Friday, 28 December 2012

When will it end, soon.


Christmas is generally a time of great happiness and great anguish, the peaks and troughs of the year just gone gather up and mimic the pulse readings of a cardiac patient.

Meeting up with my dad for Christmas number one he was sporting a full and multi-coloured beard, the spectrum going from grey to dark brown to highland ginger. I looked at it intently as I have always wondered where the tinge of ginge comes from in our family. I think somewhere in the South African and Kentish there is an Irish line.



I spent Christmas at the traditional family epicentre, My Uncle and Aunt's in Felixstowe, South East Flatlands. I met my Cousin's baby Owen for the first time and he was every bit as brilliant as the pictures I'd seen. Pretty little chap all the time rather than parents just getting lucky with the photo. Presents were given and received, food slaved over and served, a great day and no television in sight.

Climbing has been non-existent for a week, a strange feeling and possibly time to reflect, I'm so happy that I climb, no regrets, reflection over.

Before I started travelling I had met up with the Barr and gone to the Foundry, everyone seemed to be climbing strong and the vibe was great, crag style wave action. It's a funny old thing feeling weak as piss in one area then better in another.

We are all plate spinners, the variables in this task are the size and quantity of plates. I don't have many so the task is relatively easy – bouldering, stamina, head. Others have larger plates – rock, winter, alpine, bouldering. These plates are expensive in both money and time but ultimately you get a big meal off each one and god damn you must feel nourished. Some have lots of little plates like 7” vinyls – aerobic capacity, anaerobic capacity, power, endurance, recovery, finger strength, core. These people dine tapas style and to feel truly full will smash in all the plates at a given point (obviously in a pre-planned frequency) . I'm bored of this metaphor I’ll go somewhere else.

I had a plan to climb with Steve and Alex at Caley but as I arrived in a very wet Hull my bubble of positivity began to lose shape, finnally bursting when I found the lads slept in the back of Al's Van. To top it off the pair of them were absolutely ruined, they smelt like Yorvik Viking Centre on a rainy day. We went for a greasy spoon and decided a plan of action, with climbing off the menu the obvious choice was to go shoot stuff with the Ramsden Gat. That was fun for about 35 minutes, balderdash – 45 minutes. I finished my hull trip with a few pints at the Adelpi, a little extension to someone’s house that some big names have played in through the years, Nirvana, Oasis, Me, all the greats.



It is not time for new years resolutions yet, there's still a weekend between now and the end, my only friend, the end. 2013, I don't like the number, not for superstitious reasons I just think it looks naff, like an 80s film's stock future date and we sure don't have a cure for aids and jet packs yet (soon though right?)



RAIN RAIN everywhere, RAIN RAIN all the time. This is England.  

Friday, 7 December 2012

The hang man and padded grit


I thought I had got over this stage of my life but staggering out onto the street into the waiting car my body held a familiar nausea deep inside. Mark and Chris had turned up a bit early on the already hellishly early start*. The night before I’d wandered out of the work Christmas party drunk off a free bar into the Harley where I enjoyed myself for 10 minutes before a hard case/soft twat gesticulated wildly in front of me with his forehead. He was asking all manner of searching questions, “whereyafrom?” and the evergreen “you a fuckin’ student?”, when I replied ‘Hull’ and ‘no’ he seemed to calm down to psycho level 2. I walked home before I became his ‘pal’ and he told me about his problems with the country.


*8.30 on a weekend, I’m not a fucking alpinist


We picked up Barrows and drove to North Wales. The cromlech boulders looked a bit damp but seemed ok. Whilst climbing on grit it’s easy to forget there are numerous types of holds on other rock types rather than subtle undulations. Warming up on the roadside even my dried-up brain was appreciating the grips but every time I pulled on I got a rush of blood to the head and a flume of sick to the throat. I couldn’t really move in a human way so as everyone moved over the Jerry’s Roof I got my camera out and filmed for a bit. No-one did anything except Barrows, nonchalantly dispatching Huffy’s Problem, however I missed this due to taking pictures of a dry-stone wall and a snow capped mountain, dewy eyed idiot. A man walked past with his dog and was asking about what we were doing, must have strong fingers etc etc I asked him what he was up to, he was at the end of a recuperation period having been shot in the knee whilst on tour in Afghanistan , the man was a very jolly Ghurkha, he said he liked these small hills and the snowy tops reminded him of home. It started raining and combined with the bitter wind we retreated to the Orme but not before I bet Chris he wouldn’t dunk his head in the freezing river, he did and I lost 5 quid – idiot.


It was dusk as we pulled up at the cave, the one problem I wanted to try had a wet crucial crimp so I filmed again, my head thumping so bad I wanted to cry,piss or shit, anything to decrease the pressure. Mark made a good link on Rock Atrocity and Barrow boy attempted knee-sex with every unwilling angle he could find. Once again Barrows sealed his own fate of us all hating him by being the only one to send something. The not so wobbly block start to Rock Atrocity after tommy dick fingers broke it some years ago. We drove home and I started to feel ok in bed.


PowerShrew









The morning was crispy and blue, like an old crisp that’d gone blue. . .with mould an’ that. I planned to get a lift out to Stanage with Oli’s dad but Chris had seen the light and decided against lime on such an obvious grit day. It seemed a bit on the busy side as pulled into the plantation car park, what did I expect? It’s a dry cold December Sunday at the plantation, the Bas Cuvier of the Peak. Jon the bastard and the Chris the Barr went to captain hook, Oli and I went to warm up the head on crescent arête. Two goes then up to Archangel, normally I leave the ‘big’ things until late in the day but Oli was keen so I decided to just go with it. Sorted the pads out and made a nicer landing, the Grounsell flashes it with a few skittering moments. Nate Dogg turns up with a crew so after putting some more bedding down I set off, make 3 or four moves and fall off. Nice one. It’s a good job I hadn’t been thinking of this route for a million years or else I would have slightly gutted! I waited for a bit then set off again, every time you looked up the sun would blind you while it warmed up the fingers side of the arête. The smears were cold though, the smears were more important. I went up in normal shit style and felt ok bar one strange feeling moving my right high onto a good edge, I never felt in danger due to the pads, just a bit excited, I wish I’d done it without pads. Everyone else goes up and we’re all happy.




