Social Media

FEELING HOT HOT HOT – By Adam Jeewooth

It’s been a busy 3 months since my last update and a lot has happened since then.

·         The sun is out in Britain and everyone seems happier
·         I have a new job that’s too demanding
·         I’ve been climbing in North Wales
·         Sports Climbing at Malham, Kilnsey and Gordale
·         Done some ticking  in the Peak
·         Obtained a dog from the animal rescue (Ruby Doo)
·         Been diagnosed with asthma
·         Climbed some hard plastic (or not) in the BBC’s

I’m enjoying on-sighting at crags I don’t usually go to and getting mileage in.


However, Kilnsey is dry and so is the line of North Buttress “True North”.  I’ve now had 3 days on “True North” in the last week.  At the moment its feeling desperate, I think due to it being so hot on the small crimps and pinches.  I’m not complaining though as I’m a fair weather climber…due to the heat and my physical ability, I can only have 3 tries per day, then my skin is totally trashed and so is my ego.

I’ve managed to climb the “True North” test piece in two halves.  But this doesn’t mean I’m anywhere near completing the route.  In fact I’d say I’m a way off.  It’s not strength that my problem.  It’s my forearm endurance and ability to hold on. So, the plan is to keep working True North whilst its dry, whilst also keep my hand in at doing easier routes to keep fit and maintain my ability to climb.

See you out and about.

Jee

The Indian Face – George Ullrich

Indian Face is the one route which I have always said, ‘I will do that one day’. But I never imagined it to be so soon.

James McHaffie asked me if I would belay him on it on Tuesday, this seemed the perfect excuse to go and look at it. Caff had practiced the moves on top rope in the morning, He looked almost green when I turned up at 2. It wasn’t long before he strapped it on for the lead. Just before setting off he said something like, “if I’m not feeling it I’ll just step off.” I was like, “step where?” He was like , “I dunno” (maybe I shouldn’t have questioned him). And he started climbing. Probably the most gripping belay I have ever done despite the fact that he was so smooth and looked 100% solid the whole way up. An incredible effort!

I seconded it clean and unsurprisingly was disgusted at how shit the gear was. None of it would have held a fall. The whole time I was seconding I was thinking to myself I don’t want to lead it, I don’t want to lead it. But then having top roped it clean, a voice in my head was saying, yeah you can probably do that. I top roped it once more just to see how I felt on the climbing just in case I wanted to come back one day and lead it. By the time I was back on the floor I was telling myself I was going to come back on Thursday and lead it.

From the moment I had told myself this, I had a constant sick feeling. Just thinking about it made me nervous. It seemed that the only way to get rid of this feeling was to go and climb the route.

Sam Underhill, who I had asked for a belay, walked up to Cloggy with me on Thursday morning. It was a scorching day but thankfully there was a slight cooling breeze in the air. I sensed that both of us were as nervous as each other. It’s weird, I have never been this nervous before getting on a route, let alone 2 days before.

Callum Musket was already up there, he had planned to climb the route the day before, but because of the hot muggy weather he had decided that it was too sweaty to go for the lead. Today he was going to lead it with pre placed gear after some more top rope practice.To give him some time to rehearse the moves and so I could take my mind off it Sam and I went to do a nice pleasant HVS on the left of the IF wall. We then lowered down the route and had a top rope practice.

Callum was now ready to go for the lead. I couldn’t watch, Sam and I went for a wonder round the lake to fill up the water bottles. From the other side of the lake through the haze we could just about make out Callum moving up the wall and to safety at the top. An amazing effort!

Ok now it’s my turn. I top roped it again but this time stopping on the way up and working out what gear I was going to place on lead. While I was climbing, someone from above accidentally dislodged a huge lump of turf which plummeted straight towards Sam. He dived just in time taking swinging out the way on the top rope, phew that was a lucky one, good job I wasn’t leading at the time! I tried some different nuts in the slot where Callum and Caff had placed a very suspect sideways rock 7 on the bottom section of the wall. To my surprise I found an old DMM wire to slot in perfectly. I thought that although this wouldn’t make any difference on the high crux moves, at least it would give me some confidence on the bottom section.

I came down taking all the gear out with the intention of top roping once more to practice placing the gear. But I felt confident so made the most of it. No time like the present! I pulled the top rope down and started to climb.

