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.