Friday, 18 December 2009

More please...

More, I want more. The last week had 30 hours of climbing in it. For the first time in ages I want it and you can't beat that feeling. Did Sub Society on Saturday, I was really pleased with this as I have been plodding for ages. Almost seems like I have got more done this year because of a lack of time out climbing. My fingers feel the strongest they have in ages. Spending unholy amounts of time on the 30 degree board in the mill and noticed myself curling the thumb across the top of my fingers like a real crimper. No photos at the moment as I have lost my wire to download them.


Am obsessed with weight at the moment there are a lot of people in Wales who seem to have lost weight and got stronger as a result. It depresses me as I fluctuate so much, 86Kg in mid November down now to 81kg. There was a point when I was developing Moel Y Gest that I came in at 75kg, not sure whether that was the dancing or the 10 times I walked up there in 15 days.


Between the trees and the Rocky box set will be to blame if I am broken again in a few weeks. In the meantime thanks to Keith and Sly!

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Pain free

Had my first totally pain free session in months this week. The wrist feels much better, now it is just about undoing the damage of half a year without any real push. Its been strange this year as most of the people I climb with seem to have gone or been injured. Combined with my injury this has caused at best variable levels of drive. I am now returning to full psyche, I actually really want to go to the wall and am relishing the kicking places like the cave will dole out as I feel I can now start to do something about it.

Saturday, 31 October 2009

Ups and downs


First up I went out to try and link the Lotus, it was wet under the roof but with all the holds on the lip in quite good nick, after a couple of hours of getting frustrated I managed to link it from two moves in, massivly annoying as those moves are piss. My sequence seems to work really well but I need it to all just go well for one go instead of constantly fucking up with one of the toe scrubs or flags. We then wandered down to Wavelength, I managed to do New Wave pretty easily which cheered me up a bit. Went down to the Pie Shop to keep on top of the moves on Humble Pie, they felt hard by this point. Finished up at Jerrys did that a couple of times before heading to the pub.


The Following day went to the cave and got massivly unkeen as my wrist hurt constantly as I worked an eliminate on a problem that I had climbed 10 years ago. Its not exactly easy to be keen in this scenario so I went and got pissed with Leroy announced my retirement and cursed our climbing addiction.


Obviously I was right about the addiction made it through till noon the next day before going to try Pools of bethesda as I have nothing else to do with my days off. It went quite well was getting my finger tips in the pocket with the toe hook still in. Doesn't hurt that much to try this so it seems like a plan to maybe siege it a bit.

Friday, 30 October 2009

Wait for it

DIETING IS A SHORT-TERM GAIN One of my biggest mistakes was dieting. I remember stepping on scales when I was 19 and realising I was 8st 13lb. It was so bad, but I was so dedicated. And when I lost the weight I felt like I was floating. My power, dedication and stamina went up. But it took a lot out of my system. Dieting is a short-term gain, believe me it doesn’t do you any favors in the long run. Now I’m careful about eating too much fat or volume, but I don’t count calories.



Malcolm Smith

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Lovin the pie!

Had a good set of days off, started on Saturday with a night out watching the Super Furrys, then a slow Sunday watching the Grand Prix. This was the sort of race that reminds me why I bother watching it, plenty of action with dreams being made and shattered. It would have been easy for Jenson Button to never drive in F1 again, for his previously promising career to end with one win and a load of shit decisions about which team to move to at which time. Instead 12 months later he is World Champion. Lots of people will say its because of the car etc, but as with most things its the way you take your chances available to you that makes the difference in life.

I went back up to the Pie shop on Monday to finish off the Love Pie saga, I did the problem this time. It was proper cold and windy up there, which was fortunate as I had to wait for the top holds to dry out. I did it with the stack in the pocket throwing with my right to a tiny crimp, so my fingers must be getting stronger.



This second shot shows where I managed to fall off last week! On Tuesday I had work to do so went to the Indy and set some problems. Wednesday was good went out with James and managed a circuit up the Ogwen Valley down the Llanberis Pass, had a session at the RAC to warm up, then a quick go at my big project, I managed to do the 1st crux again, seems as though I might have this bit wired now. Couldn't pull on to the second crux anymore, I guess that is to be expected after a summer of debauchery. Then I had a handful of goes at Pools of Bethesda. Finally I am starting to be able to get near the pocket with the toe hook in place, I will be so happy if one day I can do this. I have never hammered the move but I have had a couple of sessions every season to see what goes on. It seems that a leap in power, strength or technique has occurred. After this I went back up the hillside to start trying Humble Pie. This is a ten move extension to Love Pie, it was really nice to be out in the hills hanging around stoned and watching clouds bubbling into Cyrn Las as it went dark.