George Ullrich climbing Indian Face (copyright Emma Twyford)

I silently moved up the wall, not really thinking much, just focusing on climbing. Placing two skyhooks and the sideways walnut. An airy step left and up to where I needed to place a cluster of rp’s at around 2 thirds height. I placed two in a shallow crack and another number 1 rp in a hollow sounding flake. The next two which I needed to place were blind and awkward. I couldn’t get into a comfortable enough position to place them. A tiny bit of doubt came into my head but I shrugged it away. I stepped up higher so I could reach down and see what I was placing. All the rp’s were placed now and I didn’t have a single bit of confidence in them. I had to tell myself I was soling from now on. I continued moving up trying to blank my mind, big reach up and right and a big rock up onto a reasonable foot ledge. I placed the last two uninspiring skyhooks, the blue tack just holding them on. I started to think I wonder if someone could drop me a rope. No, don’t think about that, just climb it. My t-shirt was sticking to my back, I meant to take it off for the climb but completely forgot. More chalk, relax. What the f**k am I doing here? Breath, chalk up, I’ve got such a dry mouth. I swapped my feet and committed to the final crux moves. I breathed my way up and crawled my fingers onto the finishing jug. What a relief!

7 inches! Enough for any man – Matty Rawlinson

I ripped my tendon in my finger 2 days before my trip to the U.S snowballing in the Peak, this only meant one thing! Go to the U.S with a very bad finger.

We (me and my amazing girlfriend Prairie) arrived in one of the biggest ditches in the world, Yosemite. I get stupidly excited every time we roll down the I120 usually screaming out the window, “oh look where we are” or words to that effect.

I have been coming to the valley every season but one for the past 9 years, you would of thought I have done some things in that time, but no. My every day life around these parts involves riding my bike at maximum speed every where, drinking beer in the meadow, slacklining, talking a lot of trash with friends and throwing stones at squirrels in Camp 4. Occasionally putting on my boots and going for a Gentlemans Solo.

I was flicking through a climbing mag with Surfer Bob on the front cover dealing with Twilight Zone styling some knee pads and some big cams. Unfortunately I had not spent all winter in a cellar doing stomach crunches or any of that Wide Boyz training. So I would not be trying the Twilight Zone as that was an offwidth and you need to torture yourself for long periods of time before you are ready to deal with them as the Wide Boyz have demonstrated.

Me and Prairie walked up to the Cookie Cliff in the afternoon shade it wasn’t really talked about until we met some friends at the base of Catchy Corner. Which was the worst thing I did that afternoon. Then there was a lot of talk about Twilight Zone, my good lady wanted to do it, I fully supported her as she is a bit of an offwidth master and I new she could lower off to get the gear and we could go to the salsa taco van and eat tacos! Laugh a lot at some boys who shall remain nameless but not shameless,  try to hit on the fit single mums of El Portlel.

We warmed up then we had the talk what to do next. As I had spent a bit of time in the valley over the years I was running out of excuses not to try Twilight Zone but also a sick little part of me wanted to climbed it.

Read the rest at Climbers Blogspot

An awesome week on Cloggy – George Ullrich

Previously I have not seen anyone on any of the E7′s and E8 on the pinnacle. It’s cool to see, after a week of pristine weather, three of the E7′s and E8 Margins of the Mind have been climbed.

I went up to Cloggy on Tuesday with James Majot and sole intention of climbing Authentic Desire. I previously attempted setting off up it a couple of years ago, but later discovered that I was trying to climb up the wrong side if the arête. Doh! I was now eager to go and do it, route description to hand and get rid of the niggling feeling which had been eating away at me since getting turned away.

James started us off by making a fine ascent of The Axe. We then scrambled around to find Callum Musket, Ed Booth and James Mcaffee. Callum had already climbed Authentic Desire and Caff was now stuck into ‘Margins of the Mind’.

I set off up AD, feeling a little bit daunted at first but quickly got into the swing of things. The route just seemed to flow from start to finish with high smears, big layaways and airy moves up the arête with nothing more than small rp’s for protection. An almost improbable looking line which climbed seamlessly.

