19 April 2014

Under the Shadow of the Cross - A new Jerusalem was built

Cold this morning a first good sign, dry for the last week, better sign. Off to Caley with my boys. They are grumbling I didn't bring them gloves as we head up the track, the cross on the ridge near the Royalty is visible in the distance.

We meet James by the sugarloaf and get on the crimpy scoop of Luna. It succumbs first go as a warm up. I'm happy with that it has been throwing me off for ages. The kids get to bum sliding down the back of it. I try and persuade them not to, gritstone has taken the arse out of too many of their trousers their mother will skin me alive if they sacrifice another pair, and her at work too. We play on the classic, steep Pine Tree Arete, but it looks like it needs a few sessions and some real belief before it will give you the time of day. The kids find a problem where they have to think a bit, they think a bit, they get up it.

Chicken Run gets a look, it has potential, even at 7b I reckon, but boy does it need a brush. I haven't seem moss like it at Caley, it's been really wet this winter. We play on the impeccable Flapjack Scoop, still a beautiful thing and a visit to Caley is less if you don't have a go on it.

James says he fancies a go on New Jersualem. I don't fancy it. I'm feeling tired and weak but why not, he has danced to my tune for an hour? We walk down taking a higher shortcut which takes ages and has a Lost World feel to it. We get there. NJ is bone dry, no seepage and the bottom crimp feels good. First pull and I'm past the gaston and on to the first of the slopers, progress. Bugger better have a proper go then. James is pulling on but he is struggling to get through to the gaston.

Third go it's nearly there, I hit both slopers but my feet spin off as they come under me. I tear the obligatory flapper on my little finger and think that might have to do, but it tapes up nicely.

Next and I reckon final go so I'm throwing off weight like a crashing air ballon. Big wee, hat off, chalk bag off, most of my clothes in a heap, deep breathing before I set off. Ludicrous but you never know, it might be the difference.

All feels good, hang the crimp, reach through for the gaston, arm over for the first sloper, sort your feet, both hands on the slopers, feet come under and stick, pop for the edge, feet up, keep pulling, top, done. Splendid, first bit of softish 7A, Happy Easter.

James has a few pulls on Forked Lightening, it might only be 6B+ but it's dead hard. We give it best, I float down to the car as the kids chuck moss around and stuff themselves with pringles.

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