Sunday, 16 April 2017

Happy Easter! Update on bouldering and training

I thought it was about time I put pen to paper, so to speak, and write a little update on my winter's bouldering and training for you to digest while you are all munching your Easter eggs! The last time I blogged last year I was about to embark on a period of indoor training and bouldering with all the crags either already seeping or about to. I had some interesting sessions at Malham and Raven Tor right at the end of the routes season on Pete Dawson's new route Something for Nothing 8c and Evolution 8c+, making some mini breakthroughs on both, which has given me something to think about over the winter. 

Texas Hold Em Font 7B+, Trowbarrow  (Pic: Sam Pratt)
From November onwards up until recently, I have been doing the Chris Webb Parson's one arm hang programme before work on Tuesday and Thursday mornings followed by an evening session of either bouldering at the Manchester Depot or Rockover or routes at Stockport wall. I had a highly enjoyable week in El Chorro over New Year where I managed to get two fantastic 8a's done which I had tried 16 years (!) previously, Lourdes and Musas Inquietantas, the latter route being these days very difficult to get on with the Gorge walkway being now commercialised.
Musas Inquietantas 8a, Lower Gorge, El Chorro (Pic; Adam Bailes)
Porrot 7c+, Makinodromo, El Chorro
Since getting back from El Chorro, I have been getting out bouldering at the weekends as much as possible - pulling down on real rock at regular intervals is important for psyche after all! A lot of visits have been to Parisella's Cave where some extremely cold and windy sessions were had but also to Pill Box Wall and Sunny Wall on the Orme and Tremeirchion and the Gop near Prestatyn plus a day at Trowbarrow in the Lakes. I was chuffed that I have managed to tick off some of my hardest boulder problems, including my longstanding nemesis, Drink Driving V12 on Pill Box Wall, which has been satisfying. Halfway House V10 and In Life (lite) V11 in the Cave, Silence of the Trams Sit V10 at Sunny Wall, Enter the Dragon V12 at Tremeirchion and Push the Button V10 at the Gop have been stand out problems. I'm well keen for more though, its addictive this bouldering game! I have done some videos on my Youtube and Vimeo of some of these boulders if anybody is interested in getting any beta for their own ascents:

Youtube bouldering                                Vimeo bouldering

Here are a few pictures of the bouldering I've accumlated over the last few months:

Halfway House Font 7C+, Parisella's Cave (Pic: Ally Smith)
Pit Problem Font 7B, Trowbarrow (Pic: Sam Pratt)
Texas Hold Em Font 7B+, Trowbarrow (Pic: Sam Pratt)
The Lizard King Font 7C, under Dinas Mot (Pic: George Dunning)

The Tracks Font 8A, Barrel Cave (video still)
The last few weekends, I have managed to get to Llanberis Pass as the weather has improved to try out some problems I have heard a lot about at some new venues, which I think is important to do in order to avoid going stale at your regular crags. It has been cool to climb stuff like The Tracks V11 in the Barrel Cave and the Lizard King V9 under Dinas Mot and Corridors of Power V10 in the Cwm Glas Bach boulders over a handful of visits, which has left me hungry for more!

Pump up the Valium Font 7c+, Raven Tor (Pic: Ally Smith)
Recently, I was psyched to do a one arm hang on the central bottom rung of the Beastmaker 2000 without rotating and with no weight taken off for the first time, which is definitely progress! Here is a little video of the first time I did this on my right arm:

Now, thoughts are turning to the forthcoming routes season and I have already been back to Raven Tor and Malham to get involved with some of my projects there. This year, I am going to try and boulder as much as possible as well over the summer, to keep the power up - its got to help on those route cruxes. So, stay psyched out there and whether you are going for boulder or route projects this spring, try hard and all the training will be worth it in the end!

Views from Sunny Wall, Great Orme

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