Just tucking in to some ice cream after passing my driving test. "Tastes like victory". I had had three dreams about the test, one I passed, one I failed because I had my boulder pad on the back seat and couldn't see, and one strange one where we drove to Magic Wood. Hmm. Now, I just need a car/insurance/good crags to drive to, and my life is complete... 1/4 isn't too bad.
Back in Glasgow at the start of term which means I have the false hope that I'm going to actually work this year and also that I'm getting a spanking from Dumby projects. I want to complain about the grades here, even though I like the whole "Dumby grades" and "No ego-ticks here, sunshine". But I think maybe I'm more up for arsing about than getting stuck in to projects, so I only have myself to blame for not making much progress. Like, I've got a bare foot tick list going...
... I can't help myself - If In Bloom is 7C then fuckin hap slappy is 7A+, Precious is 7B and everything I've climbed in inverness at 7C can come down a grade too! HA.
Sunday, 14 September 2008
Another day at Dunty on the boulders today with the boost. Was pretty chilled, going around dodging midges climbing the odd problem. I initiated him in to the experience that is knifewound wall. He seemed impressed but the usual sore skin stopped us after a while. Nic repeated the Richie Betts classic of dagger and nearly did The untrained ear. I managed a problem which I'd been looking at for a while but not really tried. It climbs the Dagger for a bit but keeps going right to the Rope. It's a great problem, with a dynamic throw at the end. The Stabber, probably 7B, to be honest I don't have a clue about grades. It's only a few moves longer than the dagger but deserves a name better than "Dagger extension" in my opinion... partly because the landing is terrible.
Friday, 12 September 2008
Last night was bouldering with Richie is his new van (nice!!). I'd come quite close to a line on knifewound wall before heading to Portugal and was really psyched to do it before going back to uni. I was concerned that I would have lost some crimping strength after arsing around on jugs for 2 weeks. There's still no path to the wall, but to my mind it's the best spot for hard bouldering in the area. I couldn't pull off the ground on Wooden Nickles, but that was maybe because I hadn't warmed up. We tried a counter diagonal line to knifewound, another project for the future.
The line I wanted to try consisted of a small mid height roof, one properly tiny crimp and an funky hanging arete to finish. It's great, if a little sharp. And hard, i think... yeh, hard... err.
It something went like this:
"Richie, can you work out the start moves for me, i'm struggling to get a sequence"
"Sure Mike I'll see what I can do"
"Gee, thanks Rich!"
"I can't work out what to do..."
"Ah... will I show you what I've got so far?"
"Was that it? Did I actually start from the start??"
"Err yeah, nice one"
It was like that on the thing at Farr, I couldn't remember actually starting the problem. Or any of the moves, but, must've done them, you know... how else did I get here? Weird.
The Settler, Font 7C, maybe 7C+, but probably 7C.
Thursday, 11 September 2008
Sagres, Portugal, that pointy bit that sticks out into the atlantic, no, not that close to Africa really. Dry red earth and shrubs split by a road upon which we walk from the camping to the limestone sea cliffs. The sky is blue, the sun is hot and it's windy too.
DWS... I had a good idea that ditching the ropes would make things easier... but after 2 weeks of swimming, getting soaked, drying, climbing for a few moves falling in, swim back.. repeat, I think hanging on bolts makes climbing to the top of something way easier. Initailly I could accept falling off everything above 6b+, it takes a bit of getting used to right... but by the end I still took falls of just about anything. It got quite upsetting but couldn't do much about it, so decided to skip 7a+, 7b, and 7b+ and try to ground up a 7c. If I was going to fall off I may as well be falling off something hard...
Ponta Garcia is somewhere for more experienced DWSists so the week we spent there was a struggle, various reasons for this: 1. swimming in to routes. hard to have a good go at a route after a 60m swim through water which, ok wasn't the north sea, but should've been warmer by my reckoning. 2. No chalk on holds. shouldn't really complain about this but I've not done much 'proper onsighting' ever and it makes it harder, but it was a good experience to try climbing like this. 3. Condensation. what a pain this was, the caves and roofs were pretty wet most of the time. 4. some holds had bird poo on them. 5. tides. They weren't big, but they swallowed dry-bag legdes greedily.
Excuses out of the way, I had a good time here, some ticks that I'm pleased with, some quality lines and excitement getting pumped on a traverse, going off route and into desperateness quite a lot. Routes here are a good height mostly and the rock was pretty good. We had a day at Fossile cave, didn't get on that well with it but probably needs a bigger effort to get into the routes here (and to clean the bird poo of the holds).
Match of the Day was my favourite route here even though I didn't actually get very close to it. It's a big overhanging wall with jugs. It feels high, which it is, but the fear is definately there from the start so every move is exciting. The time I climbed my highest, on our last day there, I went left instead of right and in to big undercling moves which increased the fear and down I went, splash... your not supposed to look down when you hit the water but that's harder than you'd think - you get a face full and a fat lip. Compare this to slumping on to a bolt. Then you've got a 60m swim out.
Ingrina was supposed to save us from the difficulties of Ponta Garcia. Not as far a walk, walk-ins to routes, good stuff. It was really cool. One of the crags, the smiley face, was found to have fallen into the sea but there was still plenty to go at for the week, and could've stayed another few days to try the projects and other stuff that's in the Rockfax guide. After spending a few days falling off 6c+'s, enough was enough and I got on superbock, a 7c. It's a 6c for 7m to a through cave, then goes out horizontally for 4m or something. The strategy was to get a little further every time which seemed to work... Eventually making it to the lip of the cave with a good piece of toehooking beta. Cutting loose I fell twice, third go I found a good incut for my left and swang out quite a bit. Held it though and sketched up the slab to the top. Jumping in after, I face planted badly, was quite sore really.
That was on the last day and didn't climb after that accept a climb up a classic called Dromedario for reflections sake, it's a fantastic route.
P.S. Hopefully a film to follow if I can get it to work...