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.

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