27 June 2013

Caley - Is this going to be a standup fight, or another bug hunt?

Caley. How on Earth did I not end up getting to Caley in the first half of the year? And why on Earth did we leave it until the midges were out in force? It was an issue...

But there was climbing. The slab at trackside was the obvious warm-up, with Bryn and I taking on its various little chips and cracks. The toughest climb was the central crack - as a downclimb, that is. Going up it was essentially walkable.

We saw Craig briefly, and then birthday boy James arrived, as I was taking on the high-ball just along and across the track. This huge block became our focus for a little while. I'd previously used a jump as my down, but decided a higher quality approach was needed, and so found a crack at the back (not as dodgy as it sounds) to climb down. And back up, though I didn't sit-start it, which seems likely to be the 'proper' method. Then the end of the block, which was rather green. James went up wherever he felt like, while Bryn went up the right and I went up the left.

Next up was a notable problem that Bryn had had his eye one - Smear Arete. We tackled the left side first. Again, James was up it with little trouble, then Bryn and I took our turns. I hadn't got near this problem last year, but top advice by James gave me a good foundation to work with. However, this being my first attempt, my build-up had been sketchy, and I couldn't commit to the last move or two. I dropped, bouncing off James' mat and onto the grass where I had just moved Bryn's mat from... Bryn's attempt revealed a cheeky little pocket just inside the arete, but he had issues sending his left leg out too wide, and dismounted as well. I stepped up again. The first few moves went nicely, boosting my confidence when it came to standing up to reach for the top - which was as positive as you like, though care was still needed with the feet, as some of the face was green. The right side of the arete refused to go to either James or me, but treated him better (or he treated it better?), since it didn't throw him down and slam him into the rock alongside...

A quick jaunt up to the Roof of the World told us that it was time - there were too many bugs, and the energy had drained out of us, making our Roof efforts uninspiring (well, except James' - campus-boy!). After falling into a natural man-trap along from Smear Arete and nearly losing my mat in the bracken, James headed up the hill and Bryn and I headed down, a pleasant walk through the woods topping the evening off.

And now my legs look like I have smallpox. Bloody bugs...

Where most of the action went down. Well, up.

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