We had loads of pads and after the gully of Archangel the landing on White Wand looked friendly. We put them all down and had enough for a reasonable size WWF match but before I could suggest this Nathan had set off to show us the sequence for the crux. I’d watched Steve on this before and knew it revolved around getting your foot in a pocket and matching the arête. I’d also seen Steve and Nathan fall off this quite high up without much bother so I was ready for it. I set off and used a toe round to keep me close as I reached up to a really good pocket, high left hand on the arête where it starts to get good then a right left smear combo to match right foot to right hand in the pocket, it felt like a mirror image of the same move on Acid Rain at Rivelin, as I stood up in balance I realised what I’d done and said “Shit, why am I here”. I fell upwards climbing the arête but thanks to how sharp it is and convincing myself I was safe I had my hands on the break and gave out a shout. I knew beforehand I would traverse off as Steve told me the top arête, E1 in it’s own right, was a precarious number better led for the likes of me. I wanted to top out though so traversed for a mile and went up my favourite VS Fairy Steps. I will go back and lead the whole thing, to experience White Wand the route rather than white wand the amazing highball. Happy. Burnt Oli off as well, finally.





The day was still young and I was done so spent the rest of the day milling around, chris was trying Brad pit and looked to be making progress. With the amount of pads we had it seemed only sensible for us all to try Big Air, I jumped and failed, as did Oli. Then jumped and caught the hold then failed, as did others. Ben got really close slapping(!) for the final pocket and hang back harry Nathan only went and flashed it.


A great day, only marred when I left Chris’ boulder bucket and he had to run back for it. He didn’t even call me a cunt.


Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Back on the wagon

Winter has stuck it’s beak in and ended what was turning out to be a potentially fruitful season for me. I think the Tor is still in so not the end of the world, I just haven’t been going. The Grit was called and we all rushed out into cold mornings, balmy afternoons and primo sunset conditions. However, Grit day one on Burbage south felt hot and walking over the sodden ground with a sweat on had dampened any spirit that remained for the scrit. What’s the point. Short days attempting tricky bollocks. Luckily, I often find other peoples psyche rubs off on me and everyone else seemed happy to be back on the brown.

Oli wanted to flash Pebble Mill, I cleaned it for him and against the odds the holds were ok, just everything else Kermit in complexion. After a brain fart on the low crux arête he was up in the Mill’s grill, with piano fingers and ballerinas toes he was through the crux. Plod over to the Knock, “it’s got crimps, fucking hell I love crimps, I am going to eat this”, 10minutes later all was lost, I just couldn’t summon the urge to rock further on the right foot with the crimped-up left hand gaining increasing distance from my center of gravity. Grounsmell flashes it, hanging back while we flail around. My 3rd time trying the knock, bastard.


 


 A weekend ahead, nights getting darker, Barr and I head to Lawrencefield to sun bathe. I spend too long caught in Suspense and predictably fuck the last moves trying to shove square fingers into round holes. 2nd go but not so much buzz. Film Chris and Noaks on Boulevard, they veer into the crack from the left, possibly off route I can hear an old hand complaining under his breath in the background “They’re not hurting anyone” comes his partner’s reply. A nice reasoned response in real life, I remember the web isn’t real. Big crew at a windy Curbar, Jon & Chris climb L’horla, Jon looks like an ice cube on a string seconding. The ropes get put away. Everyone runs up the slab, even part timer Billy takes time out of a busy schedule of being a Leeds bastard to get up Finger Distance. I repeat it, then Kayak and Canoe. Grit slabs are really fun, totally personal. Jon Wells, nicest boy in crookesmoore, heads up El Vino Collapso and falls upwards slapping for better holds, we all breathe a sigh of relief as he tops out (often these sighs sound like a screaming girl)






Froggatt calls, some more unfinished lines from last season call. Chris and Oli flash Long Johns while I look at rural vandalism on Joe’s slab, one day whoever did it will realise what they did, at least I hope. I try Artless again, jump, stick it, roooockkk, plummet. Jump, stick it, rooockkkk plummet. One time I get higher but forget how to climb and slide back to the bed where I sulk and try to make a sandwich out of crumbs. Oli goes up first time, back down then the descent then up Great Slab, another day not to tell his Dad about.

Looking round the corner I remember a picture on Facebook of some mates climbing hard cheddar with pads, looks all neat and quarried, the sequence obvious. Watching Oli unusually go first I flash it wondering how I would have felt reaching for the pocket not knowing it’s quality. We end on Oedipus, “isn’t the bloke who fucks mothers?”. I’m too tired after the problem traverse, I move up from the flake and feel all but the penultimate hold, a lunge away, then drop off slowy, exhausted. I blame the booze, lack of food and don’t feel like a liar.

 A night at the works watching a new trad film, it’s really good, makes me want to try harder. Drinking more beer I get the false psyche I think many get, the excitement generated in this time is of an equal and opposite power in the morning after. I wait around for Lee, pick up the mammut gizmo and go to Robin Hoods Stride. Everyone does Dry Wit in a Wet Country, Oli does Kaluza after 10 minutes on toprope, no drama, just a whisper of “Shit” as the barn door blows in the wind. I get up Dry wit, both feet pedal and I deadpoint the summit of the Matterhorn. “so shit I thought he was taking the piss” another story, karma for laughing at Jon the week before.


 


This week I've learnt that the sun can ruin a shot if you don't think about it and that anyone can get a tripod angle, i.e. get on ab, get an angle somewhere new. Didn't follow that advice this week.

Climb in the foundry comp, hurt my bicep and lower back fighting a greasy war against cleaned holds with bad skin, leave happy.

I hope to make a film eventually, call it ‘Gritual’. At the moment I'm just learning how to use my camera and different techniques. The film I would of liked to make has already been done, much better than I ever could, so I have new ideas. I think I might just make it for myself as it’ll be too easy to take the piss out of. I don’t love my job, but I equally don’t hate it. I also don’t hate my flat, but again I don’t love it. I hate climbing, I love climbing. Peaks and troughs, shallow and deep, I know I’ll climb E7 if I'm better on my feet.


Sunday, 14 October 2012

The limes not dead




got forced into the Grit on the weekend due to flooding, was ok, not lime though. I'm sure my soul will enjoy the changing seasons but my body is pissed off everything is getting wet! oh well, scary shuffling it is then.

Shrewbicon from Guy Van Greuning on Vimeo.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

a winter in weekends is not very long

Off the back of my last post's successes I've been riding the crest of a positive wave and I'm excited about winter. On the other hand - until the ground is brown, upon the Grit I shall frown.

The 'bust' for the natural jug on Eat The Rich
 At the wall I have been narrowing down my shitness on each problem and only giving in to the 'I'm not strong enough' tagline when it is the genuine reason and not a lack of technique. If it's a technique problem I'll do drills specific to that failing (unless it's slopers, slopers inside are ridiculous). Failure is easier to take when you analyze it straight away and run through what was going on, it feels like raw data for an upgrade rather than a slap in the chops.

