Puntering Hard Boulder Problems One At A Time.

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Font a Bloc Part 2

With the rest day behind us we met back up with Scott and headed to 95.2. Typically the rest day had been fantasic, cool and dry but with a hint of sunshine, Friday had rain showers. Brilliant.
Lee announced he and Ben were to do the entire Red Circuit that day, a bold statement 47 problems. They disappeared into the woods searching for Red No.1 meanwhile the the rest of us set about knocking off problems from from orange > white generally, occasionally ducking under the little roof of Le P'tit Toit to keep out of the rain. Scott pointed out a prow called indestructible at F7a+ I should get on, It looked impressive so I set to work on a sequence. In one of the sunny periods between the showers I powered to victory!



Over lunch Gary, Jen and Justine worked the Le P'tit Toit (F6b+) roof traverse, during their rest times Scott and I took it in turns to toe hook hang the roof of it and reverse mantle the nose.

Backwards Mantle. Feet First.

Thats 2 Sarnies Please.
Lee and Ben arrived back a little while later muttering that the reds were shite and hard to find, and they would be fucking them off.  I had spotted  Retour aux Sources (F7a) on the way in and was keen to get on it before we left. So we left the others to it and set to work. It took more work than I expected, I had it wired in 2 sections quickly but linking it proved difficult. But before the we left both Lee and I sent it. (in very difference sequences). A brillant end to a brilliant Trip!

Retour aux Sources

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Font a bloc Part One.

Printemps d'Automne.
Were 4 days into our week out here in Font and were on a rest day. Having climbed every day since we arrived, the batteries have taken a bit of a hammering. Its been 20+ degrees every day so were having to pick wisely. Thanks to Scott and Roo we've had a good guide and a fantastic time.

Sunday we hit 91.1 and spent the day doing the entire orange circuit while getting baked by the Sun, I flashed all but 2 of them. Crush Cooper & Scott flashed the lot! Ben, Gary, Jen and Justine enjoyed picking the good lines and the beauty of the forrest surroundings in the relaxed atmosphere. I was awarded Ern the Worm for letting the team down.

Jen at 91.1

Ern the Worm.
Monday's venue was Potala on the blue and red circuit Lee fell off Blue No 1 and was immediately awarded Ern the Worm. Hightlights were Printemps d'Automne for Lee and I, a great looking arete at F7a followed by la Poussiere que Tue a roof (sweet) that starts on some edges and comes to a sloper and little crimp deadpoint to a huge pocket to finish! Both Lee and I crushed it in under 3 goes, much to the disgust of the frog that was there working it. Hah!  My first 2 ticks in the 7&8's guide!

Ben using the Hands Off technique

Jen Cruising the Slab
la Poussiere que Tue
Lee on la Poussiere que Tue

Latching the Finish Jug on la Poussiere que Tue

By Tuesday morning the shoulders and forearms were feeling pretty shot, but we went out anyway to Isitis. Starting on some blue's and red's it wasn't long before we spotted a cool looking roof on White 10 got F7b+ from a sit but that looked brick hard so we settled on the stand at F6b. The top out was some classic font swimming goroveling on the rounded top desperate for a anything to hold onto, luckily Lee and I had packed out arm bands and stayed afloat long enough to send it. there was just enough time to sneak in a couple more red and whites before a relaxed lunch. Afterwards we crossed the path into Franchard Hautes-Plaines for a go on a overhanging problem called Surplomb de la Coquille. I flashed the stand at F6c and once the Lee and Ben had crushed it in, we started on the sit. Scott showed me how he did it but I was lacking some reach, so I inveneted some short arse beta and 2 goes later was holding the massive chicken head at the top grinning for the camera. As I was taking my boots off the police arrived and shouted GET OUT GET OUT BIG FIRE!! so we made a hasty retreat to a cafe in Barbizon for a beer.

White 10.

 Surplomb de la Coquille Axis F7a

 Surplomb de la Coquille Axis
We did venture to Bas Cuvier for an hour to put Lee and Ben on Marie Rose and I wanted a go on Canage but tiredness had taken his toll and I didnt get anywhere on Carnage.

La Marie Rose - Worlds most polished 6a.

Monday, 16 May 2011

Lime at the bar please.. Lime!


Fo the last week or so the weather has been ruining my climbing plans, Thursday night Lee and I headed to Caley crag to tick The Prow we'd worked a couple of weeks ago. We just got there and did 2 warm up problems and the heavens opened soaking everything including us. We abandoned ship to Leeds Wall for a training session instead.

