27 September 2012

An egg but no horn - early Autumn on Caley

I snook out from work, the sun was out things looked promising. Yet another biblical flood in this wettest of years now fading into memory, was I really watching the water lap at the sills of the car as I drove through a road disguised as a river 48 hours ago?

That chill was in the air as I walked into Caley lots was green as I walked in, lots was seeping, but that which was dry was grippy and good. I tried the sit start on the second Creme Egg it kept confusing me, hand and feet sequences were fighting each other and it was steep. I persevered dropped a knee, held a dish, feet up and slap the prow, grovel in the moss as I get to the top,  sent good start.

Next up horn torture it was the usual story no result, latched and held the pocket but didn't do enough with it. It only gives me one decent go a session but it will happen. This is my text conversation with Bryn. Good session here's to cooler weather and more off the list.

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16 September 2012

A problem of size

There's always a debate when we're out bouldering over size- height, reach, or leg length all seem to be the key to getting a problem. Problem is, it usually turns out that technique is really what matters. One of our more diminutive compadres scampers up most problems with the greatest of ease. However, one of members, Cosmo, is even shorter still, largely on account of him being 12 but also on account of him being quite a short 12 year old. We've been going up to the crag for a few years now and I soon realised that bouldering  guides aren't written with the smaller person in mind. As a result we've looked for new problems where the breaks are a bit closer together, and the starting foothold isn't 4 foot off the ground. So all this makes it even better when Cosmo gets an adult sized tick in.

Saturday started very promising- the sun was shining and Dave was whispering sweet nothings in my inbox about Widdop. Having previously planned a visit to Widdop- reading the guidebooks and getting all worked up and excited- I had been thwarted at the last hurdle by one of our far-too-regular summer storms. Not only do the boulders look great, there appear to be quite a few easy slabs that Cosmo would have a ball on. However, it soon transpired that I had a problem- perfect bouldering weather also appears to be perfect gardening weather and before I knew it I had been cajoled into ordering 5 tonnes of topsoil. Somehow my argument "We might never get a weekend of weather like this" had been turned on its head and used against me, curses. So instead of Widdop's reservoir charms we ended up sorting out the garden all afternoon, before finally sneaking in an hour up at Almscliffe.

One of the first problems many people do up at Almscliffe is the arete in West Cave, the one that starts on a polished ledge and with a few hops takes you onto a nice mantel that gives you a slight dose of vertigo. However, when you're 140cm high it turns out this is a bit more tricky, and so it's been on Cosmo's tick list for a while now. However, today with a bit of working it out he got the moves to the top and then sorted out the mantel with no bother. I got the chance to have a play on 3 Swings Traverse, and work out the missing piece of the jigsaw- getting over the ramp- but an attempt to link it didn't work out. By then it was nearly time for Dr. Who so we headed home for tea. We managed to get all the top soil shifted by the way, and now that's out the way 3 Swings is going to be next.
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15 September 2012

There's a chill in the air -Widdop again

Widdop again, long drive but too good a day to miss. Bryn was bound up with work, pity it was a belter.  The wind was howling across the reservoir as I walked up to the lakeside boulders, white caps blowing on the waves. When I got to the boulders some kind soul had put a coniferous wind break in the way and the rocks were in the lee of the wind another reason why Widdop rocks.

I did the excellent Left and Right Red Edges to warm up and tried to straighten out Foursquare but my neck was too short.  I then camped out under Splashdown my nemesis from this May. My first dozen attempts where fruitless. I was getting the sloper but peeling off as I barn-doored away from the arete.  Faffing around with minute foot positions but I was getting nowhere. Finally I  tried flagging my right leg as is was coming off as I slapped up anyway,that was the ticket, I was now leaping vertically. I latched the sloper and then the top.

No one had mentioned the Gritstone Special Elephants Arse at the top onto which a beached whale tried to squirm but I had driven a long way so I clung on for grim death and then it was done.

In the final act I met a guy from Hebden Bridge and we worked Pool Traverse, me coming the closest but failing on the final hold when the autumn sun blinded me. One to come back to. A long way to drive for one problem but it would have been further to drive and fail. Vintage stuff.

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