Monday, 24 October 2011

The lion sleeps tonight

Well after climbing shadow walker the next logical step was to then try Dave Pickfords new link out of the top of shadow the lion sleeps, so inlisting the help of pete for belay and photo duties we set off back down to the ched.
with perfect conditions and after a coffee I set off up the line warming up on the lower half getting the draws in this then followed by a play on the new moves of the link, this entails from the undercuts of shadow a shuffle right past some small undercuts and crimps to the arate where some nifty heal hooking and hand flicking sees you topping out back at the lower off of shadow. The moves worked and where to clip from sorted I lowered back down for a little rest before going for the point.

The upper arĂȘte heal flick move

Feeling good I pulled the rope and set off, with not to much fuss I found myself under the last slab of shadow on the undercuts feeling happy not to be going up on the small crimps and sidepulls but right instead over to the arĂȘte and the fun climbing there on.
So that brings us to the grade and I think from that feeling I had on the headwall it's for me easier than shadow but not much putting it in the hard 8a or easy 8a+ or as the Spanish like to put it 8a/8a+ gota love the slash grade?

- Posted from someplace I'm sure

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Black shadow

Not a bad month for a what I thought was an unfit fat man wile not getting out climbing much as iv been working quite a bit this summer, but when I have got out those days have been quite good.

To pick a couple of those such days the first one taking me down to blackers hole in Dorset and looking up at the very steep infinite gravity a 45 meter very steep 8a+ first done by pete Oxley, this is a route that iv wanted to climb for a few years now and the last time I was on it was two summers ago for a day of playing around but not going for the send as the bottom crux was nice and wet.
So on the return I pulled on with new numbers for the start move making it much nicer so I set off working the line, it started ok moving from bolt to bolt breaking the line down, this was working nicely but the links were getting smaller and the rests bigger not a good sign, I'd forgotten just how steep and long this thing is, anyway after the half way point totally pumped my mission for the day was just to get to the top on the dog, red pointing quicky vanishing from my head!

So recovered from my shocking working sesh an hour later I thought I'd pull on and see first if I could do the start and if I did just how far I could get. With the start done and in the first rest I was having hopeful thoughts but no way I'd get past the steep roof in the middle into the next rest.
In the next rest still not believing I'd got this far I only had the top third of the route to climb it's only about 7b from here but a hard move off a pinch in the middle of that bit and a sandy rail to finish was what I was up against, under the rail quite pumped and in fear of failing this far up the route the
sprint was on, so off I set with what I must say is my best scrabble of all time finding myself with both knees on, the last three draws missed and the finishing jug in front of me just i needed to get a hand to it !
Some how I did and clipping the chains has never felt a nicer.

Fast forwards a few weeks and another few days off cheddar was on the cards and the very cool looking line of shadow walker on lion rock a very thin and technical 8a+ first done by Mat Cox.
So to cut a long story short I spent four days on this line with the first two with a wet hold just before the crux. The next day was a silly day of trying the moves in full sun on the hottest October day on record, but saying that all but one move got done and the tan came on a treat.
That was Monday and on Thursday approaching in the rain and wind with thermals on I got to thinking how things change ! But in the cold the move I was unable to do in the sun I did first try on my warm up so with little fuss I got the draws in did a few moves to recute the fingers then bang the route was done , but on coming down stripping the draws I got to looking right and my next line to play on the game gos on.