A few weeks ago I went to Water-Cum-Jolly Upper circle with Joble, we had started at Rubicon but it quickly became 1,00000 degrees. James had a massive paddy on the 8a Dangerous Brothers loudly proclaiming Peak limestone shit, painful and that he was indoor based trip climber from now on. An hour later he was back down to earth. We moved on in search of shade and wind finding it high up the bank on the upper circle. I had never been past Rubicon up the valley before and what struck me was how much untouched rock there was around protected by legislation. It is selfish to think that climbers have a right to use all rock and I do prescribe to this hardline when the issue is land ownership but here it is simply a case of letting nature be untouched. Suck it up and move on, it's hard to take but must be took, especially when the fauna and fungi will be here long after every human being has rotted away.

Anyway, there we looked at a John Welford 7c named 'Eat the rich' and a Simon Nadin '8a' called 'The inch test', so as any rock enthusiast should know by that, it wasn't going to be easy. Well it was actually, sort of. Eat the rich is only 7b+ to the lower off, a lovely 3 bolt route (!) with big moves and a crimpy sequence to end. It has a MASSIVE glued on jug at the start but wow, what a beaut of a hold it is, sika me up, from here you gain another good hold for the LH, RH to a nasty little flake, RF into sika jug and bust for an all natural jug. LH out to finger slot, RH up into a rat's eye socket, sort feet to surge upwards with the LH into a blocky sidepull/undercut, few hand moves and a dodgy clip of belay. The 7c does a few moves from here through a small roof to match on jugs over the lip, the rock however is suspect and people have taken the tick dropping off from the jugs, makes sense.

The drop off in a blaze of glory


Sorry about that, I wrote that more for myself than anything. I can get to the surging upwards bit but it's 1/4 on actually latching the hold. I was happy with my progress though as I was hungover. I hope to go back on Saturday to tick it. Jo was getting to the same point but has better feet for the next bit, it's hard for the short as you're on the shit slot for longer and have to get more out of it, James just makes another big move from the second jug, bringing the route down to about 5 moves. I love this short stuff.

James tried The Inch Test and got very close first redpoint, failing after he forgot his foot sequence. This thing looks the absolute living end and has some serious brutal moves on it, 8a/+ seems decidedly unfair, even by Peak lime standards. We left we no ticks but were happy to have found the psyche again in the midst of the rain, sun and mud.

Noble giving a mile but getting an inch on Nadin's test
 I tried another short 7c at Rubicon midweek with Jonny but got a nasty shock, 'Too Old To Be Bold' is short, sharp, polished and intense. After a minor tussle we both left it having been completely and utterly shutdown by the start. It felt exactly the same as when I try Saline Drip 7A at the tor, like I'm doing something completely wrong, how on earth can I be this shit! I'm not keen to go back on as the route/rock quality doesn't match Eat the rich but have it earmarked as one I need to see someone on, just to know. Failed on the kudos bouldering then belayed Jonny on his retro flash of Rubicon 7a. Interestingly he did this in the dark with a head torch and my lamp pointing straight upwards, he must have felt like a German Bomber during the Blitz up there, he didn't go down in flames though and slinked over the lip into total darkness. nice.

Last weekend I went to Bristol for a wedding,  really lovely city but an absolutely mental accent, people saying the Hull accent is bad need to shut the fuck up and head south west.

Jo, aka I'm stronger than Shrew


Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Ain't nothing smell like two stroke...

I went for a walk tonight to catch up on a bit of my past, it's the cash strapped end of the month after a holiday and with humid sticky weather climbing out was off the cards. As I turned the top of my street there was a bristly old gent cutting his hedge, the trimmer was knackered and was belching out blueish smoke at a consistent rate (not so unlike the operator, roll up in hand). I took in a deep breath and held it in, the same as I do when trucks or buses pass me within close proximity, but rather than the usual smell of guilt and fear I smelt my past. A two stroke engine. Like my Dad I used to have a motocross bike when I was just into double figures and whilst more Mr Bean than Travis Pastrana it was the first real excitement I could control. 80cc of power at the flick of a wrist, often too harsh a flick and I'd come off the back having performed half a backflip (had I landed a full one I would probably be writing this from my redbull sponsored mansion). Anyway, it got nicked and I found other wheels to roll around on, skating was less scary than biking and much more sociable (Hull dirt tracks are quite grim). I got to the skatepark at Millhouses and put on my battered skates, years behind in technology and culture, did a top soul and then it started raining - walked home. As I went home I waited under some trees for the worst of the rain to stop, I played make believe on the wall behind for a split second thinking I was moving between positive breaks miles above the ground. 3rd nostalgic event in an evening, the Grit. I last climbed on grit in May on a hot sweaty evening though it feels an eternity ago.

After all this humid shitty summer I have a desire for the crisp snap of a cold morning, the rock freeze dried, moving up smears or sculptured arêtes secure in it's insecurity. I know it's only round the corner so I wont rush, it's just good to know that it's there, waiting to shrug off bracken, midge and misguided punters having the most fun.

So, where have I been? I just couldn't be arsed to write, so I've been reading instead. Brave New World by Huxley. Quite a disgusting book, have a look at this piece of writing that sums up the book for me



Climbing wise I have been ticking over and have generally brought up my level of climbing, I feel far from the feeling of mastery that I so want but the improvement is noticeable.


I went to Annecy with Alisha and old house-mates/current best-mates Blez & Charlotte. It is a beautiful area nestled along side the larger peaks of the French Alps. There was some polished slabby limestone cliffs by the campsite that I spent a few mornings traversing around on but mostly we slept and drank for a week. On the last day we went out on the lake on a pedaleau to check out some of the cliffs I could see from the shore, they overhung the water and had the potential for DWS.
I had a few attempts, bimbled about on some vertical terrain but never pushed it up to the overhanging tufas. I am excited to go back, maybe as part of a Euro trip, as while it isn't going to be a standout venue it looks amazing for it's location and adventurous nature. Actually I won't say much because I'd like to save it. It's shit really, don't go

Lake Annecy from Guy Van Greuning on Vimeo.




