Tuesday, 15 April 2008

Belated weekend roundup

Saturday night was my sisters 40th birthday party up in Ilkley, so we decided to drive up Friday night and have a leisurely start Sat. Parked up on an obscure dead-end road high on the moors opposite Rylstone. Awoke to find the van surrounded by snow, being pelted by thick sleet. Eventually the weather cleared and we drove over for a session at Ilkley. The crag was remarkably dry and we went over to the quarry behind the Lost Boot area to warm up on some south facing probs in the new guide. These turned out to be chipped, tough at the grade, but really very good. Ilkley Bar Kid 6b+ climbed a series of slanting ramps up a vaguely scooped wall, very technical and precarious. Chuck Norris 6c+ took ages to do (felt at least 7a to me) and I suspect might be graded for jump starting. It’s all about the first move to a strange slopey diamond shaped blob of rock sticking out of flat rock. In the end after trying various methods it went to a basic but tricky right hand slap. Both of these should be on everyone’s Ilkley circuit. Tried a desperate thing called Steven Seagal, but soon realized it was very very hard for 7b!
Then went over to First Arete. Only given 7a+ this problem has shut me down on at least two previous sessions, I was determined to finish it this time. Kept getting to top pinch before a dog ran up and stole my lunch, I then got very pissed off and aggressively scrabbled up it in bad style. To me it seems like a problem that looks better than it climbs and having a nasty block in the landing felt generally unpleasant.
Fi wanted to try Ringpiece so I thought I’d have a go at Superset, a John Dunne problem on the Calf first done in 1987. After a few goes I decided I wasn’t going to do it using the sequence Sam is trying in the old guide photo. Eventually sussed a better way for me using the chipped J instead of the A, smearing with left foot and toeing into another chipped letter with right foot. From here I could throw into the crack but couldn’t latch it. In the end it took many attempts before I finally managed to hit it just right and bagged the prob. Very satisfying move in the end, the easier top bit is great too. Used to get V10 in old guide, now given 7b+, it felt 7c to me, but I can imagine the move being much easier to stick if you are a bit taller.

Sunday I was a bit worse for wear after the party, but ended up having a short sesh at Curbar. Did lots of the usual 7a/+ stuff plus Dan’s Wall and Jihad which I hadn’t done before. Tried r-man’s new thing on the bad landing block. Did all the moves but didn’t manage a link, it seemed quite good and I’d agree with the grade of 7b+.

Was going to go out tonight but it’s now lashing down….

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