16 November 2012

Crash and Burn


Karrie's shelving unit was finished enough, my fear that my claims to be a maker and fitter of furniture might be a pipedream had evaporated. The sun was out, time to sneak an afternoon off. Cliff again for round 17 of Crucifix traverse siege.  It was murky now, the sun back behind the haze  but it looked dry on the ground. I walked in. A party was camped out under the traverse laying down on their mats, how inconsiderate. I warmed up. I waited for them to move, they stayed put, one woman just sprawled on her mat completely still, that's a bit rude I thought.

Then realisation dawned I was watching something unfold. Jenny as it turns out  her name was had peeled off Pebble wall.  As she had landed her knee had gone pop, she was in a bit of a bad way and she was lying there whilst the rest of her team decided which A and E to take her to.

I went and had a chat, offered any help I could and soon I was part of the carrying off team. Jenny was complaining of being cold, time to get her down I figured. Two off us carried her off in fits and starts, down to their car and off to Airedale, I wish her well looked like she might be out for a while.

I walked back in now pre-warmed up and got straight onto the traverse. The first half slipped by as I chatted to a guy who was bothering Dolphin Belly Slap. As I moved out of talking range I concentrated on the second half. The drop down went well and before I knew it the thin crimps at the end where at hand. Unlike all the other goes, I had time and energy to concentrate and my footwork was good for a change, and there it was done, no drama. Took a long time coming this one, I should have been more pleased but Pebble Wall is next on the list and it seemed important to treat the Cliff with respect today and stay sombre, it bites too often.
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11 November 2012

A Battle of Britain


It was the Battle of Britain at the depot yesterday and I didn't go. I must get to one of these indoor comps soon but the sun was bright and it was crisp. So I hit the cliff for a brief Blitzkreig. In my sights was the crucifx traverse a punter's marathon that keeps spitting me off at the last move. The cliff was almost deserted everyone saving themselves for a plastic thrash I suppose.

Today the traverse was no different, I was making all the moves but on the link failing halfway through the last crimpy move. Three goes with long rest breaks to soak in the sun all equally as (un) successful. Last weeks manflu was still in the system I could feel the emptiness in my muscles, the lack of zip and a  nagging headache that  throbbed away.

I ran into moose who warmed up on the traverse and then, did it with the low version at about 7a his massive frame eating up problems with economical ease. He was complaining about being rusty, but he seemed to do ok for a man out of form. We had a chat, he showed me a crafty hands off rest at halfway along with a knee bar, I showed him my sneaky dropdown at 2/3 distance.

I must get to one of these indoor comps soon, but on a day like yesterday it would have seemed like a phoney war, I was glad to be battling outside.


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7 November 2012

The Weaker Sex?- great summer for British Women Climbers


A while back I wrote about people slagging Katy Whittaker after she sorted out the Angel's Share at Black Rocks. Anyway time has ticked on and the sisterhood needs a bit less defending these days as actions speak volumes. Shauna Coxsey has a proper pop at the world cup only being beaten by a broken leg (fair excuse). Then Hazel Findlay only goes and frees the Premuir on El Cap  along with McHaffie and Dyer who are definately both world class. As a route its not generally considered an easy day for a lady, or anyone for that matter as the team make the second ascent.

McHaffie who might on the sly be the best trad climber in the UK at the moment, was more than a little impressed by her style on the route and it sounds like there may yet be more to come. She has been touted as the best female trad climber in the world, but me thinks she might just be world class regardless of gender, oh and not bad considering she is 5 foot 2.

I think the idea that the prerequisite to be a top climber is a Y chromosome might be finally put to rest over the next few years. The women climbers in the UK are getting organised  and where Lynn Hill set the pace a few years back there will now be a wave of determined, talented and successful  women climbers who may leave a quite a mark on world climbing.
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