When I came back I went to Kilnsey with Sheffield's most hated blogger Mark, we set off early and having walked 3 miles to his house with 70m rope, draws and kit I was sufficiently knackered. Mark wanted to try Over the Thumb (8a) which sketches it's way across the friable flakes above the 8a classic. Luckily the start of this route involves climbing a 7b called WYSIWYG which I had been on years ago when I was REAL shit. After two redpoints I hadn't done it that day and we scuttled off home both having done nowt, well, Kilnsey wouldn't feel like Kilnsey if that didn't happen at least 90% of the time. That Sunday we trekked back with Jo & James and I managed to crack it off first go of the day, first 7b. I had read that people regarded it as 7b/+ but this appears to be due to how it was originally climbed going direct into the crux whereas nowadays people (me) pop out right to a mega jug and heel hook rest before coming back left into the side-pull crux. Jo flashed Smooth Torquer (7a+/b) following Noble's onsight and after a near deck out flash attempt with a pendulum into Jo I got it first redpoint, the top move is a screamer and the low boulder crux a delight, shame it's not 25m longer. Out of kindness possibly Mark was trying Perfect Storm 7c+ which also shared the 7b start, it looked a bit shit/broken which was as shame as the groove draws the eye. Noble had tried flashing Subculture but climbed ridiculously slow/static, getting it 2nd redpoint he was nearly off the 7b+ finish all the way, good to see the man sweating. We finished the day off with a toppers on face value, an E5 gone the way of training. It scared me how hard it felt and how bold the start was. However scary it would be absolutely amazing to climb on this face with gear and knowing a few friends who have I’m really keen for things like Deja Vu (E5) though they feel a year away at least.

Mark starting up the Perfect Storm, WYSIWYG finishes at the obviously chunky flake below him


I went back with Mark on a very hot day, I failed on hardy annual (7b), getting gripped by the groove and pushy end whilst Mark failed on Last Action Hero (8a) which starts up a 7c called Metal Guru I am very interested in i.e. it has a slab on it after a tough start!

Carl on Metal Guru 7C


Indoors has been torture. Got to keep going.

Going to try Wild in Me (7c) at the Tor soon hopefully, fully prepared for a shut down but I have the fight in me now, the reality of 7c feels within my grasp. Comedy, New Dawn, Biological Need, Obscene Gesture, they are not impossible for me now.




P.S Sheffield Techno Institute 28th September YESSSSSSSSSSS
















Wednesday, 4 July 2012

containing frustration in the face of unchanged weather patterns

What happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object? A massive fuck load of nothing. This is also what happens when climbers are boxed in by the rain and the heat or a particularly spiteful state where it's so humid it may as well rain but the droplets just hang around like pricks on the street corner, sticking to your lower back, between your thighs and on your forehead.

Summer is the new winter and everyone is either indoors or getting fat, I am combining the two by eating a treacle tart in my flat.

Frustration is a strange emotion because the logical realist in me can see the futility of it all, there is nothing that can be done, other than leave this wet little island that is. Who I am kidding, I only say it as threat hoping that Gaia below is listening and somehow values my being in Southest Yorkshire.

THERE IS NOTHING THAT CAN BE DONE

I understand this but why is so fucking hot when it rains!! I demand a 10 degree drop the moment it touches down. Then I wont be stuck inside sweating up my arse. This is an acute pain for me as tonight at the foundry every time I sat down to start a problem due to the unfortunate shape of the arse crack I left a cock shaped sweat mark on the chalky red mat, more than one in fact, it was a veritable cock garden, I'm on the anti-art tip alright.

I have managed to get out climbing twice over the past few weeks, I am really pleased with this as I thought due to the bum smash I covered in my last post I would be out for the duration.

One soggy day at Raven tor I clipped up the popular 7c Obscene toilet, I had watched Chris and others do it months previous and was really psyched to see what it was like . Really really hard, gutted, and it's not even considered hard at 7c either. It will be interesting to speak to people of my height who have done it as I felt really stretched out at some/all points. No worries though, my aim is still 7b/7b+ by the end of the year, I just had ideas above my station on this with it being a technical wall climb. Got a slight buzz leading the run out easy bit at the top, why they don't put a bolt it i'll never know.

The following soggy Sunday I went to horseshoe quarry, fricking loose crap hole but the mainwall is actually quite impressive and solid in the most part. I failed on Demolition man, a tough 7a in my opinion, but took some falls which helped my head after the arse-whipper.

I hope the rain stops soon, its making me look forward to winter, fuck that.




Tor it up from Guy Van Greuning on Vimeo.

Saturday, 23 June 2012

First Blood

Coach Bob having it on Unjustified


Went to Malham last Sunday with a thick head after a conventional night of drinking at the STI BBQ. It had been two years since I last visited the dales when I lived on Springbank and it was strange to think of this fact as living in Hull feels a lifetime ago. Rolling through Bradders with Hick, Tash and Barr in the boulder bus we arrived at a heaving Cove, a dry piece of rock in a sea of wet otters pockets. A large contingent of Scottish youth were making up most of the crowd on a 'coaching weekend'. It's a strange thing to watch these waifs elegantly saunter up the lime, being a cynic I was all ready to write them off as advantaged kids (weight/time/energy) but after listening to what appeared to be a real life borrower giving his mate a positive nudge to get on the redpoint I was impressed, they really fricking love climbing. Warmed up on the 'worst route at Malham' which I quite enjoy then moved over to the crowd. Chris had onsighted the Malham warm up consenting adults the week previous and was keen for me to try, so I tried and failed, beaten by a really shitty error of trying to hack my feet on to higher better feet when the move will have been easier off the lower set of feet. Frantic foot tapping had me off and I took a small lob for the fall bank. Chris then onsighted Puddle jumper and I top roped it clean, I've never enjoyed puddle jumper, I think its due to feeling too stretched out moving from the crescent hold and always cutting my feet. I'll address this but getting on the rack. Bob plowed on with Unjustified and Tash was just broken climbing the day before. Before the midges came in force to destroy the day, chris onsighted Sycophants and I retro flashed it, a great feeling.

one day Tash will snap
In sport I had turned a corner, I was climbing better, my head was in a better space and here I was setting off up free and even easier onsight, a grade I had only redpointed once. I'd love to say I cruised it but I bolloxed up the crux, another lob for the bank. Dogged up it with some really good beta, came down and waited, got tired. Chris had a few goes but i'll pull the conditions card on that one and say he was robbed. A touch sweaty and midge death. Home south.

