sequins, Gold, Fly Agaric - in all these cases, the danger can be comprehended and justified. This means the lines are sane and mere mortals can actually climb them. There's a new breed of line in the Moors however - a type of route that is simply 'roaring horror'. At the Maiden's Bluff today, I got my first sight of the coming tide: It's pretty scary.

I've had a few weeks off from climbing, with absolutely piles of work. It's meant that I've been able to buy a car, which is excellent (driving around, listening to really loud trance), but obviously no new routes have been climbed. It's settled down a little this week, with only about 70 hours penciled in, so I've started trying to get out.

Time off always changes things in the mind. I was in a bit of a hedonist rut before, where I was enjoying day to day climbing, climbing routes that the rest of the world seems to think that I should be climbing, but not actually making any headway with the far nobler task of 'reinventing the Moors'. This is set to change I think. At Maiden's today I started to really feel a drive to climb the arete. It's the sort of thing that is always going to be ludicrously dangerous; it's the epitome of the New Wave.

I'd struggled before, finding a way around the arete that was at least partially secure. There seems to be three types of security in climbing: bomber almost all the time; doable quite a lot of the time, but things rip and sometimes it doesn't work; and then just daft, utterly low percentage moves. I think the definition of old wave routes is that they are somewhere between the first two types of security. New wave is between the second and third, which is why it was important for the move to feel closer to the middle type. If it's too ridiculous, you don't even have a chance.

So the crux is now getting to a position where I could solo it (that's 'could', not solo it every time). And when we say solo, we mean a REAL solo. No gear, not a nugget. Chance of surviving a fall? Low.  It's exciting. I'm interested to see how this one will go. The sequence is so daft, on outside edges of the shoe and so ludicrously barndoory I think a successful ascentionist can happily commit themselves to the asylum.

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