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 arĂȘtes 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