Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Long. Live. The. Grit.

For the past couple months I have been unbelievably psyched for the gritstone and even though the warmer temperatures have started to creep in I haven't as of yet felt any need or pull to start climbing on the Limestone. This is a big change for me as normally around this sort of time I get stuck into some lime projects.

Anyway, lets go back a month and start from 'Simba's Pride' (E8 6B). This route has literally taken me the longest to complete out of any other. It took up to 5 visits which was actually very frustrating. Every time I seemed to get ready on the route it started raining, but finally we got a cold enough day and no rain and I managed to climb the bugga!!! It was a rather good feeling sticking the final jug...

A week or so later our London homie Andre came up for a couple days with only one aim 'To climb another E7'....and that's exactly what he did. We both managed to climb 'White Lines' (E7 6C) up at Curbar!! It was actually quite incredible how quickly the route dried that day after a shite morning of solid rain.

White Lines E7 6C

After this the weather changed so we headed south to Portland. First time clipping a bolt in ages. The weather was awesome and it was a nice break from the Peak District. We climbed some new routes, but where actually a little disappointed with how dirty all the climbs were. It seemed like they havnt seen any action in years.....especially down on Dancing ledge.

Mucho Gusto! 7b+
Bust ya Boiler 7c 
Legendary Shadows 7c+
Breathing Method 8a

Picked up a hobo on my way south!!!

Fishing twat!

Back to the Peak and it was on to another new crag for us called 'Hipley Hill'. We wanted to check out a brilliant looking route called 'The Great Tribulation' (E6 6C/ 7c+) and brilliant it was. A steep limestone route but on trad gear. It was far from good connies but definitely climbable. The sequence through the roof is burly and the top finger crack is pretty spectacular. Sam and myself both managed to make an ascent!! Its well worth the visit BUT it sure aint no easy tick.....

 Crack climbing!

Next up was our day at Black Rock's. We met up with Panda and Jose and as per usual the psyche was very high. We started trying 'Velvet Silence' (E6 6C). This slab is unreal and almost feels impossible. It starts off with a weird mantle which then leads to a sketchy slabathon to the top. Not in anyway my cup of tea. For years I could barley do the first mantle. THIS DAY, This bloody day was for some reason different, I cleaned the green moss away and climbed straight to the top. No idea what just happened there but lets move on..... Great route!!!! It was clear blue skies and the sun was out fully beaming down on the crag! Not ideal for anything that was situated around Gaia. So we decided to go and clean up 'Meshuga' (E9 6C) which was thankfully in the shade... but only just!!! I first tried this route 3 years ago with Ben Heason managing to flash it on top rope (whatever that means) I then decided to leave it and....leave it for a little longer. After a couple goes refreshing myself on the moves and for the first time trying the top section, I began to think that I could actually do this....So after a good hour pissing about wondering whether I should go for it or not and listening to this tune over and over again -

Velvet Silence E6 6C

Meshuga E9 6C

We sorted the pads, I clipped the one and only cam on my harness and went for it. It went smoothly and I think its the most satisfied I have ever felt after a climb!! I never thought I could add 'Meshuga' (E9 6C) to my list of gritstone routes. Its worth mentioning Jose's ascent too. This was his first time up to Black rock's and he walked away with an E9. Could this be the first Spanish youth to climb this grade? Who knows.... We both then finished off the day with 'Curving Arete' (E5 6A)

Panda managed to get all ascents on film throughout the day so look out for the video soon.....

Malham was next - I was keen to try a couple of the longer routes on the left, so I got on 'Zoolook' (8a) a super classic route but HOLY SHIT its polished!!!!!! I climbed it on my 2nd try....awesome but wasn't feeling the love. The following day we hit up the top tear and got on 'Free and easy' (7c) Exposed much!!! We climbed it and then left.....Not massively psyched for Malham.

A week later we called up Al and bezzed over to Wimberry. This is a place both Sam and myself have wanted to check out for ages and ages. Its a good hour drive from the Peak and at least 45 mins walk in up a steep hill....That's more like it!! On arrival to the crag we could hardly contain our selves, so many hard routes! Unbelievable! My goal was to check out a route called 'Order of the Phoenix' (E8 6C) It was rather dirty so some cleaning was in order. Sam and Al went and climbed a spicy route called 'Blasphemy' (E2 5B). The moves on OOTP came together quickly and I felt pretty confident on having a go. This was our first visit to Wimbery so we didn't have any bouldering pads as they are a bastard to carry. I had already decided to have a go so to hell with boulder pads....Here is the video of the ascent!! Sam finished our day with a great send of 'Consolation Prize' (E5 6A) We both cant wait to get back this week.....

Here is the video of our afternoon up at Wimberry!!! >>>>

Also if you need a little psyche for your training CHECK OUT this video from Jon Clark featured on EpicTv.

7 weeks today we fly to South Africa!!! YESSSSSSSSSS...ENJOI!!!!!!

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