Wednesday, 22 December 2010

F@©king Friction!!

The video below is based on a true story, well indeed it IS a true story.

I've always known how important conditions, friction, dry skin, chalk, etc etc are, but seldom have I experienced it with such shocking clarity. I was genuinely bemused and boggled how much of an effect it can have, even after all these years as a sweaty bugger.

This boulder problem is one I tried last time I was at the boulder, with a distinct crux making a steep crossover from a LH angled sloper/seam to a RH juggy pinch. This was shutting me down before but I was feeling pretty close to it when the evening had cooled down. This time I started off feeling very un-close to it, unless one defines close as "hugely distant with no chance of doing the bloody move". A source of much consternation given I'd planned to use the so-called -8'c to wrap this one up and move on elsewhere. But instead I had to wait and wait and wait and bank my hopes on it feeling easier once the evening cool returned.

Those hopes not so much came true as thundered down upon me and the boulder in a cataclysmic strike of cold air, truth, justice and bouldering righteousness. I don't think I'd fully grasped just how crucial the feel of the left hand-hold was until I went from woefully floundering at the move to being able to cruise it comfortably most goes, and thence did the problem first proper attempt. I swear as the sun set the problem must have dropped 3 grades in 15 minutes, for me it was from impossible to easy. And also "kinda okay" to "rather enjoyable".

Conditions and friction: dry hands + less sweat + less chalk needed + firmer skin on the rock texture + firmer rubber on the rock surface = a huge difference. It's SCIENTIFIC FACT, bitches.

P.S. Now I've got bloody gayflu and might not have anything to say before Spain.

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