Portland and more UK stuff.

28th Jun 2008

Well, Portland as always was great. In fact it felt like a bit of a holiday. Even though it’s not the most picturesque of places, they always seem to get lovely weather down there and what with the quality climbing; the whole Portland experience is good.

I was doing some coaching with army over the weekend. They are preparing for their interservices championships and seem to be pretty psyched. So good luck to them all with that.

I managed to get a fair few days of my own climbing done, which was great; it’s a long way to go from Sheffield so I wanted to make the most of it. As I said the weather held out, in fact it was too hot at times- is that possible??- and I got to some crags that I hadn’t been to before.

I was pleased to on sight some f7b+’s but didn’t try anything harder. To be honest, on sighting in Portland is pretty tricky, so I’d like to be feeling on top form if I tried harder things. It’s also quite condition dependaent at some of the harder crags, so timing is of the essence.

I am starting to feel like I am climbing quite well again which is nice, so if I make it back down this Summer, I’d like to try some of the harder routes- in other words prepare myself for technical, intense, blind climbing!

Since getting back to the Peak, I have been getting out on the bolted stuff and actually managing to find some nice routes! Sorry but I am not a big fan of peak bolted limestone. But when it’s all you’ve got…

I also went to Chee Tor and did, amongst other things, an E5 which didn’t seem to have been done in a while. Not the nicest experience really, as it was dirty an a bit unpleasant. In fact going back there, I realised I had on sighted most routes that had I wanted to and am not really that psyched to go back in the near future. Shame really as the routes are ok when clean but there aren’t really that many if you have done the ones you want to.

Masson Lees- a good quarry near Matlock that is very worth visiting. I had a great day there and will be going back. Nothing harder than f7b but the routes are longer, more on your arms than some crags and just a good place for mileage. Thoroughly recommended!

Been to Raven Tor a couple of times, which is always good for an ass kicking. It reminds me of how long it’s been since I did any bouldering (because of my elbow injury) and how relatively weak I am at the mo. But I did a boulder traverse that I hadn’t done before called “weedkiller traverse’- font7b. For some reason I’ve never done it, although the last moves of it are the start to an f8a+ called ‘chimes of freedom’ that I’ve redpointed. It’s good as it’s horizontal and if you combine it with chimes it turns it into an f8b route. So I’m thinking I might try and do that- a good way to get stronger if nothing else!

So, hoping to go to Pembroke next week for 5 days but as ever it depends on the forecast. I’ve got a few routes in mind and feel like I am going ok, so we’ll see.