Puntering Hard Boulder Problems One At A Time.

Monday, 5 September 2011

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Font Bank Holiday.

Nice weather in Buthiers Car Park

There hasn't been much to report climbing just recently, I've had a few weekends doing other stuff, like a mountain biking in Scotland and Surfing trying to surf in Newquay. When a trip to font  for the bank holiday weekend landed in my inbox I jumped at the chance to renew the psyche that has been lacking in my climbing recently.

Thursday evening after work I packed up the car with a tent, roll mat, sleeping bag, BBQ, Solutions and chalk bucket and set out for a long weekend in Font with Danny, Si and Charlie. 

We drove through the night and arrived at the campsite of Les Pres in the early hours of Friday morning and pitched in the dark just before a spectacular thunder storm.  It rained all though the night and for most of the morning so our first days climbing was a right off. Not the best start to a trip on tight time scale.

Saturday we headed to La Canche aux Merciers and worked through the excellent blue circuit, picking off the exciting looking reds on route. While there I managed a send of the classic Le Nez  F6c, a small powerful roof climb with a mantle top out and a left hand extension start for F7a. It’s a good start to the trip, psyche was indeed back. 

That evening back at the campsite we set the trend of BBQ and Beer around the camp fire.

Kings Eye Brow - Essential Supplies for Camping

Sunday morning, after a good hot shower to wake up those bleary eyes from the one to many cheap French beers, we set off to Buthiers, stopping at the patisserie in Nemours to pickup "un quiche lorraine si vous plait" when the lady spoke back to me in some foreign language (presumably french) I responded with the usual blank stare, she got the idea and bagged it up for me. Excellent.

When we arrived at Buthiers we despatched problems on the blue and red circuits, by mid afternoon I had spotted another roof I was keen to have a go on. Magic Bus. F7b/+ depending on which guide I looked in.
Me and Joe both wanted to send it so we split from the others and set to work. This horizontal knacky roof succumbed to some serious body tension, heel hooking and a huge cut lose to finish. The hardest problem I’ve done in Font to date.

Trying Hard on Magic Bus 

A Slab at Buthiers

With the ferry booked for 6pm on Monday we just had time to sneak in a quick morning session at Le Petit Bois again on some red / blue circuits. I did have a go on The Whale F7a but I didn't manage it.

The trip has renewed my psyche for climbing again and with the final round of the Depot Summer Bouldering league underway I'll need it if I'm to keep my current 4th Position.

Monday, 25 July 2011

Gritstone, Midges & Sideways Campusing.

New Life - Cratcliff

I was at a birthday party on Saturday in fancy dress, as Batman. Maybe I thought I had super human powers or something as Sunday we ended up at Cratcliff.  Gritstone, in this heat.. are we mad?

The walk in confirmed our fears, it was hot.. and my arch enemy was out to make life miserable. Dr Midges and he's brought his army of 1 Million henchmen with him, all with one thing on their mind. Me.
I checked the bat utility belt for midge repellant but I was out. 

Lee and I repeated the classic Razor Roof, F6c. It's the uber sharp crimps on this problem that give its name.. they didn't disappoint. We looked at Razor Arete but didn't fancy the ankle snapping beta required to send it. 

Lee on Razor Roof

Lee ticked Hermits Traverse F6b - a right pump fest while been nibbled on by swarms of midges. Meanwhile I was doing what must have looked like a new hip hop dance craze, desperately trying not to be eaten. Now we were suitably pumped out of our mind warmed up. It was time to do battle with Jerry's Traverse F7b. The guidebook describes it as "an exercise in sideways campusing".

I've had a session on this problem before a couple of years ago, and was no where near it. This time however, I was batman. 

After a few goes getting the sequence wired, I had a cheese butty and coffee, it was time to ditch the bat cape, squeak the boots clean and fire up the big guns.. I managed the middle crux and powered to the last move, another campus to a crimp.. but pump (and probably the extra weight of 100,000 midges eating me) meant I missed and collapsed onto the mats.  Dr Midge was winning. 

Jerry's Traverse
Batman's trusty sidekick Robin (Lee) convinced me to have a good rest and go again. This time I got to the same crimp and powered through to the final holds and rocked out to victory... POW!  Jerry had gone down.

 Lee got close but didn't have the power reserves to crush it. Next time big lad. 

We finished by getting sunburned on the easy boulders outside the forest on a couple of slabs and arete's. The final test piece of the day was trying a slab using only feet - no hands allowed, which to my surprise I managed. 

Monday, 18 July 2011

British Summer Time...

Umbrella. Needed in Summer.

Just a quick report this week.