I got all reminiscent, as I spent a long time here eight-ish years ago working Pythagoras, suddenly the hassle of life seemed miles below me, nothing really mattered. The futility of bouldering was summed up by the very fact that so soon after completing Love Pie I was back. trying to extend it. It was great sitting round under the roof working out the moves, I remembered just how much I enjoy ferreting around the hillside. I slapped around till it went dark and then wandered down to have a beer and hang round. It was great.






























Saturday, 17 October 2009

Nearly...

Went up the hillside on Tuesday, I wanted to try The Lotus again. I tend to go up and have a go once every couple of years, I managed to remember my sequence from the last visit. Each individual move was easy even though it was in terrible conditions. I thought for a little while I might manage to link it, but alas failed. This time though Chris is also keen so hopefully I wont leave it for 2 years before getting back up there. After this we wandered down to the Pie Shop and I managed to get both hands on the top of Love Pie and still fall off. Foolish. This is a ten year affair with this problem, during which time it has turned from a horrendous 8a, into (in some peoples opinion) a steady 7c. I remember reading about the first ascent in an old Climber magazine when I was a student in Canterbury. It was the same issue that had a photo of the first ascent of Crucial Times, so that ages it a bit. Was meant to get up early and go back up before work today, but Friday night got in the way. Other than this I have stopped drinking midweek and started to climb a lot more again which is nice. The conditions are improving and everything is nearly there.

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

More of the same

Went out to the Pass on Thursday dragged Jack into the new found easy trad psyche. We decided that it was amazing to go climbing without failing. That's five days out and constant success, amazing in five days of hard bouldering I would be lucky to get to the top once. Its nice to be chilling on belays and stuff. Unfortunately I was talked into a Bus Stop session on Sunday, after a mega session to mark the end of the summer any physical activity was very foolish, followed Ollie up Fools gold which seems to be turning into a polished hand jamming crack I am sure it was a fingertip crimpy thing before. Oh well the whole place is a pile and whoever spent time energy and money on those bolted routes behind fools gold needs a lobotomy.

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Then the rain came...

Just been outside having a smoke, its raining and looks grim, after 12 days of dry its amazing to see how quickly you take it for granted. Now I can see endless days of grey and hanging round in a damp cave or a dripping mill. Welcome to the winter.

Monday, 21 September 2009

Big Smile

Finnally managed to link up The Big Smile on Wednesday, it was preety cool in the wind so conditions were OK. Managed to do it 2nd try after doing the moves as a warm up. This was good as in the past 3 years I have probably had 6 visits at least, I think on the 2nd session I fell close to the end. Since then its rain, snow, seepage and ice that conspired against me. After this went to the roadside and had a slow session watching Caff on Diesel Power, and trying there and back on the Scoop traverse. My wrist was sore so ended up going to Tremadog the following day, did Grim Wall direct which was very nice, think I may have done it before but can't remember. In fact hanging around in the sun placing gear was so enjoyable that the following day I went down the Pass to the Grochan. First off was Brant Direct then seconded up Stroll On. We then proceded to get a strool on and keep going through till Monday morning. We paid a breif visit to the RAC boulders and played trying to palm out holds on the slab and push yourself upwards, various running jumps etc. All in all really good days off producing many big smiles...

Monday, 14 September 2009

Gutted

Well, just like Dyer said would happen Beatitudes Kiss got a repeat using a dirty razor edge just above the pinch. Boo hiss I say, ignore the best hold in Wales for some dirt, bah. Never mind though. Good effort to Jordan for going up and doing all the problems in a day, apart from the sitter to Cruiser Weight; reachy? No just dead hard guv, honest! And well done for putting up with our drunken directions on friday night without hanging up.

Sunday, 13 September 2009

Out and About

Been out and about a bit the last few weeks, went to the new bloc in Beddgelert woods a few times. This is an example of Pantons brave new world of link ups. This time we have all be instructed how the naming system works and are in the process of filling it up with as many variations as possible. Did the first ascent of a couple of good up lines and have been all over the traverses in an attempt to get a bit fitter. The best thing I have done is the stand start to the left of the arete, which became Water. This is highly morpho but very cool, pulling on with a foot at waist level and wide apart pinchy undercuts before rocking into the bulge and standing up to the top. Si did attempt to tell me I couldn't start there as it was too dependent on reaching that high with a foot. I did it anyway, I don't really see any reason to start artificially lower in order to make it the same for others, after all its not like I am using holds out of reach for my hands just a high foothold. Besides there is still the sitter to be linked in although i think this will probably change the whole sequence and the cool rockover will be defunct.

