18 July 2013

The Wings of a Dove

We try to be an inclusive lot, so when someone has only climbed on the indoors, we're there for them when they want to come out.

So it was tonight with Ben - Benjamin Dove, a York based friend from the juggling scene. A few of us climbed with Ben at The Red Goat climbing wall in York at the beginning of the year, but he'd not managed to venture outside until now (save for scrambling on some rocks in some forest or other in France...). Following a bizarre series of logistics that saw me picking Ben up in Northallerton, we rocked up to the crag and found Dean and James in residence at the back of the Virgin.

Ben took to matters instantly, waltzing (ironic, because he mainly does Latin dancing really) through the classic back and the link to the left highball. I put the same link together as well, the one that Rich had shown me a couple of weeks ago, with Dean noting that if I'd swung a barn door at this point, well, I would have gone a long way.

Pete and Kirsty arrived, and their momentum took us up to the Demon Wall area. Ben sent the Crucifix like it wasn't there, while it took me a couple of goes to remember the sequence. I climbed the cute little problem to the right of Pebble Wall, but Pebble Wall was where we all ended up for a while. Only Dean had this one bang to rights, but everyone - including late arrivals Louis and Chris - had a good run at it. Ben got to the pebble, but couldn't seem to stick it. I made less progress than anyone else, but I made continuous improvements, and will soon have both feet on the face. Crucifix arĂȘte beckoned, but I couldn't combine the jam and right foot effectively. Ben was getting predictable - he got it after a few attempts.

Not actually the attempt in which Ben got it. That came soon after.
The evening then looped back on itself, to the Virgin, but this time the traverse at the front. Daunted, Ben and I left the hardcore to work at it while we went for a play on Boulder 10 and Low Man Slab. Nothing was troublesome for Ben, with the toughest problem on the slab only needing a little nudging from me. We went back for a couple of attempts at the Virgin Traverse, pleased to be able to say we'd tried it, but still some moves from completion, with Ben further along than me.

A great session for all present, and particularly for Ben. A natural outdoorsman, we look forward to having him along again. Maybe we'll get him on, say, Morrell's Wall. Though if we do, I suspect it won't be for long.
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