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