3 May 2012
After the flood - Caley in the Spring
The rain subsided, the water that had formed huge lakes under the ancient brooding boulders in the wood slowly seeped away. The bracken waiting for its chance, began its steady, overwhelming crawl up the rocks. There was an overcast, calm punctuated only by the sound of someone shouting "CRIMP harder, CRIMP MORE, go on Louis, pull HARDER." every minute or so. Louis was trying Mr Smooth, it was hard to say whether the relentless shouting was helping him or making things worse, Louis didn't really say either way he just kept pulling.
After one of the wettest droughts I can remember the day had been dry, I wanted to get back to Caley before the bracken got up to knee height but for the best part of a month but the unrelenting deluge had ruled it out. Here we were the Wednesday night team such as it was. Many folk nursing injuries or hampered by commitments elsewhere. Bryn warmed himself through on the Flapjack Scoop finally getting it although he might yet straighten it out a bit more. Louis eased up it in some style. I think we found four different ways of doing it between us, still a great piece of rock.
Attention turned to the Horn Louis nearly flashed it, getting the pockets at the top straight off but his feet wouldn't stay on. I was getting my hand in the pocket but it still won't latch I'm finding the mix of dynamism and control needed for this hard, I'll keep on keeping on. Six or so goes each and we were feeling the pace and sloped round to Mr Smooth. Usually I find this alright but tonight with plenty of moisture in the air it was worth its V3. I finally got it together and rocked over but my feet were creeping on the holds something terrible. Louis was like a dog with a bone he tried and he rocked and he crimped, each time getting a little further until he was rocking over and getting into balance but the slap up wouldn't stick try as he might.
We tried a few more bits and bobs down on the yule log but the humidity seemed to be getting higher, making anything stick was becoming tough as friction and power ebbed. Bryn greased off and something went twang in his wrist. Facts eventually needed to be faced - it was dark and we stumbled down. I managed to find a couple of ankle deep muddy puddles in what little light remained. I drove back to Harrogate braking sharply as a duck and two duckling wandered out into the road, I couldn't stop in time. I ran over them but heard no thud and could see nothing but black in my mirror, I hope they were OK, it has been their season they deserved some luck.
Posted by Dave Prince
About the Author
Dave has been climbing rocks for as long as he can remember, odd then that he isn't better at it. He lives in Harrogate as he can't afford to live any closer to Almscliff. He is hoping to get up Pebble Wall before his middle aged knees give out.
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