Friday, 31 December 2010

Merry new year

Well the snow has melted and left behind a world of dampness to ruin the fun for a little while. Strange deeds have been afoot in chez Nodder, after being pretty much nailed to a pouch of tobacco for 20 years I am 10 days clean. Given the fact that I am still counting the hours (and in fact the minutes) success or failure could go either way at present.

Before the weather turned it was lovely up here, I went down to Jerry's to put in redpoints 50-60ish on Malcs Start, went well got to the porthole move 8 times rather than a normal 6 out of the ten.
Problem is:
Conditions - Perfect
Rested - Perfect
Skin - Perfect
Result - Not Perfect, still on the floor.

So there you go, occasionally you get a wake up call, I am nearly at the level I wanted to reach by this point but still no cigar (not even a roll up.) Back to the drawing board for me, figure i need more core and contact strength. Fortunately due to my smoking ban I have a lot of time to hang on a finger board and try to distract myself. I did have another good cave session, tried Louis Armstrong and was reasonably quick out the blocks on it, very close to the big move and the rest of it is sorted now. Think I will put some hours in in the Cave again, it is a great venue to improve in after all. Other than that I have been wandering round trying some projects trying to get sequences and find what I need to improve on ready for the next good weather.

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Clearing the camera

In the interest of cleaning out my camera and computer here is some stuff.

Monday, 20 December 2010

Loose ends

Last week I went to the cave for the first time in ages. It has been so long that I actually enjoyed myself in there. The wind was incredible blowing straight off the sea and into the caves. The cruel truth is that when I was a cave regular my ego got in the way so if at any point I failed on something that I had done before I went into a chronic spiral of sulk. This time I was expecting to fail, so it was nice to quickly get up a few problems like Lou ferrino and Bellpig. Joe had a couple of pretty good goes at Crucial times so I joined in on that, I have done this before but only with a knee bar and pocket in my left which I was happy with, but if I want to do any of the links out of it I would like to use the original sequence. Don't know why, guess its just because some of the holds I use on my other sequence seep so badly it becomes quite frustrating to work. After a little mini session I was coming close to holding the crux, just need to sort out getting my arse of the ground on the start holds.

Continuing in my ticking old problems theme I had a session on Diesel Power the other day, this problem pisses me off, I could lap to the last move for a month or so 7 years ago but I never managed to link it. Now I find it desperate, I know I am stronger and better at climbing so what happened? Well for a start on the cigarette box slot (the hold in the roof) has crumbled a bit on the right hand side which sucks ass if like me you can only fit three fingers in it, and secondly I think i have probably forgotten about the sessions I had to get it worked up to there so feel like I should be able to get there straight away. Anyway I quite enjoyed mincing around on it, hopefully I will dig in and get it done this winter at some point. I also had a session trying the Reverse Grove link on the barrel, this is stunning far better than the original barrel traverse as it actually has a defined start, think it will take a little while to link it up but happy enough to have something pretty roadside, and not a first ascent that I want to do.

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Où est la flick?

It was all going so well happy in the hills with my brushes pads stashed around ready for the big winter push. My summer of route climbing seemed to have worked out quite well a much higher volume of climbing and much lower intensity of drinking than normal. The tweaks had healed up, and a mini campus obsession was returning my snap crackle and pop. You could say all was right in my world. A small moment of weakness and a large session in the fricsan and suddenly the flame flickered and died. The Jetta blew its head gasket and money troubles never far away were back to the top of my list of priorities.

The next few weeks were a great example of the worst that the Welsh weather can throw at you, sessions were spent sat in a little cave on top of the little orme, trying and failing to find my psyche. My shoulder was sore and my ability had dropped through the floor. And it had all been going so well!

Fast Forward 6 weeks, I have just spent 3 out of the last 4 days down the Caseg boulder. Now normally I avoid this bloc like the plague as each problem there has been epic. The Gimp is probably one of my least favorite problems that I know is very good, if you see what I mean. However after a decision influenced by snowy weather and time constraints it was a good call for CJD and me, so we headed down to have a play. The snow had frozen to the top of the boulder so after a warm up I installed myself under The groove sitter. After a few goes trying to catch the sloper I got CJD to push while I pulled and a funny thing happened. Because I knew he was going to push I didn't pull up bob down and slap I just kept pulling in one movement and did the move with a tiny assist, next go and boom I had found my secret for the crux. Some moves are just awesome when they go, I don't know how many times I have tried to catch that slope but I do know they are spread out over sporadic visits since it was a project. I pretty much knew then that it was on as the second step through and reach into the groove with right hand I had managed to do before. The inevitable happened and I couldn't do the next move, bugger indeed. I started to try to slap straight up with my right to the sloper directly above on Main Vein. As the day went by I sorted the rest out, and tried the two methods.

The next day I was working and daydreaming about the problem, if I could just get that move then I would be able to do a problem that I always wanted to do, and also get some confidence back to take to my projects. It was obvious the cold was here to stay for a bit and so I decided to use my time honored technique of boring it into submission. My left shoulder was still a bit sore and trying to cross into the groove with my right was hurting so I carried on trying the slap straight up. This was a much more enjoyable move to try, and also assuming that one day I magically become one of those people that think Main Vein is easy then I will have a nice link up to try. This is where the flick came in, smoking and sitting generally enjoying myself I realised that as I had got stronger I had also got worse at throwing myself around, instead of trying to be in any way in control of my body I needed to start flinging myself optimistically at the hold. Inching my way round the bulge learning the move eventually I caught the hold and was into the stand. What to do now, should I try and link the first move or save skin and muscles for tomorrow? As it was already pretty late, and I was pretty fucked I decided to save it and come back.

Le flick innit

Again the day was cold and dry, minty in fact with more wind too. After a home warm up and finger board session I drove over and stumbled my way through the drifting snow to the bloc, the wind was coming left to right (sure that's not the technical term but what the hell) so the face was in the best conditions ever seen sine the glacier put it there. After a couple of hours mincing brushing and slapping I got to the top hold, the frozen snow on top meant rocking out was impossible but to be honest this doesn't bother me. I have done the stand start to this problem dozens of times, including pissed, stoned and in bare feet. Maybe I will go back and try again but for the moment the next line and the next project is more important to me, plus the fact that I get to leave it alone without even getting bored.