Recently I have been trying to build a bigger bouldering hammer in order to achieve two goals. The first is to get back to climbing 8B the second is the same as it has been since climbing 8B and that is to get to 8B+. Progress is slowly being made with the first and I don't need to worry about the second till the first is done.
In 2013 I climbed the grand total of three problems that I hadn't done before the first was Baby Buddha, the second was White ladders at Stoney, (i was on the way to do some problem setting in south England and managed to get a bouldering window but obviously it rained), and the third I don't remember but I am pretty sure there were three. So far this year I am on one. Childcare really does limit the possibilities for boring problems into submission, hence the need for a bigger hammer to knock them down faster. Still the one is quite cool its a jump I tried quite a lot a fair few years ago. This year I had a 2 hour window and went to meet CJD at manor crag, I had enough time to do the project and have a tinnie, why cant it always be like this?
Yesterday I got really lucky. Having decided the best use of my day out was to go to the cave I arrived to find the road closed, bugger. Next up I went to Tramps Tea Party to find it back to its pre assent state of shit hole double bugger. I looked over the wall and the tide was in so Angel bay was out. Fuck, this was now looking like a shit choice. I wandered up to Manor Crag and melted a bit, and was amazed the cracks were still seapy, so carried on to be stung by nettles wading into caveman to look at a sheep's corpse. This left me with Bulging wall to save my rapidly evaporating sanity. Having spent a couple of sessions up there trying Cheech Marin a few winters ago I was kind of keen, but wouldn't have chosen to go there in a million years. On arrival it was shady and had a much longed for breeze, in fact only a few nettles and a dead magpie to deal with before climbing, hurrah! Having a superstitious Granddad the first thought was there is something unlucky about dead magpies or was it crows. I then remembered my pet Jackdaw (that's right I called him Jack) I found and raised from a chick that mysteriously disappeared while I was on holiday. Years later my old man admitted the chances were granddad had killed him! By this point I had lost all interest in warming up so got straight to business and tried to pull on until I could. Then I tried various arrangements of sloper, sidepull, crimp, heel hook, high toe till I decided my previous sequence though it felt close wasn't going to get that little bit closer that I needed. I ended up pulling on the sharp crimp with my left and a half crimp with my right and feet high to the right. Once I was on this turned out to be the right choice as I went to the right of the obvious sloper I had been aiming for and miraculously caught a crimp in the croozzley bit to the right. Fortunately at this point I fell off so was able to start the camera rolling, a few false starts later I got the jug and quested upwards into the grass and broken shite. In one half of my mind I was sure I had spoken to Mark and he had told me of a harrowing top out, in the cowardly half I was thinking none of the other problems top out. After pulling on a large pinch that moved a few inches and looking down to see my 10 year old pad looking a bit shit and battered I bailed, after all I like to climb rock not grass.
|Mark on Cheech Marin Photo Si Panton|
And the all important video