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.

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