Here is a link to the pages, with some photos of Water.
http://www.northwalesbouldering.com/newsitem.asp?nsid=420


I have left the Cromlech alone at the moment as a summer of changeable weather seems to have meant most of my sessions have been up there. I fell of the end of the Scoop traverse there and back, and Sub Society over the last few weeks. Think this is a good sign for the coming winter as Sub Society is one of those problems I never expect to ever do as it is too crimpy, so i don't try it, this of course is the quickest way to make sure you don't do something!


Here is some footage of Scoop Traverse and The Sting.

video

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Pondering


So I have had a few weeks off, now what? Well its 10 weeks till holiday time so I had better do something about trying to get better at climbing rocks.

First step to anything is motivation, where is that going to come from? In my questioning of psyche I came across the theory of Manipulation drive. This is the theory that animals including lower species indulge in certain actions mearly for the reward of manipulating a complex and novel object. I quite like that its simple and straightforward, I like playing on rocks, cos i like playing with rocks. Although it sounds like an amazing cop out, we don't know why, so it must be cos you like the feeling! So how does it make you feel?

At best boulders are the perfect something, giving life to memories and good times. Local boulders will always be special for this reason, spots like Fachwen are so tied in with that first summer of this new life. At worst, they chew me up, bring out my bad sides, bitchy, competitive and insecure, a dark stormy come down from the previous high. The feeling that things will never be so good again. Beating away at the unachievable, no more fast gains, same places, same problems, the same moves again and again just for a two week trip to put yourself in an emotional blender of your own expectation and ambition.

So why? After many days of searching I have no answer, fortunately I suffer from something easily defined as natural enthusiasm, so my quest for motivation is relatively straight forward. My reasons are vast and varied, for years I have been a regular scribbler about days spent climbing, and things I would like to climb. Some of these make me feel horrible when I am down, a list from 8 years ago covered in problems most of them undone, a lot I don't even remember wanting to try! How can that be worthwhile? However in these times, I can also remember a dark bar in Austria, meeting a fucked up, mind blown guy calling himself the Nose. Describing to a complete stranger the beauty of the pinch and toe hook rippling the right hand side of my body, swap stories of why we are there, tell him you did a good link today, (he doesn't care or understand but he is very good at pretending) then meet an arms dealer and a guy who plays scrap metal for a living. After being escorted to the late bar 2 miles out of town, feed vast quantities of warm rum and brown sugar, the bar has a whip round for the pissed Welsh guy with no coat to get a taxi. I guess the point is climbing gives you a lot more than just doing the moves.

A selection of interesting people out there, look at the trousers on the guy.




After re-reading that I think I should go climbing, this free time fucks with your head...

Monday, 3 August 2009

Time out

After recent success of developing new areas and trying projects, I have been drinking and sweating on dance floors. Until a couple of years ago I climbed pretty much every day and spent most of my time wondering why improvement was so slow. Now I have learnt that backing off is good, my desire to climb is nearly always there, what changes though is the desire to succeed. To actually do what is required in order to complete a challenge. So in brief its raining, been to the wall a bit, but mainly I am indulging in mental training.

Saturday, 18 July 2009

Doing the move...

Had a minor breakthrough on one of my projects this week. After changing the angle of my foot and learning to pinch with my left hand I did one of the two crux moves. I started looking at the line about 3 years ago, and this was my tenth session. I had only done the move twice before but both times seemed more by fluke than anything else. Now I feel I have learnt a position on the move so hopefully it will become linkable. Given that once I caught the hold, I couldn't begin to move either foot, and once I do that I need to do another similarly hard move, that I have only done once, it could take a while!

Friday, 10 July 2009

This week...

This week I mainly went bouldering, shock horror! On Monday I sat out the rain in V12 drinking coffee and reading mags. Eventually went up the pass, been a while since I embraced the post work Cromlech sessions, so I had forgotten what a social centre these blocks were. Did a little climbing and made up some eliminates on the roadside face. Went down to Jerry's to play a bit on things there. Had a reasonable go at doing it blindfold, I have climbed the roof bit blind before but never the top out. Doing the whole thing from the proper start may become my summer fun challenge.

