Saturday, 10 January 2015

I can't believe it's not grit.

And at any rate you wouldn't want to spread it on toast. My grit psyche is still high, almost as high as the winds, humidity, and rainfall probability which is preventing any trips South of the Wall. So as a plan B I went bouldering on the next best thing: Shaftoe in Northumberland, which is as grit as grit is, in fact more grit than some grit. Plus it's rather good despite being an epic gruelling slog down the A68 to get there. Anyway, the weather was great, we warmed up in the sun, did a few steeper problems in the breeze, then as the wind and cloud came over took advantage of truly perfect conditions in the ravine to finally do a previous nemesis problem, the frictional slimper delight of Smooth Wall:

Stevie was getting some nice shots with his GoPro so here are a few of those (slightly fucked by Googles auto-photo-fucker of course):

Mmmmm slopers.

Prior to this and prior to 2015 appearing out of nowhere, I did actually get down to the grit grit, including amongst other places Almscliff, the most overrated crag in Yorkshire that people only go to because it's the quickest drying crag in the entire UK. I have a love/hate relationship with it: Some of the routes and problems are pretty cool, but the relentless hordes and unforgivable sin of giving the distinctly medicore arbitrary link-up semi-route Great Western 3 stars leave a disinterested taste in my maw. I also seem to end up there in slightly iffy weather due to having been drizzled off elsewhere, thus making the bouldering feel even grimmer than usual. On the other hand this was not the case the other week, when the weather was truly magnificent and the inspiration to rattle off a few short and thuggy routes was high. I didn't do anything that hard (Whisky Wall turning out to be a steady E2 with bomber gear without the spurious side-runners, but fun and unusually positive pocket-pulling), but I did get cranking pretty readily despite having a week off with a tweaky shoulder over Christmas.

Whisky Wall :

Clematis : Actually quite burly and good value.

 I was climbing with spragglerocks from UKC. She had an adorable Labrador called Dexter who was the best-behaved crag dog I've met, so here's some photos of him.

Before the Almscliff day I had a pre-match warm-up at the Hunter Stones. Jonboy, Cofe and Big Hands were there on the Hunter's Roof thing, Jon did with the customary power squeak. I did this nice V3 arete instead.

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