It was a sunny day Tuesday and I was feeling my  usual self at work, distracted and rushed. I had plans in cheedale on the evening but with end of year Students as partners this is never a sure bet as they might just jet off without you if it's a nice day (can't blame them but will always hate them). Sure enough the text came in and Barr was going to snake me like the devonshire adder that he is. Luckily I have a new job at work and a new boss, I explained how it was nice day and that I wished I was out, at this she just let me go early and I got out midday. Life-goal achieved, I finnally dont have a shitty job. 
max wall 6c, brilliant
Max wall, Tuesday 2pm, feeling like I was skipping school. The warm up felt ok on the patchy wet max wall. Chris and John climbed the 6c while I put clips in my PROJ the 7a+ 'max to the wall'. My first go and I had forgotten the start, got through to the crux and took a good fall, dogged up and everything felt good, I was happy. Rested I set off again and fucked up the crux. Rested once more, I set off again and climbed badly through the crux having to readdjust the press three times, got to the crimp by the clip and trekked on wanting to get a better hold to clip in the rope, unfortunately I was flailing at this point and as I grabbed the slanted jug I peeled off at full stretch. I faced away from the rock and knew this wasn't good pivoting upside down I headed back to John and took a pendulum into the rock curled up like an armadillo to protect my head. This protected my head but made a sacrificial lamb of my arse which impacted the wall with force. You never really know if it's been a big fall until you look at the people on the ground, looking at them, yep this was a big 'un. I could feel my toes and adrenaline kept me smiling before I felt down my back and there was blood on my hand. SHIIIIIITTTTTTTT. Three thoughts went through my head

A) had I shit myself/burst a hemroid?

B) had I smashed my back doors in?

C) would I be able to get another redpoint in tonight?

Luckily the answer to A and B was no, I had merely made a second arsehole in my left cheek and wacked my coccyx. There was quite a bit of blood so we headed home. I am broken and writing this from bed, while I am very lucky to be walking around easily enough I have hurt my back and there is no hiding from it. As I sit here inside my flat midday on a weekend not climbing I can't help but want to change the question of C) to whether I'll be able to get another redpoint this month? Think positive Gary. Luckily for me the weather is FUCKING SHITE. Off to the works now, I heard there is a new kids section.






Sheffield Techno Institute @ The Riverside from Guy Van Greuning on Vimeo.

Monday, 11 June 2012

cant train, too ill

When I am ill and can't climb I wonder what its like to not have climbing constantly knocking on my brain. After careful deliberation sat on the toilet, where this illness has brought me, I began to realise I would just have to find something else. This doesn't diminish how important climbing feels to me but it does make me feel like I could try harder at other things, rather than be mediocre at a lot. I think I might just be obsessed with anything other than a work or driving. I need to get obsessed with driving. A climber without a car is like....well I couldn't work out a good metaphor but its a pretty shit state of affairs when you cant get out after work and you live in Sheffield. C'mon Guy, try harder.







Sunday, 10 June 2012

.

Climbing used to be so easy, font 5 hero

In recent times

Writing has felt like a chore lately so I haven't even considered adding to this list of defeats for a while. Hard to think it now but a couple of weeks ago it got hot, really ball-breakingly hot. A weekend was spent on sport down cheedale doing the controversial method of chasing the sun rather than the shade, against all the odds this proved to be a fucking stupid idea. Warmed up on Max Wall which in my opinion is underrated as it contains interesting holds and moves with only the left-hand side marred by the breaks and rising ramp line. Flashed a 6c which I was really happy with, I felt like I had turned a corner as I really committed to it and felt in-the-flow, a rare treat. This was shat on however as I clipped up Open Gate 7a+ on two tier and quickly began to realise I couldn't do it, every move on the headwall feeing frustratingly at my limit, I was even too scared of the clip from the break to even attempt a red point, what a punter.

one evening we went to Anston in the 100 degree heat, ridiculous, couldn't even begin to climb. I am one sweaty mother, pouring sweat out on par with your average menopausal housewife. So in keeping with this comparison I bought some talcum power.

Another evening we went to cheedale again and I failed to flash either max to the wall 7a+ or max headroom 7a BUT this was a great night, pouring down with rain we could still climb and I really pushed through some mental obstacles by trying 'one-last-route'. 

Now, my dear reader (Hi mum), I must talk of the weather. FUCK THIS SHIT. I know this is England but c'mon, really? This much sun and rain? Like the trees and fields aren't green enough. You enjoy it nature, soon you'll be dying because summer will be over when winter arrives in September.


Techno nodder Malcolm had a party this weekend, Lockyear and Barr mixed for the first time in front of an easily pleased public, annoyingly not as a double act. 


Missing a night's sleep is really bad for your head and psyche, don't do it

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Van Barr Peak Tours

Had a big day and big night planned on Saturday, one went to plan, the other. . . .not so much.

Set off in the boulder bus with Chris Barr and heading for what we intended to be a full day of out-there trad on high tor. I thought I was going to die on the walk in, again an experience that doused any Alpinist fire that may lurk inside my soul. Walked past the High Tor sport and looked at the pillar of Endgame, an old Simon Lee route now Bolted at 6c+, which looked really good and I am keen to drag someone with me to try it. Our intention was to warm up on one of the HVS classics then crack on with the vertical, technical trouser filling/pumping run-outs. Chris hadn't lead Original Route before so we started on that, my suggestion so I do take responsibility for the failure of this week's task Lord Sugar. After some initial trepidation Chris got into the swing of things and romped up the groove. On second I wanted to take it nice and slow, savour the moves, unfortunately I went slow enough to feel and see the massive blocks coming away on this route, scary stuff, I'll never make it to the craig doris, I'd rather solo scoop wall then play roulette on that stuff. We both shared a knowing look on the belay ledge, so without further a do abbed off and heading straight to the damp polished arms of Raven Tor for a comforting hug. Only this was one of those hugs by a complete bastard who sticks a kick-me sign on your back, in short, I failed on rattle and hump start again and now realise my Noble-Method doesn't work if your piss weak so it's back to the drawing board, also Barr mashed his car on the Tor tree, doubly pissed.. Ollie youth had ticked Call of nature as we arrived, his first 8a, nice one you day-glo mammut psyche mission, speaking of psyched, met Mark Richardson climbing with Oli, that man is pure climbing enthusiasm!

As it turned into early evening we headed off to a sun baked millstone being the clever tacticians that we are, Chris fired up Technical Master a problem I had sucked on last summer and not tried since, YYFY I did it and it felt amazing and necky. After Barrows and Ramsden boasted of their one handed ascents I am determined to match this feat, right hand with a French blow to ensure a burn off.

I had wanted to do the snivelling shit for a while and with pads and excitement I set off up the slab which climbs exactly like science friction at Apremont, which Nathan Lee pointed out while I fell off the top of that problem. I had a minor jump at the start, no illusions of flashing the route, then committed to a longer getting through the unbelievably thin start to the good handhold with sloping clay death feet (give me back those matchstick edges!) I couldn't see the way and in bouldering mode jumped off again, no way was I risking my threads sliding down that shit. The jump was fine but I wouldn't want to go from any higher i.e. the crux. Ben onsighted it after joining in 5 minutes previously and showed that the crux is quite extended for men of average-ish height. I'm gunna do it, I'm gunna do it. was supposed to tonight but Barr snaked me and went out with Steve while I was still slaving away paying taxes.

anyway, to finish the day Ben and I climbed a wall left of March Hare on positive holds, felt about V2 with a longgg stretch for me. That night we went to STI who got Luke Slater down for a massive one.  He started as a slow burner for me being a techno punter but by mid-way he had me by the balls and I was in complete moron mode. Nice one STI.

