Monday, 21 October 2013

...and then he poured another drink

I look up and notice that the popular talent show is on, I look back down at the computer screen and continue to tongue at the pain on the roof of my mouth, this being the better of the two options. Craning my neck over I hear that noise again and let out a child size sigh. One of the drawbacks of having a skylight is that you're painfully aware of when it's raining, especially that heavy globule type rain. It's hard to not get down when both your hobbies rely on okay weather, not even great weather just run of the mill average weather (average for Southern France maybe). I check my log to see what I've been doing, bring up some memories and ground myself.


After the Alps trip I was at a loss as to what I was doing really, I took so much time in planning it feels like an empty void where all that excitement was now it's over. I knew what to do, head out to the grit and find some local soul, get psyched by home again. After a quick trip to Minus Ten and Stanage I was happy to be back in Sheffield again, sure it was hot as hell but the crags were dry. If at the start of the week I was beaming by end I was melancholy, a trip to Gordale and attempts on Pierrepoint had left me terrified with every clip feeling like a gripper. I was climbing like Pinocchio before the cricket got all up his grill. I wouldn't have felt so bad but Shrew was climbing annoyingly well, the antithesis, the bastard. Our parallel lines only meeting upon an inspection of 'Green Lipped Muscle' (climbs through a hole above a waterfall) both equally fazed by the position and state of the river we scampered back down the Tolkien steps, wild just doesn't cover it.

Back at home and work I thought about my terrible mental state in Yorkshire and put it down to being scared of falling again, on the Badile slab it meant potential 30 metre falls so this must have reinstated old fears of falling onto bolts, or I just didn't trust Shrew. It got me thinking about the trust we place in each other and also equipment, I reasoned no one really thinks about it too much and just gets on with it, with that I stopped looking at my quickdraws, tapped up well known' bold alpinist Malcolm Scott' and went to Raven Tor. My sort-of-siege-but-not-quite project has been the route 'Obscene Gesture' straight up the perma dry wall. The sequence felt familiar and Malcolm liked it too. First go I felt diazepam chilled but dropped it out of shock at nearly cracking the crux. So I sit down and cool my hands, talk about cheese or something and belay Malc, it will go next time, I don't even dwell on it.

Gurning at the undercuts again, stood on a belay ledge I stick thumb in the hole and pinch, move feet on smear and the little edge take the weight off your left hand by pulling in with the thumb/pinch, release from undercut and reach out for small layaway, pull on this to move weight onto left foot letting the right foot leave the smear and flag, reach up for good hole with left hand and then tinker around connecting dots of footholds until the crux is finished. There you go, now imprinted on my mind for who knows how long, I do wonder what useful memory nugget has been pushed out of the grey mass to make room for that now redundant sequence. I've since been back to try Obscene Toilet but didn't like the crux, the tor feeling fades...

After that I went to Majorca with my girlfriend, fell off 7as into luke warm bath water then boiled any internal water out of my skin sleeping in the hotel room. Once they stopped us on our sly booze runs it was just a fancy prison with less desirable clientèle. I enjoyed the beach party though, sand and drink is like rhubarb and custard. 

On the filming front I got to watch/badly film Nathan nonchalantly cruise the second ascent of Inspiration Dedication in the Burbage South quarries, amateur media circus in effect. A heavily padded trip to Baslow/curbar provided some out of condition sends of Grand Potatoe and White Water. Unfortunately I puntered my preparation and ran out of batteries before I could film Mark of El Vino slab running fame perform some modern day dawesism on the crux of white water, 3 times in a row. Momentum is where it's at on that angle, sort of cheating when you can control gravity (you do it through stern looks apparently). A visit to hen cloud with ex-never-was-a-patriot Steve Ramsden and Oli Gunner grounstar saw me not even tie on for borstal breakout and film them gently climb the scary looking B4 XS. My first trip to the Churnet yielded no ticks but some lovely footage of  Thumbelina and Inaccessible. In between filming other things I'm slowly collecting footage for Gritual and as long as I can hold back from making an edit I should have a nice haul by the end of the season. I just like the idea of small edits with good feeling, it might just be my short concentration span. 

As for the blog title, Hemingway drank didn't he? He was a dick too though, right. 

Emlyn with stirrups on

A commited slimline whale on B4 XS 

looking for spare change to supplement his paper round on White Water 

he has bad days but on his good days everyone wants to be him

John on Thumbelina (video still)

Second pitch, Inaccesible, not really but fuck! how good would that be!

Tubthumpingly good