Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Caley etc?

First stop on Saturday was Steve Dunning et al's new bouldering wall in Leeds: The Depot. Its superb and will be the equal of anything in the country when its finished. What's open now is better than 95% of walls already. Cofe gave me a hand fitting out their swanky new Cafe with a bunch of my prints. Looks pretty smart:

They are all for sale so have a look if you're in the area. If you've seen something you like on the website its a good place to check out the quality of the prints before you buy too.

Good as it is there's no climbing wall in the world which could tempt me off the grit on a sunny spring day, so it was off to Caley next. I'm pretty convinced its the best bouldering venue in the Uk, the only downsides being proximity to a busy road and a tendency to stay damp. Conditions on saturday were great, literally everything dry, cool, sunny spells and a good breeze. Indulged ourselves in a long warm-up circuit (how good is Rabbit's Paw wall?) before getting stuck into some more serious stuff. Nearly seven years ago now I was a local here so have done most of the stuff I'm likely to do on an odd visit before, so its was all about trying to repeat some of my favourites. I stayed well clear of Blockbuster, Ben's Groove went easily enough and then it was on to Terry, one of my top ten problems ever. After re-learning how to hold the pebbles (its in the thumb, of course), Nige and I were getting to the top hard move lurching left into the big holds. About twenty goes and an hour later I finally took off my boots and admitted defeat. As a general rule I'm much more bothered about my base level than my all-time hardest tick-list, so stuff like this really frustrates me. Its a tricky move, but I couldn't undertstand what I was doing wrong. With hindsight it was pretty warm and I think we were the first to clean it off this spring - with a proper clean of the crux slopey crimp it might well have been a different outcome. Putting this amount of effort into something I've done before doesn't bother me at all though, far better than scratching around some lowball drivel just for the sake of a new tick.

By the time we'd worked our way along to the crag rain was threatening and we were pretty goosed. We finished off trying Scary Canary, another classic highball that I've done quickly before. Failure this time was more squarely due to filthy holds on the arete. I suspect the arete sequence has fallen out of fashion in favour of a more basic crimping up the sharp pockets, but it makes for a better problem. Hopefully there'll be chance for a rematch before it gets too hot.

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