I need more footage of climbing, there is only so much footage of my flat and the bus to work I can put up with.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Font in videos

Tried to write, what is the point?




Music: Talking Heads - This must be the place



Tom's stag week in Font, at first the forcasted rain looked like it was set to ruin the week but we only lost one full day to it in the end.

climbers are Nathan Lee, Steve Ramsden and Lee Cooper, plus me failing on science friction.

cheers to Roo at the House for the digs and advice (Rababoum is indeed world class)

www.thehouse.fr

music by:

Beirut
evenings
ducktails

Cheers Tom, looking forward to your wedding



Stag Tom executing a perfect font top out with lots of crowd support



Lee Cooper on the 7B in Apremont, Fontainbleau.

Monday, 14 May 2012

wet.


Late shift week at work meant no climbing after font until the weekend, good really as my tips resembled a newspaper shredded up in the gutter on a rainy day. Even though on an evening shift I haven’t got to set off until 11 for work I have never really had the enthusiasm for training in the morning of any sort, long shower and sleeping in over fingerboarding and press ups etc. Now we’re in a new place under strict rules there is pretty much no chance of hanging my fingerboard up either. I would go to a wall as the works is a couple of minutes away but doesn’t open until 12pm, however I have just read that the worst of the bouldering walls the Matrix is open from 7.30am (!) soon so I will potentially try this avenue a few times, still no fingerboarding though as at the Matrix they’ve hung the beastmaker on the same angle as the campus board, DUMB. I don’t want to remain a night owl every other week, more the morning hawk hunting the early bird that caught the worm.

On bank holiday Sunday I went to Roche Abbey with Jo and James, meeting with Nottingham Joe and his two friends, after a drunken roller disco the night before I was feeling like a bag of smashed crabs. Jo cracked off her 7B project first go of the day, 3rd session in all, it revolves around moving off a left hand sloper up to an undercut in a roof, I was drawn to it and surged up to the undercut in snappy style on the flash go before peeling off, each subsequent go got worse as I tried to move slowly off intermediates and other douchbaggery. Joe took an almost horizontal swing of the top of Borg, at over 6ft tall this was like seeing the inner workings of Big Ben, the BONGGG being him hitting the floor and signalling a move over to the impossible roof. James set to work on doing a standing start to Apache, a heinous and harshly graded 8A+, whereas other people have French started. He made a good link but felt a weak shoulder twinging so stopped for the day, I flashed a 6C to the left of the roof on good holds and big moves then failed on the 7A traverse with big moves and big cross overs. Jo’s second project was faith left-hand on Beef Buttress and after silent communication with the Abbey attendant we moved up the crag, Jo dispatched said king line as the sun appeared and baked us all into a simultaneous snooze. silent acknowledgement the day had ended. 

I woke up on Monday feeling really bodily ruined so slept a while longer, I dragged myself to the works and promptly fell off everything I tried and had done before, I was feeling low and bored but then saw Barrows and watching him spend 10 minutes+ going up and down foot-on the campussing reminded me there is always someone worse off than you. Screw 8c for a game of soldiers.

Last night I went with Rammers to Anston and had a good few fails on Berretta, I cant be sure but all signs point to this being a rubbish problem, I am not bitter. Joble had suggested I try Fine art and after cracking it off quick smart I watched Steve fail then crack his back (result!) which I filmed (oh and another!) unfortunately he found a cheating less heroic method and the embers of my burn off were doused. This problem has wicked pinches and pockets as you can see in the video but the start is right next to a big block and below you is a back paggering block as you pull up off your heel, similar to the one found on The Nose at Burbage West, Fine Art is a non star problem with 2 star moves. I tried to do Blue Circles to finish the evening, a 6C on the surprisingly good vertical walls, but the holds were a bit too damp and I kept firing off in a strange tense agony. Went to bed too late again.



Steve on the 7A+ sidewall/arete at Anston Stones.

After big rainfall the previous night the humidity had come down and the rock was in great condition, relatively.

Music: Nouvelle Vague - Killing Moon

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

I new it

Went to the Cave on Sunday, big frickin' drive from Sheffield but the new Joble wagon was comfortable. Failed to flash Parisellas Original due to misdirection, then sent the 7A+ bust lip which was good utilising an interesting golf ball feature but didn't feel the grade. spent rest of my time memorizing left wall (this will be my redpoint crux) and failing on Lip Service 7A+ by shunning chris's foot beta (!) and trying the lank method, it will go like this and feels strong.

got a new camera finally. Forgot how little I knew about photography so I'll be nerding up on that. In the meantime I nerded up on colour presets to avoid $$ payout and I'm happy with the results.


Momentum


I have been feeing lazy with regard to this blog but I’ve found some time so can update, this is basically a diary anyway with one avid reader.

I’ve had a more few trips to the Tor since my last post, Friday 30th I finally did Weedkiller at a breezy Tor with Jonny, George and Nathan. It felt like an all too familiar evening when I slapped for the finishing jug and slipped down to earth for the second time but thankfully I had remembered Lockyear’s beta for the last throw, this being an intermediate pinch just below the jug which take the sapping sting out of throw. Next go, through the slots, through the cut loose, lock up, pinch and JUG. Drop off, excited breathlessness and post-send babble interspersed with erratic hand movements and then a happy release as I gain normality again. Bouldering really is straight out a crack pipe, quick hit shit. Jonny failed the flash at the first hard move and soldiered on into night as we climbed with lamp and head torch, however he got too tired and didn’t manage it that evening.  

The rest of my climbing has been at the Tor apart from a quick sojourn at beginners wall, I remember Jo doing Swing time and it feeling really quite hard so was happy to get it done in around 5 goes. Swing Time is a small pinch to a series of big moves on good holds, It’s down to 7A in the new guide from the 7A+ I thought I was heroically smashing in. Jonny did this, Weedkiller and little extra direct, my year’s worth of ticks so far, in a day. Bastard. Man of steel next.

