Wednesday, 23 April 2008

Allez oop

Wet to the skin and in up to the knee I lifts one leg after the other through the thicket of windblown reeds, to wade queasily amongst the piss stenching, flyblown swamp is my task. Five fold five is the term of our days and none but the best will see us out. I take the reins again and rear up over the harrowed fen. “Forth lithe wanderer, we have heights to scale!” The bay mare shudders a little and lurches into an exhausted half trot. It’s been a month now and nothing but rainwater and sand apples for these travellers. “Have heart, be hale, reluctant stead. ‘Tis nought but a molehill” Kershaw lifts his long sad face and casts a weary glance upwards at the vast obsidian fang jabbing skyward before him, his four vast, limpid eyes all blood red and rimmed with tiny biting creatures. Like a beckoning finger of blackened bone, a last defiant gesture of the primal giant, now corrupt and laid prone amidst these desolate acrid swamps. This is their fate, to answer the call, to push against the tide and venture to the rotten heart of it all. Now is the time.
Well actually that’s not strictly true, but I did go back to Gardom’s on Saturday and out to Baslow last night. Met up with lots of folk on Sat and spent a lot of time failing to do Iain’s prob, nobody else faired any better. Went over to Plan D, Adam managed it using a right hand slap sequence, which looked steadier than my oddball crossover, but gnarlier as falling from this move lands you on the tree. He also did the obvious line up the right arĂȘte at 7a+, this is now called Forward Thinking Sound Engineer. I repeated this eventually, quite a good addition. Adam also did the sitter to Plan D and the static start to Business As Usual and is therefore king of the block. Wandered back past Barry Sheene and did this again, funny how some stuff you find hard suddenly feel easy once you’ve done it the once.
Sunday was wet. Went for a walk up to Gun Rock. Saw where Al’s fabled 7b must have gone. Shame about the flake coming off, it looks like it would have been mega. There look to be a couple of ok-ish up lines on the block and a brick hard low traverse to do, but not sure they are worth the walk.
Last night was very warm on Baslow edge. Nige came along for the heck. Bumped into Tetler in the carpark, he’d just put up a new route at Curbar E5 6a Triple Bum Drop. Felt like the grit season might be over. Warmed up on some nice random stuff, then had a go at the Ripper. Soon decided to sack it off as the hard move involved pulling on a small skin trashing edge, not good for warm rock and sweaty skin. Went up to the Eagle Stone where there was a nice cooling breeze and no puddles (for a change). Kim turned up. Did the 7a+ one that uses the tiny egg-shell crimps. This is the last of the old classics on the block I hadn’t done and it was real good. Did the mantelly one on the other side and goofed about on an eliminate trav Nige invented in his mind farm. Then did the Welford 7b one just right of the prow. This was excellent and surprisingly ok, steady 7a+ perhaps. The Dave K one to the left looks brilliant, I’ll certainly come back with an able bodied spotter for that one.
Think the next evening out will be on the lime unless we have another cold snap.

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