Having now had a taste for this part of the cliff I returned on Thursday with belay bitch Caff. We warmed up on Octo and headed back down to attempt ‘shaft of a dead man’. I started climbing, trying to hide the doubt which was creeping into me from my tired arms. Caff seemed to radiate nothing but upwards optimism, so I carried on. I continued up into a strenuous position to arrange some ok gear (small rp’s and a lil cam) which would protect the crux moves out left. By now I was way to pumped to continue, I reversed down for a breather and a good tug on the gear which I was now convincing myself that it would hold a fall. Back up again, I got through the crux with the skin on my teeth. So pumped, stretched out and feet everywhere a few more moves up to a hollow flake I was convinced my fingers were going to peel away. Without thinking I stupidly placed a small cam behind it and quickly changed it to a skyhook in fear of pushing the flack off from the wall if I fell. The next section looked nails and I told myself I couldn’t carry on if I couldn’t find anymore gear. Eventually I found a small rp slot in solid rock which I think I could trust. I then spent what felt like an hour of shaking out, going up and down, up and down before eventually figuring out how to do the next bit which felt just as hard as the crux section again. Now totally worked I didn’t want to blow it, mainly because I had put so much effort in and party because I didn’t want to have to test out my gear. More tough moves, I eventually pulled my way to the top. Totally exhausted.

Next day I came back with Caff to return the belay favour. He wanted to finish off Margins of the Mind. This time he climbed it successfully to the top, despite the glaring hot sun which was in the way of all the holds. Even with what I already knew about the reputation of the route, seconding I was still horrified at how crap the gear was on the whole route. I would be surprised if any of it would hold a fall.

Now wanting to tick off all the E7′s on the wall I returned again yesterday and climbed ‘it will be alright on the night’.

Spring Sends – Tom Newberry

Spring shock to start the sport season, or not!

Each spring I start to think about getting fit and returning to rope climbing. I never find this easy though, the simplicity of bouldering keeps drawing me back. Which means despite good intentions of the odd day out in March/April it is usually July time until I start to abandon the pads for a rope.  I hoped this year would be different, having completed most my boulder goals I thought it could be easier to focus on what I want to achieve on a rope. I even changed my fingerboard routine from max hangs and general messing around to a little more focus on PE repeaters/encores. As I said I find the transfer hard, but to help with motivation I managed a few early season sends off this year’s tick list. First was Zulu Wall, an amazing 8a on the Gower in South Wales. It was so good that it made up for the £6.20! toll bridge charges. In fact, I think finding a better 8a in the UK would be hard going indeed! It’s steep and follows a stunning flake line with a brilliant crux sequence at 2/3 height and is hidden away in your own private zawn. This was followed up with a couple visits to Cheddar, where I began to work through the more popular mid and higher graded routes on the north side of the gorge. Lion Rock, Remnant and Wave areas were my preferred crags and although not the UK’s finest rock it provided an enjoyable way to get some fitness back and get used to going for it on a rope again. For me this is the easiest and best way to get my fitness back up again getting in mileage on routes that you can redpoint in a couple goes. That way they are hard enough to push you but generally you don’t have them dialled so end up fighting at the top and you can still get several routes done in a day.

Read more at Climbers Blogspot

Raven Tor – Tom Bonnert

As the good weather is arriving I have been looking at opportunities to get outside on some real rock. All this training indoors can send someone crazy if they don’t get outside. Train booked and an early start on Sunday I was off down to chesterfield to meet Gracie Martin and Billy Ridal to head off to Raven Tor.

Once we arrived at the crag Orrin Coley was already there and on one of his projects, Bens Roof. I soon set to warming up on the little variation boulder halfway down the crag and then came back to Weedkiller V8. I had not been back on this problem since I had a bad fall on it so it was important for me to get back on and do it. I warmed up further by re-familiarizing myself with the moves and then went for it. I pulled on feeling really strong and arrived at the end. Pulled and got the finishing jug easy. Sweet. Finally got the tick.

Then headed down to Powerband V9 and had little play. Managed to do most of the moves quite easily but there was one move on it that felt desperate and another that felt pretty tweaky so I decided to leave this and move on. I started on Rattle and Hump V7 and found it suited me quite well. I managed to work out some pretty techy beta, which really suited me. Two finger gaston crimp. I soon did this problem and started on Powerhumps V8. I came really close to this but might have left it a bit too near the end of the day as my skin was feeling trashed.

With a hole in my pinky I called it a day and was pretty pleased with what I had done. Effort to Orrin for getting Powerband V9 in about 15 minutes and Gracie Martin for cruising Weedkiller V8. Psyched for more outdoor escapades soon. Kilnsey in June hopefully. Peace.

Attaching the Metolius Wood Grips Fingerboard to a Pull Up Bar

Due to a request on how I mounted my fingerboard to my pull up bar, I thought it would be easier to post on here how I did it. When I say “I” I clearly mean my better half, me and DIY do not work !