Tuesday night, Chris, Oli and I did the start of Weedkiller into the finish of Basher’s left hand which felt roughly 7A+ but I tried it too many times and lost track of over all difficulties whilst over-involved in the minor nuances of beta. Its great and the moves really flow well into each other. Had a quick group go on Rattle and Hump start and can finally get matched on the crimps, whether I go up from here a la the hard way or go to the flakes out left to press out the finish is the next question. Feels harder than 7A+!!.  Other than that I went to Anston with a bunch of folk over the weekend, did a 6C called Screaming Dream on Hidden Buttress thanks to Beta from Jo which is probably the best problem I have climbed at Anston so far, starting on a tufa, getting correct body positioning into a lovely fat pinch above and dyno for a boss hold finish. Right by the railway sidings is apprentice buttress which has a great 6C+ and soft 7A+, apprentice wall and prow respectively. The prow has a hard slap start where you cross over your head at full stretch for good pocket then easy finish, though this was mired by a wet sidepull. Off to the side is high wall with Whizz Kid on it but I’ll have to ask some folk about the finish as its really high and right next to a chonking great crack you’re not allowed to use. I think Anston is soft, but its great fun feeling like a champ. James did, to put it lightly, a shed load of stuff and his 8a.nu scorecard must have looked like my electric meter.



Im bored of writing now, it appears as I have more successes my desire to lament on here recedes and it becomes grade rubbish. I cant even remember what Cloggy felt like.


NEED TO GET ON ROUTES, NEED TO GET ON ROUTES


After I’ve climbed 7B.

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Beestly



I must have hurt my back last week as getting out of bed Saturday morning for work it had stiffened up to pensioner proportions. I couldn’t find any ibuprofen so took 3 paracetemol instead and thankfully Ally gave me a lift to work. I waddled back home after feeling a bit better so we went to meet Steve at Curbar. It was hot with insects were everywhere and the annual death of grit bouldering could be seen on the horizon. We saw what appeared to be a walrus soloing the classic VS climb The Brain but quickly rubbished this idea as they’ve only been spotted on well protected Severes. On closer inspection it was merely a topless Ramsden and holstering the spear gun we made our way across to him. “What Ho! Fellow clamberers!” Steve said as he boulder hopped towards us, “I’ve got a bully idea”. Steve’s idea was, in short, that we climb on god awful crumbly greasy grit in order to appreciate better conditions. “No” we said, “lets go home” and with intrepid expedition leader Wood at the helm we roped as a three and moved to the summit ridge path back to dear Blighty.

It was slightly odd watching Ally walk around Curbar as she, like previous non-climbing friends had been, looked really unnerved by anything other than a well maintained flat path. It’s an extreme example but it must be strange being scared so easily by so little. Don’t get me wrong I can get as scared as the next wo/man but irrational fear is crazy, I tell myself this when I go above a bolt but it still somehow creeps in “How long has that bolt been there? How will I swing? Why do I always grab the quickdraw?”



Went to the Life on Hold Premiere at the works that evening; enjoyed the movie and the lectures before. The film was different to how I had imagined it from the 2nd trailer with hardly any narration or interviews but with a lot of great footage of problems around the UK, Northumberland being a highlight (gutted footage of ‘The Young’ was not in the main film but will be in the DVD extras). Filming has always been a minor passion of mine and I enjoy teaching myself new tricks, so I have been hatching a plan for a while now (financial fingers crossed). Luckily Adam Bailes is a massive geek and is guiding me through this DSLR video path like a shorter, more flexible Gandalf.

Sunday came and feeling a bit groggy we headed out to the southern peak, getting a bit lost on the way, heading towards Beeston Tor at the base of the impressive Manifold Valley. I hadn’t been to this area before and walking along the dried up limestone riverbed it all felt rather foreign. More so when we started pulling up Buoux-like fixed ropes to the belay ledge of several routes, we were not alone here and so started a busy day of the cliff. Steve lead up the 4c approach pitch which on its own would justify every negative stereotype of UK lime trad. vegetated, polished and not cricket.

I headed up the E1 Pocket Symphony and really enjoyed the pockets with the polish not being a problem as I think I would of got lost without it, 3 star pitch.

next we adventured over the roped 'path' to the right hand hand side and Steve dispatched the E3 Majolica which gave threads galore and a really impressive set of moves for the 5c grade. I was a bit apprehensive but a little pressure helped and before I knew it I was all up in the first hard move with a two finger pocket stretching for the bottom of a big pod. this pod has a giant thread and 'pint'pot' handle to shake out on, with bad feet. A few deep breaths and it was in to the crux, with an undercut mono and shallow dish for the right hand, as I pulled up my crimps rolled on the tiny ball bearings of dirt and I felt unsteady but I pushed through with my head like I was swimming for the surface, breaking through onto jugs and an archaic lower-off. Steve then went to the classic of the crag Black Grub E3 5b looking for a battle, but didn't get one as he cruised his way tot he top, telling tales of its wonderful sustainedness. I declined the lead as I want to come back and was feeling happy with my day. I'll be back for Grub and the Beest!

Chris locking on undercuts to crimp problem
Driving home in the sun I wondered whether I should go and try weedkiller but the long dy had taken it out of me and we fell asleep wartching a film within 5 minutes and a beer. knackered.



Guardian reader
Last night I headed out with Bob, Tash and Chris to the Tor for the first evening session and even with a late start it was chilled and getting shady. I did the last 3/4 as a warm-up convincingly and felt like it was on but after 2 attempts I had slapped the top jug twice and felt drained. Chris gave me some beta to kake the last throw less powerful with an intermediate pinch which looks good. No problems though as each go was a personal best and the power endurance is coming along thanks to the attempts. Planning to go friday evening and end my siege, feed thy people, and hopefully set Jonny up for the flash.







Wednesday, 21 March 2012

dying days


Happy spring reader(s?) (Hi Mum!)

This weekend was a weekend of firsts, first time night bouldering and first time at the tor this year, both were great and bode well for the future.

Jo has been trying and nearly doing Dick Williams at Secret Garden for a while now but hampered by the weather it’s not been the fairest of fights. On Friday we packed my lamp and headed to chase the sunset with an ace up our sleeve. I was worried the lamp would be wack and the ace up said sleeve would turn out to be a soggy bus ticket to Wigan but all was well and it works, the pictures don’t really do it justice. Ideally you would want two and then a head torch to blow out the shadows. Its not overkill environmentally light pollution wise and pretty light. I am happy with the purchase and am glad I read the associated UKB forum thread before I made the leap and parted with my £40 http://ukbouldering.com/board/index.php/topic,8731.msg334047.html#msg334047 (cheers guys)

Beach ball 

Jason's Problem

Both Jo and I were not successful, I on the first move and she on the last. We were well lit though. I have never attempted Beachball so moved onto that, I can get both hands to the first set of slopers but with left heel locked in and right leg flagged under my hip gets wedged against the lip and I can’t get any udge at all to gain the finishing flatties (positive thinking). After very nearly flashing Jason’s problem Jo came over and got to the same point using her right heel and in my opinion a lot more burl. We’ll be back but it’s a skin eater and nearly ruined the rest of my weekend’s climbing! We Blair witched it back home and had a noodle inn dinner, followed by a healthy dose of STI at the Redhouse, Bailes and Pete were super drunk for his Bailes’ birthday.. Me and Steve walked 3 miles at 4am. Not psyched.