Midweek session at the Cliff with Gareth from Rock Climbing UK - Full write up on the website soon!
The Keel still feels bloody hard, can't seem to hold the swing. Training my core to combat this.

Sunday's sport session was abandoned due to our brilliant summer weather, 2 days of torrential rain.
Lee, Billy, Guy and I bouldered at Rubicon and Raven Tor.

Billy repointed Rubicon F7a , Guy lounged around and generally just took the piss.

Lee made a right hash of Rubicon and declared he's given up route climbing for good. But redeemed himself with 3 7's, A Bigger Splash F7a+, Bigger Splash Direct F7b and Bigger Tail F7a. Good Lad! - Man of the Match.!

I sent A Bigger Splash  F7a+ after a subtle change of shoe (cheers to Lee for the loan of a Moc.) and Weedkiller Traverse F7b at the Tor.
With rain forecast all this week its looking like it might be an indoor session mid week. Can we have summer back soon please?
Thats definitely a power dab.. look at the dust!

Guy on A Millers Tale.
A Bigger Splash. Fucking sharp crimp.

Monday, 11 July 2011

Porridge & Nutella

Breakfast was Porridge with Nutella, and a strong coffee, the best way to start a days climbing I reckon.
I then packed the lunchbox with the leftovers from last nights chinese take-away - No 68. Chicken Fried Rice and set course for a day on the Peak Lime.

Lee and I met up with Dave at the warmup area of Rubicon, Lee had beef to settle with Kudos and we even brought a rope with the intention of red pointing Salar at 3 bolt, bouldery F8a. However those plans quickly changed when we discovered we'd left the clip-stick in the van back at home.

Dave was working the lower traverse at F6b, Lee and I flashed the 3 traverse pump fest, start on the lower traverse F6b, get to the end, move to the middle F6a+, then onto the top traverse F5+ all as one continuous problem.  Its definitely a route not a problem my forearms were screaming!

Rubicon's Traverse Area
It was time Lee faced his nemesis - Kudos. It looked like it was going to get sent first got, he was denied by a foot slip. The next few goes saw him getting close but still not enough to reach the last hold... A tantrum was brewing. As a family of walkers stopped to watch him, he slipped off the last hold going for the match! The paddy was unleashed with almighty fury, I think even the dog was scarred. He was not a happy bunny. I've never heard so many profanities in one scream!

While Lee calmed down, I set to work on A Bigger Tail F7a, Jump to a rail, crimp the shit out of some small ledges to a small crimpy 2 finger pocket, then, pop to a big jug to finish just above the first bolt.
Shit, thats high maybe 4 meters and i'm jumping for it Hmm...
After a couple of goes i'm at the crimpy pocket and eyeing up the last hold.. I make a jump for it but miss... slam... into the mats.. thats scary. But at least I know the falls safe. A short rest later and I'm back at the jug about the make the jump. This time its a success, the top it latched and its massive. Excellent. Now the scary bit, I look down at the mat and have to let go. As usual victory is marked with food, time for my chicken fried rice.

Lee got back on Kudos and this time smashed its back doors in!

Brush it

Crimp It

Foot Up

Latch it. 

Lee and I decided to give Blackwell Dale a try, its the new Peak Guide and the lines looks pretty good. We arrived at the Cave - that looks a stinking dirty shit hole so we hopped over the road the little buttress and set to work on Red or Dead. F7a+. Lee quickly figured out the sequence and has it wired in no time.. before we knew it, he was on the top holds another tick for Crush Cooper. I was lacking the motivation, feeling drained. I had a few goes and could do it in 2 sections but couldn't link it. 

A flick in the guide revealed Jerry's Traverse at F7a+ this looked good, Lee set off making good progress, I put the boots on again after a good rest and got the middle first go but felt knackered. Next go I went all out and pulled a new sequence out of the bag for the crux in the middle and although I was fighting the pump managed to get to the end for the tick. I had officially emptied the power reserves. 
Lee carried on working the crux and could do it on its own but didn't have the juice left to link it. 

A good day out again with 2 new 7's each. We both agree the lime is making us stronger. We also both agreed we should have a pint of Guinness and a Stake and Ale pie at the Moon Inn - Stoney Middleton So we did.

Monday, 4 July 2011

Rubicon Sun Trap

I headed back to Rubicon this Sunday hungry for Kudos Traverse F7b+, it had alluded me on my last visit, getting to the last hold twice but lacking the energy to match for the full tick. So after a quick warm up I got straight to business. Pulled on, heel up throw for the first crimp, missed by a country mile.  Bollocks.