Determined not to loose another day to the rain we picked Rubicon as our venue, this steep limestone crag in the Peak is home to many powerful and fingery climbing that stays dry in the rain. Good job too as it pissed it down all day!

The traverse wall was our starting point Toe Nail Pie - sounds appetising - did nicely for a warm-up at F5+ then onto the lower traverse, middle traverse and high traverse. ( F5-6b+) All polished to a high sheen but not bad climbing to be honest. The same can be said for Debris Groove (f6a+) pretty good climbing.

Lee on Debris Groove

We turned out attention the Kudos Wall after lunch to try and tick something harder. The classic A Millers Tale was on-sighted and I think might be contender for the hardest F6b+ i've ever done. Kudos F7a+ / F7b was next, took a few goes but eventually it fell to brute force and ignorance and a little bit of swearing.

Mind them fingers Ben.

We also attempted A Bigger Splash Direct at F7b but neither me or Lee could hold the last move due to tiredness. It'll go pretty easily when fresh I reckon.

Lee on A Millers Tale

Crimp it!

Ben on A Millers Tale

Cheeky Portrait!

Fighting Kudos


Sunday, 8 May 2011

Peaks and Troughs

Not much to report send wise this week, a steady night at the Cliff on tuesday. Making good progress on the Keel with new beta. I dubius flash on Sewer Rat Connection, if its where it appears to go in the guide then its a F7b+ flash, I however, doubt the line is correct as it felt far too easy.

Thursday's evening session was rained off - so we headed to The Climbing Depot instead.
Today Mick and I were heading to The Depot again as the forecast was rain, rain and yet more rain. Yet as we headed across the M62 it was looking bright. Good job we'd packed the mats just in case.
We arrived at the cliff and set about the warmup, just as it stated to rain. Great. A few heavy drops and it passed.

Mick crushed his way up Crusifix and the Arete, had a play on Dolphin Belly slap, and Si'sArete and the traverse oppoisite The Keel -which I felt as weak as a kitten on today. Still its beta in the bank.

2 week to Font - Im psyched! Its time to pick the problems carefully and not risk a pull or going though a finger tip.

Monday, 2 May 2011

Cool in the shade.

Cool in the shade.

Still with thin skin from yesterdays climbing at Caley, Mick, Webbo and I set course for a day at Brimham. As we arrived the queue for the car park was onto the road. Hmm might be a bit busy then.
When we'd stopped laughing at the bloke who reversed his Renault Espace into a tree we parked up and started the massive 2 minute walk in to the Little Roof and Pommel Block area. Damn it was hot.

Warmed up from the slabs around Pommel we hit the Little Roof (which isn't that little), trying lots of eliminates & link ups. The best in my opinion being match the sloper - footless - and pop for the top. It was like a climb had been designed with me in mind. Footless campusing! Sweet!

Foot Loose and Fancy Free.
Webbo despatched it, and in between shots on the burst mode on the camera Mick latched it. (or did he cheat)

Steve Webster 

Mick on the link up.

The grin says it all.
It was onto the pommel block next for a couple of lines, again un-named F7a+ (see previous rant) there was a line that started from a hand jam then feet high and lay back to a flake. It should have been a flash but I missed the flake - what a donkey. Despatched next go.  Next was another mystery named climb at F7a which used a crimp and slopey hold to deadpoint to the top. Despatched first go. Mick took a few attempts but eventually snagged it!
Its all about the SLAP!
The heat was making the climbing harder than it needed to be so we retreated to Jokers wall for some shade. I put in some effort on Jokers wall Traverse and had it wired in 2 sections but couldn't link it. Meanwhile Mick was working Jokers Wall Start & Steve was in full flow battling on Jokers Wall Problem 9 F6c+ Pg 49 of Yorkshire Gritstone Bouldering by Steve Dunning & Ryan Plews. (now do you see why naming is important?)

Me Working the Traverse

Problem 9

Webbo on Problem 9
The sun eventually came and spoiled our fun on this block too so we admitted temporary defeat and had a spot of lunch in the sunshine.
Pack up box empty further shade was sought and it was decided the Cubic Block fitted nicely being just the other side of Jokers Wall. Ticks of many other un named classic problems were had at F6b F6a and we all managed a Traverse at F7b+ - of which we are all sure is not F7b+ but more like F7a but are happy to take the tick anyway! 

Looking through the shots we took i've decided Mick needs to take his hat off for the photo's and I have an ever receding hairline.

I'm now over dosing on Vitamin E Oil and Climb On bar desperately trying to grow back some skin for a midweek session at the Cliff or at very lease next weekends exploits!