Friday, 22 March 2013

Gritstone Roundup

Hi folks just to update you on the last few months of activity on god's own rock. I decided that instead of costly trips to the Orme I would focus on Peak gritstone to generate some new ticks instead of working on things like Drink Driving, which would require a lot of work towards the redpoint, with no guarantee of success.There's nothing quite like a tick to keep the enthusiasm up and that has been my primary focus. I have been through my guide to see the glaring ommissions and made a point of seeking some of them out. Unfortunately, I managed to tear a stomach muscle about 5 weeks ago on repeated attempts on a steep problem at Stockport wall which stopped me in my tracks a bit as I couldn't even get out of bed without pain nevermind swing my core around on steep ground! This proved to be something of a blessing in disguise as I managed to tick some slabs and walls which i perhaps wouldn't have otherwise tried.

My best grit ticks over the last 2 months have been:

- Brad Pit (with top out) (see vid below)
- Ben's Wall
- Barry Sheene
- Shirley's Shining Temple
- Silk
- Who Needs Ready Brek?
- Business Lunch
- Stump Hole Cavern Sit (Flash)
- Brutal Arete
- Beneath the Breadline
- David
- Flatworld Lefthand
- For a Few Beagles More

The highlight was probably Shirleys and big props to Dan Cheatham for his vid for all the beta. This took me 3 sessions to unlock as it features some vicious cranking on minute pebbles and crimps if you can't get the palm-down to work (as i couldn't). Ironically this came on a sunny, hot day and i was in 2 minds as to whether to sack it off and come back in the evening. Im glad i persisted though and the first time i managed to crank through the start bulge, I made it up the rest of the slab via some pretty eye-popping rockovers! Luckily some people nearby gave me a spot although with my 3 pads it would have been fine to lob off i reckon. This was a fair bit harder than Silk and more sustained, fair at Font 7c for me.

On Barry Sheene, i managed to finally get the heel toe to work to generate enough reach (just) and perhaps the most satisfying tick of all was Ben's Wall, which I have been trying since 2008! Here is a video of a near miss a couple of weeks prior to the eventual send, agonisingly close but no cigar. I was getting concerned about the problem's potential to rag your A2 pulley on the nasty undercut pocket the way I was doing it going with my right hand. Thankfully the time it went down, I caught the pocket so well, there was no outswing (unlike on the vid), a great moment after hundreds of tries over the years.

Brutal arete was great and lived up to its rep. I was joined by Emlyn and Ben who showed me the numbers (cheers guys!) After a near miss (see vid below) it went down next session.

Equaling my hardest flash was Stump Hole Cavern Sit, thanks to Chris's vid, it proved to be a very short visit there. A dash down to the Roaches as my third crag of the day yielded Who Needs Ready Brek, which is pretty amazing and about as crimpy as they come.

Looking to the future, I was surprised at being able to pull on to the Joker fine, unlike in previous years, and having a few waves at the top. This has now moved onto the project list and I look forward to a tussle with it perhaps next winter now the lime season is nearly upon us.

I leave you with one from Dan Cheatam of Famous Grouse from last year, capturing a well desired ascent after literally years of tries! Sometimes its all worth it.  

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