Friday, 6 February 2015

Fish out of water.

Bouldering is full of cunts. Even the most cursory glance will demonstrate this: old cunts who have a lifetime of climbing experience to make anything look effortless, young cunts who are slim fingered and supple and might as well be climbing ladders, dedicated bouldering cunts who live and breathe beastmakers and are thus annoyingly strong, non-dedicated cunts who have excelled in sport climbing or mountain marathons or suchlike and are thus annoyingly fit, local cunts who have done the problems a trillion times and could climb them backwards and blindfold, general skinny cunts including female skinny cunts, all of whom have 3/4 of your power but half your weight, lanky gangly skinny cunts who are all spider limbs, tiny midget skinny cunts who are all sinew and tendon, sandbagging cunts who usually end up writing the guides, sharking cunts who make your project look easy because they are literally climbing double the V-grade. Cunts the lot of them.

Clearly I am none of the above. I am quite good at fiddling nuts in cracks (and equally quite good at arranging and optimising pads, although this only makes the moves easier a tiny percentage of the time), and quite good at exploring and finding off-piste inspiration. Thus I often feel like a fish out of water when dabbling in this game - "what, you wanted me to cram my fingers into that tiny ragged slot and crank a fucking mile to some gash sloper? Dafuck! Can't I just twist some offset wires into the slot and yard up the jugs next to it?".

Despite that I do actually like bouldering a lot and sometimes do it a lot. I am actually a boulderer (and therefore, I suppose, a cunt), because when I do it I like it so much, I'm just a trad climber far more. I guess this way I can justify punting along cocktacularly as training for the greater ranges of the Rhinnogs and Ardmair. Until trad season arrives and I have no stamina, of course!

I've done quite a lot of it this last month. Some of it has gone well, some of it has gone weakly, almost all of it has ended up with skin loss of some description. A small amount has even ended up with competent cranking of some description too. Although I've noticed there is a distinct correlation between my success and which direction the grades are gigantically fucking wrong in. If they're two-plus-grades-out stupid sandbags, I don't do very well. If they're two-plus-grades-out silly soft touches, I do quite a bit better. Funny that. If they're actually accurate, I get *very* confused.

Here's some media:

Cave Problem RH at Bowden Doors. 2nd day on after getting fairly thrashed at Hepburn. Cave LH gets 6B, I flashed it as part of a warm-up, PJ did it 2nd go. Cave RH gets 6B+, that extra grade harder (even after having the McNair demonstrate the beta last time) took us about an hour and a half to work out, and it still felt hard. Cool problem though.

Various problems at Carrock. One of my most successful days bouldering, although I still got my shoes full of snow thrashing between the blocs. Left Wall is supposed to be V4, it took 2 sessions although this might be because it is quite reach dependent what footholds you can use. Absinthe was maybe the same grade (was V6 now V5) before I broke off the starting hold  and left a bigger one (and a better problem), it's now a grade easier than LW. This video also shows my general trend of doing pretty well on steep V5-ish stuff at Carrock. Recently PJ, Tris and I went back in incredibly cold and dry conditions and couldn't make any progress on High Flyer nor Fast Cars - exactly the same grades and genres, exactly the opposite amount of success.

Fungatatus Ejaculatus at Doveholes. No quibbles with this one. Lovely problem with an elegant line, seemingly unfeasible moves to start and committing but easy ones to finish. The quibbles come later in the same delightful day at Kyloe OUT which doesn't have that many mid-grade problems but what it does have are varied and good fun. For example: Christmas Tree Arete Indirect - "6C" in 2 goes and maybe 2 grades easier than Potty Training Left Hand "6B" that took 10 goes at Hepburn. The Fat Lady Sang 6C flash, several grades easier than Mantle Masterclass, Smooth Operator "7A" in 3 goes, maybe 2 grades easier than MM. No arguing with the quality of the last two though, great fun.

I have a sliced blister over an old scar ridge on my left main finger so I need to rest for a couple of days now...

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