On Tuesday decided to head over to the Orme to climb in the cave, after playing around on this and that decided I was stronger but with much less fitness. My swinging match on Louie Armstrong still isn't working so obviously need to get stronger still. All the big links were out of the question, as I was tired on Lou Ferrino. In the end went up to Normans Wisdom and did the traverse and stuff, after a while it became clear psyche was low, so we headed to the pub.

Wednesday dawned a grey day, I wanted to go and check out a groove I remembered seeing at the entry to the copper mines in the pass. I remembered this as a steep blankish wall with some pinches, estimated the grade as V10 upwards. On my return it had morphed into a just off vertical V4, strange, it wasn't even much of a groove, still it was very good. I set up a rope and started to clean it. After sorting it out and moving some rocks at the bottom, I decided to give it a blast, slipping off the second move. I ran away to come back with a spot and mat. Jack came up from V12 and it went first go. Its quite high but totally safe with a spot and two mats due to a big flat rock for the spotter to stand on. Although I am sure it will probably never be climbed again for years, I named it Traitors Gate, and told anyone who would stand still long enough it was a modern classic. We then went down to the Cromlech, and had a social session with a couple of ciders, although I did land on my ass show boating on Sleep deprivation. Caff and Baby Dave both did Mr Fantastic as their first 8a+. Its great seeing other people happy when they climb hard stuff and even better when its on your problems.

Thursday, was mincing day, after heading over to see a mate in Bethesda, had a spare hour so decided to stop off and do the traverse in the river by the bridge. Maybe its just me, but I have been convinced this is worth doing for years. Its a bit small and you have to be careful not to land in the river, but it has a lovely sequence of moves on slopes. Well its good if your in the area with half an hour to kill!

Friday, 3 July 2009

Staggering

Went up to Staffordshire for a mates stag on the weekend, stopped off at Gibb tor on the way to try Maurice Gibb. Thought this was remarkably cunning as its a jug to jug jump and it was hot. On arrival at the crag I realised the only fluid I had was 24 cans of Strongbow and 18 bottles of Stella, all warm. Fortunately after a bit of rooting round the boot I found some nice cider that had been kept cooler in the boot beneath some mats and stuff.


I started leaping around and quickly got bored of being a steady 6 inches short, so I canned the cider and started soloing round. First up was a nice looking slab into a groove, after moving up the slab on jugs I was reaching up towards a break looking for the next big hold, I got scared and retreated down. After a couple more attempts cursing my cowardice, I looked in the guide and realised there were no more good holds as it was an E5 6c. So I went through and found some more reasonable grades. This was great, scuttling round on jams being trad. I had a proper good time although I did gibb (see what I did there?) one route I would like to do, can't remember the name but the description was a Gogarth route! It involved a mantel onto a big green grassy shelf, a crawl then a dusty green crack to top out, after a couple of slimy attempts I got scared of being broken at the crag alone and ran away to party.

Thursday, 2 July 2009

Moel Y Gest

I love cleaning boulders, its stupid but there you go, for the last few weeks virtually every day off I had has been spent at Moel Y Gest scrubbing lichen and peeling off moss. In the same time period my house hasn't been cleaned at all, well couldn't really as all the brushes were stashed under blocs 20 miles away.

About 2 months ago I first heard rumor of this venue, first from Andy, but he wasn't saying where. Then Simon Panton, who was thinking about giving away knowledge in order to gain positive karma to finally heal his finger. Eventually as it appeared to be becoming the worst kept secret in Wales, Si cracked and spilt the beans.
The following day saw me head down to check it out, after reading the crag description in the Tremadog guide I was fairly blase about the directions after all its at the bottom of a 200ft quarry, how hard could it be? An hour or so later sweating, stumbling and swearing, I finally located the boulders. They looked good, psyche was high so I started cleaning and climbing some of the lines till I ran out of tobacco, chalk and water.


I went back to V12 to collect Jack and some brushes, and we drove down to do some more. It rained, so we took shelter and he cleaned but failed to climb Room For Glue, it was very wet grim and greasy to be fair though. I started trying the groove to the right which became Beatitude's Kiss. This is probably my favorite problem in Wales now, it felt like a 8a+ when I did it but I know it was bad conditions, so I have decided to give it 8a and see what happens in the winter.


Beatitudes kiss.



