Thursday, 25 February 2010

The Crest

The Crest is a Hocking 7c at the Wave boulders near Bethesda. It starts from a crouch and climbs a prow for 7 moves, beneath you is a roof with a obvious sit start at the back. After my lack of psyche and wrist pain I needed a project to fire me up again. Somewhere to hide and something no one would notice me working. I wandered up before Christmas to have a look, the first 2 moves are easy big spans with good feet, then you do a tricky blind slap, this puts your left on the start hold of the crouch, so far so good. Then I stalled on the next move I could reach it from a bicycle at the back of the roof but had no chance of taking the swing without hitting the ground. I needed a way to bring my feet off the back wall and onto the prow itself. I don't think I have ever tried a hard problem with so many different ways to nearly do the move but still be unable to make any of them work. There was an obvious three finger drag that you could drop into and use for your heel. Had a couple of sessions and managed to make it work, cool redpoint time probably 8a.

Footage of the original problem:

Next session I snapped this hold off, I decided to glue it on again, it snapped again and again so in the end I committed to working a new way. This was slightly annoying as I had gone from being reasonably solid back to being skin of my teeth to keep the tension through the crux section. By this point my amazingly well hidden project had been discovered by Bethesda boy Ioan, he didn't know that the crouch had been done by Hock, so set about this and stole one of my mats, pikey bastard. Fortunately for me by this point I had my sequence and the top spent a few weeks being covered with snow while I did lots of leg raises and campused to get my contact strength up. I lied and told him I would ring him when I was going to try it share my beta etc as long as he gave me a head start.

Then the weather window of February arrived and I got distracted by a couple of other lines, after feeling good on a few other things I was ready. I started to wait for a dry day and started to get a bit frustrated. In the end I wandered up after Jacks birthday session cursing as it was dry and cold and I was dry heaving and sweaty. Pulling on I did the 7c first go, and fell twice on the crux before linking it together. I think its probably 8a+, feeling like a 8a to get to the start holds of the original. Ioan is keen for the second ascent I hope he does it, but I am still not going to share my beta though. I think working out how to do it was the hardest and most enjoyable part of the problem for me.

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