Wednesday, 26 February 2014

I've had 2 over 57

When I lived in Hull our nearest crag was Almscliff and as the nights grew longer we'd head out after work in Lee's van. Normally I'd end up in the back for the journey and rolling around would try and construct a fort out of pads and down jackets to avoid death by plain saw. Over the course of the years heading to the cliff for these sessions it produced three prominent nemeses that bobbed above the waves like seals in an ocean of failed projects. 

The Gypsy top out

Syrett's Roof

Pebble Wall

None held mighty grades and i'd climbed harder on paper but each problem with it's own peculiarity would knock me down and leave me gasping, scared, or scared gasping.

Four years down the way i'm in Sheffield and visit the cliff only once a year like a relative. This year due to the rainageddon it seemed inevitable we'd head there and sure enough a large contingent waded over the tribal barriers into yorkshire and headed across the muddy entrance as a roman padded tortoise, hoping to break the ramparts with pads and chalk.

The last time I was on the Gypsy I slipped off the undercut with my heeltoe in place, reeling back my ankle clicked through the upside down spin degree by degree, Lee pulled me up and we laughed at the prospect.

"Can you spot me close here, i've got a thing about this move"  

The problem felt easy and flowing around the arete at the top I held the jug and lunged for the rounded hold, right at the back in the sandy gutter, high left foot and in one swift movement you are saved from power and lumped with balance. playful slap for the top I know is good and I'm running up the slab, lost as to where to go. 

"Bob, Bob guess what I did?"

At Syrett's roof I could see the old game being played out, rock rock retreat, rock rock repeat. Internal worries can be seen on the face of those present, weighing up desire to finish the problem with the level of gas left in the tank for other tricks. I wasn't bothered, I'd REALLY had it with that roof but Duncan just had his own first session so wanted more, the sapling. The first go felt the same as always bar feeling stronger through the roof, another 4 goes with the same result but each time the potatoe hold felt better, like someone has shaved it's rounded top (not chipped). Rocking around the final time I looked back under the roof and plonked my redundant left roof on the other side of the undercut, bounced back into the rock over and felt 3 feet higher. 

"Bob, Bob guess what I just did?"

I was happy enough at this point and just had the annual flash go on the Dolphin's belly, I only made it giggle the first time through but slapped it proper to seal the dolphin for a whale of time. hmm.

Pebble Wall, you'd cut me up and spat me out more times than i've cooked the mrs dinner (achievable in one session I should add). But not this time! I remember Sophie's beta from 2008 or something and this time I was going to use it. left hand jam in break, step through right foot, heel into cup, point toe out and towards the cow shit and break this scrum surging upwards tweaking the crag grabbing the crescent.

"Bob, Bob guess what I've done?"

"Shut up Guy"

The camera stayed in the bag all day so for this day of days that I will always remember I'll have to try and do just that.

In the pub a few weeks later Bob was worried about about the action of people consuming problems, on this day I didn't feel like a marauding tick artist it was more like saying bye to old friends.