Thursday, 24 November 2011

Pre Peak Adventure

As I sat yesterday in a three hour lecture wondering if the day might improve in the slightest, when the text came in. "Cheddar after lectures, Keen?" KEEENNN I was mustard for it. It had been ages since I had led anything outdoors so I was buzzing for the last part of the lecture!!! Myself and Cameron got out the car and was greeting with a standard Cheddar hello of an icy wind and freezing rock, but this wasn't going to knock my pysche! We quickly warmed up on some easier things and set off looking for harder lines. After putting the draws in a 6b+ for Cam he went for it and onsighted it! That was he hardest grade outside to date showing that all the trips indoors have paid off for him!

We then moved on to the objective of the outing, a 25 meter route on the Ginsberg wall called Get That Man. Its apparently a super classic for the wall and the area and seeing as Cam was keen to have a go I agreed to put the draws in. Not thinking much of it as I'd probably fall as I hadn't been out for a while I left the sanctuary of the ledge and moved into the crux section. I saw straight away a projecting block up high with a hugely chalked underside knowing that it was going to be an evil Cheddar undercut. For me this is worrying as I find undercuting from low down difficult but as I grasped it I completely forgot about the whole "You're not any good at these moves" and carried on. Once past this I finally realised that the thing that puts me off routes is the fact that I think to much into it. As soon as I hear the words "Side pull" or "Undercut" im immediately put off, which is why I don't really enjoy my Cheddar trips. But this time I put it to the back of my head and got on with it!

Clipping the chains was pretty sweet as the route had taught me a fair amount and was brilliant throughout with the fact that I onsighted it was great and I would highly recommend it to anyone! Hopefully this has set me up for this weekends Peak District trip! Cheers to Cameron for the belay!

Friday, 18 November 2011

Exciting times!

So far this last week has been a massive disappointment with the amount of work that I now have which looks like my Christmas will be filled less eating and gain weight and more studying! Or knowing me it will be the other way around!

After a whirlwind trip to the crack den that is Dave's house for a birthday weekend I came home to the flat battered, bruised and T-shirtless thanks to a very long bloke by the name of Ben (Steve) Chantrell. If you ever meet this horrible little man you are well in for a decent night! Coupled with Hallet (a man of mysteries and black magic) I can Assure your night will take an unexpected turn for the better! All in all it was a quality weekend and was brilliant to be reunited with my wingman and wife and the family from the shire!!

Bar the work, on the climbing front its looking a bit dismal. For a couple of weeks my shoulder has been giving me some jip and has been an on and off problem for about 3 weeks. Because of this my psyche has been a bit low in fear of doing further damage which has meant I haven't been firing all cylinders on the training front! However this all changed when a ridiculous tick list started to fall into place for the Peak District trip next weekend! Psyche now is at an all time high as I have yet to experience the grit which could be considered a sin?? But hopefully during the weekend I will be able to make up for that....Or never write on here again after being "Beaten thoroughly". Either way I'm going with an open mind and will testing the water with tip toes, or a smear :)!

My ever long tick list is looking more and more silly by the minute so if you have any "sensible" ideas post them on here! And don't forget to follow me!!

Cheers all


Tuesday, 8 November 2011

New Beginnings

Welcome to everyone and anyone to my new Blog!

As for many of you these last couple of months have been a new chapter in the big book that is life with moving away from home and entering the world in many different entries!

For me it was the step into University and am currently now in the BIG city of Brizzle! As I have thought back across the past few weeks through the friends and the drinks that have been made and can say I am thoroughly enjoying myself!

As for many of you that know me, you all know that this blog will not be about my course through "Further Education", but in fact on the recent antics that have been had out on the rock and since my departure from the shire! Believe me in this short time there has been a fair amount!

Since living in Bristol the weather has been on an off which has made things a little difficult to get around and of course a bit slippery on the crag. But on the days that it has been nice, things have got quite interesting and some decent routes have been had. Especially through our delayed "British summer" in where 24 degrees made some interesting sweaty climbing! But none the less a good outing.

This was my first trip into Avon Gorge home of what I think as good quality poor limestone with the addition of shouting belays. The reason for this view is that generally the area is lovely and the rock is generally sound through most of the more popular areas (Sea walls) but especially polished to a high degree, some might say its actually marble in places. Also some bright spark but a waking great road through the middle of it which made communication slightly difficult but humorous and although It does ruin the area slightly I can Imagen getting to the crag and in fact Bristol would be a dam sight hard if it wasn't there!

During the course of the day a few good quality route were had but the one in particular stands out is a lovely little route called Rancho cucamonga. Its  about 50 foot pitch of sustained E3 5c on a gently overhanging wall of the upper wall area (or the ramp as some know it). Its starts with a some really nice crimpy pockets and some good gear at around about 15 foot with a decent peg (thats right DECENT!!!) about 5 foot after this. Once you've got yourself sorted with gear and recovered on the positive edges its time to set off through the crux. This was a long reach with the wrong hand to a poor slopey crimp at full stretch for myself, but then again im not the tallest of people. Once you've pulled through there it leads to positive jugs and the safety of bomber gear in the break at head heigh before setting yourself up for the final hard top out. Basically on the lower end of the face most of the route top out through numerous mantles with relatively run out section, so not the most desirable situation to be in!

As I groped the final ledge readying myself for the sketchy top out I started to remember what that burning sensation in my forearms felt like again. It had been a little while since I had done any sort of endurance climbing so the little bloke in the back of my head was definitely not helping to stay on the route! With the extremely sweaty condition due to brilliant sunshine i found myself stalling on the ledge bringing back the old habit of not getting on with it and chalking as if my hand was made of water!!

But that was the least of my worries. Before I had set of a couple of guys next to us had been doing some route and we had got chatting at what was going to be sent next. As the conversation continued I learned that the bloke was a Mr Tony Penning. I suddenly dove back into the guide book only to find out that he was one of the first accentionist of the route!

Thankfully I manned up and mantled the last move and kicked myself for getting a bit scared! However I then thought to myself that actually being slightly scared is a good thing. Its that sense that your in the moment and its only YOU that can help yourself. It gave me that good feeling of control knowing that I can overcome my own weaknesses and trust myself. Sounds like no I'll have to apply it something a bit more bold next time perhaps!!!

Many thanks to Tony for the picture he caught of me and kindly popped it on his blog