Thursday, 23 January 2014

Back in Pedriza.

2011. Easter. 20+°C temps every day. No slab practise. No training. Completely unprepared. Pedriza slabs were unbelievably hard, F6a was desperate, F6b was my limit (compared to F6c/7a elsewhere).

2014. Mid-winter. 5-10°C forecast daily. Some very reassuring slab mileage on grit and in Scotland. Specific gym training for calves and leg presses. Very aware of the challenges. Pedriza slabs ARE unbelievably hard....

Day 1:
F6a+ slab - succeeded - F6b? Sustained English 5c
F6b slab - failed - F6b+/c? Sustained 5c/6a - slipped off by making a slight foot mistake near the top.
F6c slab - failed - F6c? 6a crux - fell off trying a slightly wrong line, could have done it
F6c+ slab - failed - ??? - fell off a very hard crux with a hidden hold.
F6b slab - failed - F7a? Sustained 6a/b(!) - fell off after 5m of the hardest slab climbing I have ever done on lead.
F6c+ face - failed - ??? - fell off a desperate (6b?) rockover at start.
F6c steep wall - cruised -  F6b/+ Easy.

But maybe I'm not good at slabs? Maybe I haven't done enough slabs recently? Except in my 2013 Of Climbing The Best I Ever Had, I did plenty of good varied slabs in the autumn and winter. According to the Rockfax conversion for bold routes (which gives relatively lower sport grades), some recent ascents look like this:

DIY E3 6a - F6b+ - English 6a solo crux at 4m
Stanleyville E4 5c - F6b+ - 5c cruxes before and next to poor cam
The Beautician E3/4 5c - F6b - 5c crux runout from good fear
Hunky Dory E3 5c - F6b - 5b/c finish with gear by feet
4 Pebble Slab E3 5c - F6a+/b - 5b friction moves 5m above gear
Nijinski E5 6a - F6c/+ - 5c/6a rockover and swing with distant side-gear
On The Verge E3/4 5c - F6b - one 5c crux next to gear, a bit of bold 5b
Risque Grapefruit E4 5c - F6b+ - blind 5c crux with 10m groundfall
Triode E5 6a - F6c - a couple of steady 6a moves with distant side-gear
On The Beach E5 6a - F6c+ - 6m runout of sustained 5c/6a
Wall Of Flame E4 6a - F6c/+ - 5m runout of continuous 5c
Rosehearty route E3 5c - F6b/+ - a few positive 5c moves
Riders On The Storm E3 5c - F6b - 5b/c with bad gear
Scimitar route E3 5c - F6b - a few fiddly 5b/c moves with okay gear

In short, I have been cruising runout F6b and regularly doing bold F6c with enough determination. So actual F6b / F6c sport slabs should be okay??.......Hmmmmm!!

So that's day one and I the one thing I am now fully confident of is that Pedriza grades are pure mierda de las cabras.

Not sure what will happen in subsequent days but I am trying to treat it as a learning process....even if I have to do small numbers, it should be great training for slabs back home.

Further updates as I learn enough Spanish swearing to describe it!

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