Thomas the tanked up engine


Sleeping in ‘till one on Saturday we nipped out to Curbar; having conveniently missed a bit of rain in the morning. Steve wanted to do Lepton ultimately so we started on ‘Thomas and the tanked up engine’ which I’d seen in the guide but not been to. It’s a lovely piece of climbing on sidepulls with the direct ‘Phat controller’ offering more of the same quality with crimps to start direct. The little quarry here at the very end of Curbar is a hidden gem and offers a great circuit of positive holds. ‘Seams simple enough’ looks hard though. Moving on Steve onsighted Lepton which looked as described, V5 hard and scary right at the top with a bouldery landing, using Adam Long’s proposed grading id say a !! rating as you could get away with falling off but really wouldn’t want to. I declined my go and was worried I had lost a bit of boldness, but any fears were alleviated as I flashed a pretty scary arête called ‘Vain’ a bit further along. After a few more climbs the rain shat it down so we left.

Lepton


Sunday brought the first day of the Tor and official springtime. James had started work on Keen roof while Jo was working through Ben’s roof. I wanted to work Weedkiller and thanks to Shrewd beta (this is a fucking hilarious joke) for the finish I can do it in overlapping halves, thankfully I didn’t drop the first crux move once in all my goes so I am looking to end this siege in bloodshed next weekend. I think it’s a good choice as the length leads into routes nicely. To top off my weekend I finally did the direct start to Little Extra and felt strong on all my goes. Its coming together!

And now a word from our non-climbing self:




I think that I talk a lot in awkward or new situations in order to fill the silence which I am not comfortable with. Others are. As time goes by I get familiar to the person or situation and I seem to get quieter, the polar extremes of this theory being silence with my family and virtual white noise in the opening days of a new job. Is this is an excuse? Possibly this may be true that I am just lazy with my language, but lets just for a second settle down on this appealing idea. If I am quiet with you, take it as a compliment for now until I can speeka da English more.

I used to think I had low blood sugar, so I ate a bag of wine gums and nothing changed. I had an inkling I may be a ‘victim of the modernity’ and had lost my verbose posturing through the use of electronic communication, but disproved this when I realised every time I answer my phone its like someone is squeezing my bladder and I just have to go go go. “Oh no no no”, I thought, “I am depressed” so I thunk positive and it worked I was happy but still no sounds came out, just a massive grin and the same Vonnegut quote running through my mind “if this isn’t nice, then I don’t know what is”.

My ears, whilst selective, work well in normal conditions and I do enjoy stories of all kinds however minor they may appear on first recital. I enjoy what you have you say and write as long as it’s got passion (not Mills and Boon)

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

no summits


I feel on the verge of something good, possibly an improvement. I am a good weight, I feel strong in areas where I was weak at and spring is just about sprung. But mentally I am low, in regard to climbing anyway. Since my last update I have been out twice, that’s twice in three weeks, owing to a move into the new flat, family commitments and an expertly timed solid two days of rain.


Noble on some squeezed in 7B left of crystal


Before the moving Saturday and hospital Sunday I had anticipated a shit fit if I didn’t climb so on the back of a good forecast I booked the Friday off work. Sure enough the forecast changed midweek and it was raining with moody skies all around. Discussed options with Jim and he was keen on climbing at Roche Abbey after a brief look earlier in the week. I had heard of the place a while back because due to it’s location it was popular with Hull climbers. Driving towards Barnsley for climbing seemed odd but after a bit of a deliverance village we pulled up at the Abbey parking. One buttress is directly behind here and sticks out the hill like a miniature crag, it looked quite French for reasons I don’t really know (the whiteness maybe?) We walked further along to the buttress with the problems Borg and Crystal; Borg was slopey and hard whilst Crystal felt undoable after the initial pulls. I did neither. Jo has climbed them since and says she found some good sequences so not all hope is lost, I was following noble beta after all. After James cleared up we moved back to the first crag, there are a number of 6 and 7s here along with some desperate problems. The rock is nicely featured with crimpy breaks and water worn pockets but some of the pockets are really painful, more to the left hand side where the lime is textured rippled, one of the crimps felt like it had the point of HB pencil in it. I flashed the two 6C’s, one went well while the other was sent in rather more dramatic style involving a dynamic fingerlock to keep in the slanting crack. That marked my highpoint and even with James showing the methods I just couldn’t figure/do any of the 7s. We ended the day by locating the serendipity crag, a sweeping wave of blank rock with some very very hard problems on.
looks like the famous painting


start undercut crimp on serendipity




The next weekend I had work and then a plan to climb on Sunday, chips were pissed on as it rained on my parade in grand style so I went to the foundry with Barr Bar the black sheep to climb routes for a change. Predictably I was shit and 6b+ felt like it used a monumental amount of energy and my soul to climb, but it did feel very good to be doing moves on a rope, especially on crimps. Need to fall off though, haven’t addressed my shit falling technique yet.

Im bored.

Competed in the CWIF this weekend with Jonny, failed on a lot of problems so I came very close to last, fun was had so I don’t mind so much. Part of 9/10 climbers says to climb in social situations you have problems with so this was quite the deep-end for that exercise with big crowds and pressures. Sunday was a beautiful day and quite warm so with Steve, Al and Laura went to Burbage south to seek shade. I have wanted to do the Knock for a while so held myself back from other problems only for the sun to have baked the top-out to a lovely finish so my balls shrinked and I ended up doing nothing all day. Steve wanted to climb ‘Above and Beyond the Kinaesthetic Barrier’ and after a few goes at a duff sequence we watched the beginning of a gritstone year on YouTube where Jordan Buys goes tumbling down the hill, this provided the beta and Steve got it next go. Watched the CWIF finals in the evening and had 3 free burgers (thank you works) so the day was not a loss.




I feel like it’s about to kick off but something is in the way that I can’t describe. Reading 9/10 climbers I think I may be in the dip of the curve where I can’t see where I started trying harder or where this is all going. I need to keep going even if it feels pointless and all will reveal itself. Because I believe I started climbing late on (22) it feels like a race against the clock to be at a level where I think I should be, I can’t help the feeling starting but its getting easier to dampen it by seeing how long other people have been climbed and how they have developed (I am not alone). The climbs don’t change (much) and will still be there when I am ready, and I am getting there.

Oh, my dads got a new hip and the flat is well nice if you were wondering.