Anyway there are new problems dotted around the hillsides, here is a link if I can make it work to Ground Up topo:


http://www.northwalesbouldering.com/upload/members/Moel%20y%20Gest%20topoV4.pdf



and some photos by Ray Wood off the DMM site:


http://dmmclimbing.com/news.asp?nid=213&ngroup=2

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

45s revisited

This week I have mainly been developing some boulders but there is still something I want to do up there before too many people find it. So I will tell you about my training session this week.




Went to the mill and made up some new moves followed by a beastmaker session. Main goal was to hang the 45 degree slopers for 30 seconds, after 4 attempts 25, 27, 23, I sat down and rested before 32 seconds. All very dull but it means I am getting stronger or fitter, this was my 4th day on a few weeks ago I needed to be fresh to get anywhere near this.




Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Pantymwyn




Went down to Devils Gorge last week, had a good session doing Be Ruthless sitstart, I tried this a couple of years ago with CJD before Hocking nipped in and did the FA. It was nice to be out and about in the sunshine after 4 days of boiling weather in the wall.

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

HOT soooo HOT...

Back in the wall now, its roasting. A big tin shed in the sunshine for 13 hours at a time, trying to keep up the keenness, but finding it very hard, was out of bed at 7.30 to squeeze some outside time in by going for a run. Now trying hard to do circuits in the wall and get fitter, weights later, don't think I will maintain it unless it gets cooler.

Went to the cave after work the other day, was keen for Lou Ferrino chipless, but even with lanterns at midnight it was still so sweaty. Decided to try Louie Armstrong a bit more, settled on the sequence I will use for the crux section. Time to get stuck into training for a bit my motivation to climb outside is faded at the moment.

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

The maker of the Beast...

Been getting really excited by the Beastmaker in the mill, or should say Beastmakers as we have two, as Panton put it if one is awesome two must be better. My main aim is to do the 30 sec hang on the 45's. I have been building for the last 3 weeks gone from a few seconds to 24 sec to 26 sec. Last days off I made a new personal best of 29, I think I may have got 30 but I dabbed on the pull on so the first second didn't count!




As well as this I have been developing my locking and footless cross thoroughs . I figure all this will improve my lock and allow me to do my first non chemically induced one armer, another of this years goals. Here is a shot of the cross on the 35 degree slopers, I have also decided that rainy weather makes them sticky... Too far, probably...




But here is a shot of some lovely slopers to hang once beastliness has been achieved.


Saturday, 23 May 2009

Keen Roof

The last days off were good, after 5 visits and 6 sessions I managed to link Keen Roof. The mini obsession started about 6 weeks ago, after meeting Leroy up there for a session. Sat in Parisellas disillusioned and with a tweaky wrist. I was bored of trying hard on problems that were hard to be keen for, moves that I had done or tried before, sometimes many times. A sinking feeling that it would all be easier with fitness, rather than getting them more wired, holding your breath and sprinting towards a light at the end of the cave. So new venue and new moves, the mighty Jetta took me across with the idea of Powerband and some spotting duties. Arriving late in the day after a little climb on Pinches wall, we jumped on to see what it was about. Leroy made fast progress and surprisingly so did I, at the end of the session he was redpointing and I had found a knee bar and reach to do the crux moves to the lip. Driving home was ace, fast progress is not something I make that often and I was optimistic of an ascent just needed to fine tune the swing and matching the lip.


For the next 6 days I rested and thought about the moves, at this point I was getting the right hand pocket and throwing again to the hold on the lip. Although I could do this move it felt hard and wasn't that reliable. I came up with a theory to go to the lip lower and then go again making two smaller hand moves the first of which maybe I could reach with the kneebar in. CJD was keen to have a visit so once again, the traffic of Stockport was breached and we met Leroy for round 2.

After a good warm up session doing eliminates on pinches wall we went over and got stuck in the theory worked and I could now get to the lip hold well, Leroy dropped the top twice in the sun, and CJD worked hard phoning schools at the crag. My aim for the day was to do the moves to the lip well and I did that first go, so after this success I got greedy and wanted more from the session, forever a victim of my own enthusiasm, I had many attempts at many sequences, after about 50 goes on the swing I was tired and a bit pissed off. In the end we ran off calling in at Beginners wall so Chris could try Recreational Violence, he jumped around a bit and after a pint and post match analyses, it was a good day.


