Another f8b

24th Jul 2008

Awesome, awesome, awesome!!

Today I did the route and kind of against the odds, which makes it even better.

When we drove out into the Peak at about 9am, it was like driving into a film set for ‘The Fog’ or something- the cloud was so low and everything was dank and horrible.

Things weren’t much better at the Tor, which initially was very frustrating.

I really thought there was no way it was going to go today because everything was sooo greasy. Fortunately, my clips were still in the route from Monday, nobody had nicked them, which I had heard had happened recently, so I didn’t have the energy and time wasting task of putting them in again- bonus!

But the grease really was bad. And on my first go I had to grip so hard and keep chalking up almost after every move (which is not what you want to do) that I just thought this isn’t going to work. I still got to the same place though, i.e. slapping the hold I needed to get to get me through the crux but I felt tired when I got to the point from all the chalking.

So I had a rest and thought by some miracle all the holds would dry out in half an hour or so. But funnily enough they didn’t! I put some chalk on the holds I could reach on ‘Weedkiller traverse’ but the dampness came through almost immediately. I was pretty despondent and was thinking what’s the point of me even trying? I NEED perfect conditions godammit!!

But it was like, well I’m here now so I might as well give it a go.

I kind of felt quite good physically too, my body had an energetic tingle going through it and I kind of knew before I left the ground that I felt good.

So I started climbing and having got used to pulling on the greasy holds got through the traverse better than the first go, I didn’t feel nearly as knackered. I probably wasn’t gripping quite as tightly as I had.

Having had a quick shake on the jug below the roof, I went for it. I actually felt good and knew this was the go where I had to make it happen. I got over the roof as always and basically told myself to pull as hard as I could on the slap and to grab the hold and not let go, which, I did. It worked! I found myself latching the crucial hold but then I have to do a series of hand shuffley moves, which ends up with my opposite hand on that same crucial hold. At this point my fingertips and the hold were in very greasy nick and I thought I wasn’t going to be able to make the final pull to the jug, which was only a few centimetres away.

But I had a little chat with myself (this all must’ve taken milliseconds) and I was just like you can’t fall off here. You’ve got through all the hard climbing and it probably isn’t gonna happen again today, so don’t blow it now, just go for it. Which is what I did and I popped for the good hold and managed to hang it and scuttle onto some better holds.

At this point, I had thought to myself that it would be in the bag. Even though there is a f7c top wall to climb, I’d never found it that bad. Well I hadn’t reckoned on how pumped I was going to feel at this point and I was pumped. Damn!

The whole next section was just a fight. Not enjoyable at all. The grease nearly pinged me off a couple of times and the pump nearly got me too at the top. Luckily I managed to recover on the good holds but that recovered feeling just didn’t last as long as it normally does (probably due to the fact that I’m not in my best shape ever, so I can’t complain really).

Anyway, I’m really chuffed I managed to pull it out the bag today. It means I can go off on my ‘cousin’s wedding, climbing in Cornwall, family hols few weeks’ without having this route niggling away in the back of my mind. It’s nice to be able to have achieved something and go and do some good trad routes without worrying too much if I’ll loose some valuable power.

So, I’m not sure if I’ll be able to blog at all while I’m away as I’ll be road tripping in the van but you never know.

Time to enjoy the summer, which finally seems to have arrived!!