|The Crux move of Hajj (Photo: Jon Clark)|
|Just past the crux on Mecca (Photo: Jon Clark)|
Mecca linkups and projects
It was at this point that I started trying to bag the Whore of Babylon link. This is the red line on the above topo I have drawn of Mecca links and projects. This is a cool linkup that Steve McClure had first done but which I think finished up Crucifixion. The moves from where it leaves Hajj (after the first independent move) are not too hard and the whole 2 bolt sequence before it joins Proud Whore is probably 7b+. The moves are not trivial but way easier than those on Hajj. The finish up Proud Whore, although probably 7b+ again, was steeper and more physical and on my link attempts from the base of the groove on Mecca, proved to be very pumpy indeed!
As late November arrived, me and the ever dwindling band of regulars started to get hit with unreliable conditions as, even though the crag was still essentially bone dry, as soon as the temperature rose above about 6 degrees, the dreaded condensation came on. On Saturdays in a row, this happened, which resulted in frustrating enforced rest in the hope of better conditions the following day. Basically, opportunities for successful redpoints were dwindling fast. Even when the crag was dry, as December rolled around, it unsurprisingly became bitterly cold as the sun now didn't rise above the hill opposite the crag and Mecca got zero sun. One day when I failed to get up Mecca via my usual method in the dusk due to a late arrival at the crag, I decided to experiment with the different ways of gaining the base of the groove, managing to climb it via the classic right hand to the horn method and then, the following week by the Egyptian way method. What I was after was an easier, more reliable method and I hope that I have now found it with the Egyptian way. After all, if Steve and most other people do it this way, there must be a good reason!
As the end of the season approached, I wanted something to show for my efforts and on last session before the Works party, the Whore of Babylon link went down. Unfortunately (or fortunately!) I discovered a really good rest in the Creamteam break before the finish up Proud Whore which took the edge off it, although at the end of the day, this section still has to be climbed and is no pushover. The direct version will be even pumpier. So, with the Tor season ended for 2014, I have been getting stuck back into some plastic training and some much needed new moves. I'm psyched for what the New Year may bring and will be back for Hajj, and other projects, in the Spring! For now its off to Chulila for 15 days of bolt clipping heaven, some onsighting and change of scene, venga bichos!
A classic 8a route from around Chamonix earlier this summer, can anyone guess which one?