Thursday, 21 February 2008

Rock bouldering

What I did last weekend.
Saturday was a trip up to Yorkshire to try a bouldering project, up early and head out with Fi and Vicky B. The project is one I’d spotted last year and have spent a session on already. It involves pinching along a sharpish hanging lip from right to left with ok pinches but hard footwork, to a hideous rockover onto a heel-hook. On last year’s attempt I could do everything on it except for one piece of footwork in the middle. At the sticking point I’d end up stretched out and horizontal with hands crossed and feet either side of the lip in opposition. The problem being that the feet need to be released but I couldn’t take one off without breaking the opposition and cutting loose uncontrollably. After quickly re-learning last year’s sequence I’m back to pondering the foot moves. Unfortunately due to the way the thing climbs I can’t pull on and work this move in isolation, rather having to get there from the start every time. After lots of foot squeezing, shoulder wrenching effort, trying all my mind could muster, I find I can get a very poor left toe jam in a pocket in the roof and ‘walk’ the right foot (heel, toe, heel, toe) along the lip to a small toe hold without ever releasing pressure. Pushing hard on this toe then allows the toe-jam to be released in a semi-controlled fashion. After several more goes I’m through this sequence and onto a biggish dish and little edge, with just the last rockover to do. Rock up as high as I can and attempt to flip right hand into a palm-down, but haven’t got the height. Slump down, take a breath and try again, but gain even less height. Damn, it’s not to be, the final deep locky rockover, which is hard in isolation, is just too hard for my tired shoulders. After that I’m broken and don’t manage to get through the move again, although I do manage to improve the sequence some more. Oh well, it will have to wait till next time, whenever that might be. Retire to Sheffield for fine curry and beer at the Sausage’s house.

Sunday comes and the skin is thin and everything else hurts from too many goes on the project, but the weather is amazing again and I really want to get something done after all the fruitless efforts of yesterday. Nearly go to the Roaches, but ended up at Burbage S with Mr Mawson, figuring that shady rock would be more forgiving on skinless fingers than warm sunny slopers. End up going round most of the edge circuit and a bit on the boulders, showing stuff to Neil who then proceeds to do them all on the flash or second go. He has a good day bagging Little Gem, Zorev, Electric Storm, Yoghurt, Alliance SS, Little Rascal, The Rib, Desperate and the 7a slab on the Pock Block. Not bad for someone who hasn’t climbed a lot this year and claims not to be much of a boulderer. I’m pleased enough to get two new ticks with Zorev and the 7a slab on the Pock Block. Zorev proves to be one of those problems that feels horrendous on the first few goes, but gets gradually easier, eventually feeling ok on the se… ascent. Then injured Nige turned up and made some gentle faces...which was nice.

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