This is a photo of the over all fingerboard, as you can see I have mounted it to a pull up bar as I wanted the ability to be able to move it on to different door frames and also because my house appears to be made of cardboard, and this thing landing on me would be painful…


We first mounted the fingerboard on to a piece of wood to strengthen the joints fixing it to the pull up bar and to raise the board higher to avoid knee scrapage on the floor. It was mounted just using a few screws…


We then placed a couple of hooks on to the back of the board so that it would take the downwards pressure on to the bar:


To complete your installation, please see more at http://www.climbersblogs.blogspot.co.uk/

Control Your Breathing…Control Your Fear: BlocFest Rocks RCC By Jen Wilby

“So much of our suffering – as individuals is caused by fear and fear is at the very root of our ego”

When using the word “fear” in the climbing environment, most will talk about a fear of physical pain related to hurting themselves, falling off etc. Whilst physical pain is part of climbing (I’ll talk about the pain BlocFest caused my entire body later), there is also a mental pain within climbers, the pain of fear which is common amongst women climbers, although I am sure it’s common within the male climbing community but many won’t admit it and that’s the fear of people watching you climbing, of people judging your climbing.

Whilst this fear is in the mind, it can have huge physical side affects, including:

1) Sweating
2) Rapid heartbeat
3) Weakness

Read much more at www.climbersblogs.blogspot.co.uk

Rain Rain Go Away…by Madeleine Cope

There is nothing like a term spent indoors at university to get you dreaming about crisp winter days bouldering on the gritstone. Unfortunately, those crisp winter days I’d been waiting for have been few (actually I’m not sure there has any!) and far between. After numerous futile attempts to go climbing outdoors I realised that driving to the crag just to eat your sandwiches in the car wasn’t worth it and resigned myself to pulling on plastic.

Since my return to indoor climbing after the summer resulted in the tweaking of my finger I have been quite hesitant to pull hard. However, taking part in the bouldering competition at UCR Bristol got me psyched for indoor climbing (not something I’ve ever really been too bothered about) and it was especially impressive to witness the strength of the young boulderers that train with Ben West. All in all it was a day with a great atmosphere, interesting setting and I was also very happy to have won the female category.

The lack of dry rock has made me realise how much I depend on climbing outdoors for happiness and maybe it is good to learn to appreciate other things. I’m not saying it’s time to go join the hordes in the Christmas sales but the poor weather lends itself to spending time with friends and family. Enjoying this time rather than itching to get on dry rock might help pass the rainy days. Alternatively it might be wise to try and spend as much of the winter out of the UK as possible!

Thankfully the new year has brought with it a couple of dry days! I decided to visit the Five Clouds at the Roaches as I had never been before and it did not disappoint. The highlights of the day were Finger of Fate (highball 6b arête), Trust (7a that required you to ‘trust’ a crucial smear above the mantel) and Milky Button (7b wall climb that I tried and would like to return to). On the joyous day Wednesday 9thJanuary 2013 the sun came out in full swing and it was nice run around the playground that is Stanage Plantation. However, being British, thus unable to ever be satisfied with the weather it was obviously now too hot! A problem that I had never noticed before called Zippy’s Traverse (7b) was in the shade, providing nice cold slopers. Although this problem is not my style I really enjoyed working out the beta but struggled to hold the swing at the end (time to get doing some core work before returning). Climbing Honorary Caley (7a) and Hour Glass Left (7a) was a great way to end the day although how to get off the ground on Hour Glass itself (also 7a) still escapes me!

BlocFest takes over the Castle By Jen Wilby

The Castle is a magnificent victorian building towering over the Finsbury Park area of North London and on the 8th December it was host to the 2nd round of the amazing new BlocFest Bouldering Festival.

BlocFest is 5 giant bouldering festivals led by world class boulder setters across the South of England, but its not just a normal climbing festival, its exciting, social, challenging but most of all its what climbing is all about … FUN!

The launch event was held at Mile End on the 10th October and was a huge success with over 250 folk enjoying the blocs, challenges and freebies on offer.

Click here to see photo’s and results of the launch event:http://www.blocfest.co.uk/

On Saturday, the Castle’s bouldering areas, inlcuding the steep powerhouse pen, the panels, slabs and inspirational mezz were filled with 25 blocs ready for everyone to have a go at. The problems range from easy up to insanely hard / challenging – which ensures something for everyone.

Read more at http://www.climbersblogs.blogspot.co.uk