Sunday, 26 July 2009

Das rotpunkt ja?

As part of the general sport-climbing-as-training-for-greater-ranges plan this summer, I've started trying to redpoint the occasional route. Just like Steve Mclure, I've got some places where I'm running out of things to onsight, or there's nothing I can onsight, so I have to resort to redpointing to get some climbing done. I'm a sort of VS Steve Mac, yeah...

So, yeah, I've never done redpointing before, never been bothered. Flashing is infinitely more pleasurable and of course trad infinitely more pleasurable still. But in these times of need, it can fit the bill nicely. The other week was a prime example, in the last week of that grim muggy sweatathon heatwave, before of course all the summer rain came in. Far too hot to try anything remotely inspiring and worthwhile, so as The Eagles and I mused, there is nowhere better to be than dangling on the end of a rope, working something.

Of course, that working something then leads me to see potential, and get a bit into the idea, and wonder if I could actually redpoint something a bit challenging, as well as getting a little bit stronger and a little bit fitter (and a little bit tweakier in the elbow, so I'm going to have to be careful). So I've dabbled a bit more in recent weeks, the weather has encouraged this too by forcing me onto perma-dry and thus steep and hard crags. It's been kinda vaguely fun and something a bit different *shrug*.

Anyway today I did my first proper redpoint, Another Choadside Attraction at Raven Tor. Woo. Hoo.

Tuesday, 21 July 2009


It is now pretty much the height of Summer, so naturally it is pissing down and forecast to be the dreaded "sunshine and showers" for the foreseeable future or at least the next decade or so. Once again those who take pleasure in dry outdoor activities are labouring under the tyrannical yoke of this country's obnoxiously unpredictable and unreliable weather, and once again those who are most inspired by exploratory trips away to the mountains and coasts in the West have to suffer this yoke the most of all.

Welcome to the grossly unfair battle of Syked Trad Climber vs The Weather.

However this year, knowing that this is an unwinnable battle head on, I have been nimbly outwitting the situation, with advanced preparation. I have been trying to sort "stuff" out in the meantime, contacting lots of climbing partners and getting options for later in the "summer", and also doing sporadic running to keep fit. Hopefully giving me time and readiness if the weather does ever clear up (unfortunately I missed the last good periods due to said "stuff").

Also, more prominently, I have been on the Lime a lot, sport climbing as training for the Greater Ranges. I've dabbled a bit with this in the past, and it was a plan for last "summer" but of course injury stopped play then. Recently my injuries have felt fine and fairly healed (although I had a very slight niggle in my elbow last night, something I will have to heed diligently), and I have discovered that although Pennine inland Lime is generally Turd, it is a valuable training resource. I have been onsighting in the Matlock quarries and in Yorkshire, and working routes on local Peak crags, verily even thee Tor. All of which has got me stronger and fitter, given me some climbing to do when weather and time prevent away trips, and who knows there might have been a bit of enjoyment at some point...

Wednesday, 1 July 2009


Halfway through the year fuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuck fuck fuck fuck.

Esoterica / cancelled trips / exploration / some ticks off the list / UCAS applications / driving and more driving / changing plans / seemingly uninjured / new medication / quarries / redpointing / issues and more issues / inspiration vs reality / oppressive heat / missed opportunities / tempus fugit / fuck fuck fuck.

Incapable of comprehensible blogging.