This sequence was repeated probably 10 times before I eventually snatched the hold. The beta came flooding back, and before I knew it i was about the make the move to the last rail again. I was pumped out of my mind, no please -  not again, don't fuck it now. I made a throw for the rail and only just got one finger to it. I summoned the crush cooper mentality - crimp the living shit out of it- and closed it down.  Yes! It had been sent, another tick in the book. I celebrated the only way I know how, by mauling a cheese butty and a coffee!

Oaksy on Rubicon F7a

Mick on Millers Tale.

Mick Red Pointing Rubicon

Go for it Mick!

Meanwhile back at the traverse area Mick & Oaksy had been red pointing Rubicon F7a. It looks a great line, massively overhanging buttress through a series of stepped holds. So after blagging a harness and chalk bag I found myself tied into the sharp end. What am I doing? I've not been on a rope for over a 18 months, should I really be trying to on-sight it? I figure my only chance of success is speed, as I wont have any endurance.

I set off up the easy wall to the first bolt and after a couple of fumbled attempts its clipped. Now its onto the steep stuff, I've seen plenty of folk fail on this while I've been bouldering by fucking about dithering around looking for intermediate holds, time to lay down the power. Holds are better than I expected but they are still fairly big moves, but the climbing seems to ease the higher I get & i'm not finding the moves too strenuous. Before you can say 'who's that fat bloke up there' i'm clipping the lower offs with a big smile on my face.  Nice!! My first outing this decade on the sport and its a F7a on sight (with beta)

Time to lay down the power

Actual footwork in use.

Rubicon F7a. 

Maybe i'll venture onto a rope again in the near future? There's a nice looking F8a called Sissy (aptly named) I may invest some time in working it.

Enough ramblings on from me, Mick, Oaksy and James sent many problems during the day. Oaksy did Rubicon in a couple of redpoints. Mick is still work in progress.
Just before we packed up James and I did another un-named traverse at F7a, it was a pumpy little number but went first go.

Mick Loves his traverses

Wolfman in full flow

James making short work off the lower traverse.

Meercat impersonating dog!

Monday, 27 June 2011

Seepage and Polish..

Jus and Lee at D's Brew Stop

How unlucky, the warmest day of the year so far at 28degrees and the first 3 places we try to climb are wet.. not from the rain but from the seepage. Rubicon, Raven Tor and Blackwell Dale were all gopping wet. 
We were really psyched for Kudos Traverse too, but the starting and finishing holds were wet and the whole warm-up traverse was soaked, no amount of enthusiasm was gonna dry the place out enough to climb so we consoled our selves with a brew from D's brew stop on the way out and set on our search for something dry to climb.

We ended up at the uber polished training venue of Stoney Middleton's -10 Wall.
Even in the worst of conditions this place seems to yield something to climb - even if it is a polished shit hole. My enthusiasm had taken a rite battering and I was struggling to get motivated to do anything other than eat my pack up and take the piss out of the tradders slipping and sliding on the polish. I though I was miserable but the tradders there seem to be in a whole new league of misery. Hah!

Nom Nom Nom.. Packup

Lee Booting Up

It made me smile a little so I put on the weapon of choice - Solutions and set to work trying to stand on this wet bar of soap called Stoney. After the traverses the first thing we tried was some un-named 6c thing fairly dynamic moves between good holds, after a new foot pop's and quite a bit of swearing it was sent. Next was lucifer's undercut at 7a after a few goes I was bored and moved onto "Not Neds Problem" at F7b+ this looked much better and as a bonus you couldn't see your reflection in any of the holds. A pull to a slopey lay back to a tiny crimp meant feet high and a powerful rock over to a decent edge before top. Both Lee and I crushed it 3rd go. 

Lee on Not Neds Problem F7b+

Which foothold? Are you mad?

2nd Go, left foot too low. Even chubby's can climb hard.

The Massive Crimp

Lee Crushing it.

Justine had thrown in the towel and gone to read her book in the sunshine so we decided to try the stoney classic of Tom's Original F7a up in the Cave. I reckon the climb up to to the cave is about 6a with wet mud and skate shoes.. probably slightly easier in the dry.. I'm claiming it as a tick anyhow.

The first thing we saw was drips coming through the roof, the starting and second crucial holds were soaked, but we felt as we'd made the effort to climb up there, we should make an effort to dry it out and see how it went. After deciphering the topo, I was first to go.. fighting the drips I made it on-sight.. well chuffed. Lee boarded the send train and made it first go too. Maybe this lime bouldering is making us stronger it felt pretty easy. We did try a couple of other variations but the pub was calling so after nearly falling out of the cave throwing the mats down we retreated to the Fox Houses for a well deserved Pint of Guinness!

Cheeky Egyptian Toms Cave

Toe hooks - Scott would be proud.

Tickets to the gun show.
Almost latching it!