During the next week of resting and easy days I worked out I needed to be crimped on the good hold on the lip, as opposed to dragging it with three fingers. Holding this open was making me struggle to hold the swing and match the lip. I went back for a session and worked a way of matching, turning the hold to a crimp, dropping back down to the undercut and then holding the swing before matching the lip again. After working the top and bottom sections a bit, I went off to get some food and water before coming back to have a few redpoints before it got dark, I made it through to the match but was too tired for any thing great to go on. It was getting dark and I really happy the sequence was in place and I could defiantly climb the problem now. With nothing much to do I decided to sit around and stay for the next day, I like hanging around by problems drinking and thinking about what to do next. The following morning it was clear that was a shit plan, I was tired, hungover and stiff, too old to sleep in cars now I guess! I also tore a big flapper in the palm of my hand trying too hard on the slap, a bit of cave tactics and some gaffer tape over a small spike sorted that though. My amazing revelation that resting makes you stronger, I now discovered it also made you have really crap day fitness, two days and I was knackered, shit, I normally climb 9 out of 10 days. Still it meant I got to see Natcho destroy it, and I hung out and got bits more worked before giving in and going home.


This time I decided to leave it alone for 2 weeks, go climbing on other stuff and hang around on the Beastmaker. On a night out in Bangor I met a couple of Greek Psychologists, a quick lesson in visualisation and self confidence type tactics followed and I could work on it without even leaving the house. Next session I got it second redpoint, everything went right, its incredible how easy things can be when you get it right. I was starting to get bored of going to try it, and I know from past experience how easy it would have been to make a hash of it, for it to become another must go back to problem. Suddenly it seems like I may be learning. I hope so, its nice when it feels good to do something, too many times the endpoint for me has just been a thank God its over type of feeling. I never did try Powerband.

Saturday, 16 May 2009

The Cave


Went back to Parisellas cave this week, its been a couple of months since my last visit, after falling off the last couple of moves on Dans Finish a few times I had had enough. This has been a long year in terms red point angst in there. First up I was trying to link together Full Circle into Broken Direct this was my plan in an attempt to gain some power endurance. This sort of worked as a way of training as I managed my foreign goal of Wrestling with an Alligator in January without fitness being an issue. When I came back I was feeling good, so instead of letting recovery happen I jumped straight back on and made it through the crux of Broken Heart a couple of times but then started to go backwards fast. Next up was Dans Finish and to start off with progress was quick instantly back to the high point of previous efforts. This problem has become a real bugger to link and after falling at the end of Beaver Cleaver, I decided that fitness was required before any more cave links would happen. Being prone to smoking and drinking fitness is hard to get. Instead I started to cruise around looking for shorter problems to try and started to avoid the cave, while Hock was visiting it rained so the cave became desirable once more. In the end it turned out to be good, shit conditions instantly gave the excuse to not do anything, and had an enjoyable day working out the moves on Louis Armstrong and Lou Ferrino Sans Chips, decent progress was made on sans chips and I think on a better day it would have gone.

All in all a good few days off, finished up as i had begun hanging the 45's in the mill, although now on my fourth day on I had gone down to 10 seconds. Next week...

Friday, 15 May 2009

On the Blog

Decided to join in the blogging, so that I too can spray random opinions and post up bully about what I have/want to have been climbing. Hopefully I will weld together wit and wisdom, but in all its far more likely to turn into whine and whinge pretty quickly.

First day off this week saw the beginning of a new obsession with the Mill. After an intensive summer last year, leading to total burnout and failure, I am determined to be more organised in my efforts this year. My first goal was to hang the 45 slopes on the Beastmaker for 30 seconds, a fine beast 8a on the training records. After warming up and recruiting I managed to do 26 seconds before slithering to the floor, this was cool as the target had been 10. Made up some nice problems on the right hand board and managed to retro flash Panton in a blender, Nine bars, and a few other Mill7a+ problems.

Hock came down to the Wales for a quick visit, so we decided to head down to the revamped Tan y Grisiau with Jack and Ian to try Flick of the Wrist, Hock dispatched this with a strange sequence all high feet and shoulders while Ian added 4 or 5 flappers to an injured finger, a case of insult to injury if ever there was one. Jack and I both made good progress before he was stumped by the last but one move, body tension/reach/fear ended it all there for the day. I managed to climb through, catch the sloper after the crux badly and failed to finish it, classic. All in all a good problem that would be awesome without the slightly encroaching block on the left.
Next day was the Caseg to take my annual spanking on Main Vein and The Groove Sitter. I find this boulder desperate at the best of times and was no different today, did manage to evolve my sequence on the Groove and think this one will go, as for Main Vein bah humbug.