Friday, 7 June 2013

A week of extreme punting.

Battering Ram, Shepherd's Crag - did the first pitch with some effort, climbed to the crux of the second pitch, blocked a crucial fingerlock with a cam, tried to reverse, slipped onto the cam and FAILED.

Overdrive, Goat's Crag - cranked through the start, placed one cam, underclung right a move, felt out of balance and very sweaty, sat on cam and FAILED.

Spandau Ballet, Birnham Quarry - did the hard 5c start, did various 5b moves up the crack, did a hard 5c move onto one lone foothold below the crux, committed to the hard 6a layback crux, only managed to find slopers above, foot slipped off and FAILED.

How can one experienced and dedicated trad climber who is pretty familiar with such a moderate level of mid-grade challenge be so utterly punterly?? HOW IS IT POSSIBLE??


En route to Shepherds, I drove from Glasgow, battled traffic and the hordes in Keswick to try to buy rock shoes, slowly drove into Borrowdale, hit a rock fallen from a dry stone wall, tore a 3" hole in my tyre, took a chunk out of the rim, had a 3 hour delay and £170 bill getting towed back to Keswick to get two new tyres fitted, by which time it was well warm enough to climb topless and then I just made a stupid mistake blocking the obvious hold even when I knew I would. Total bellend approach but maybe some other factors putting me off.

At Goat's Crag I'd warmed up punting around at Bowden, re-warmed up on steeper bouldering at Goat's itself, and got on the route which is pretty brutal off the deck. Again conditions were weirdly cool AND muggy at the same time and I just lost all confidence pulling hard in steep ground. I didn't chalk enough, I didn't battle enough, I simply didn't focus enough. Not acceptable.

Birnham was an end of the afternoon one route quick hit type job. The line is obvious and confidence was high, even the hard moves to start and higher up didn't put me off, and I just got on with it and went for it on the crux only to discover it was a total sandbag. Simple foot slip, I should have been more careful, but also I was going for obvious "holds" that would fit with the 5c move the grade implied, if I'd known it was a full grade harder I would have tried the move differently.

So some mitigating circumstances and some downright punterism.

I'm trying to tackle the latter by getting some mileage in, training at the wall and gym, keeping aware of conditions, buying new shoes in a proper size and hopefully just trying HARDER in general, god knows I need to!!

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