Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Venturing More Than 6' Off The Ground

I went to Birchen on Friday afternoon with the youth. We ticked most of the easy problems on the three ships as a warm up, although the trivially easy but pumpy traverses were beyond me. Bah. Then we went down to the main edge, climbed an entertaining little V3 arete fairly swiftly, and had a few attempts at Hornblower, a classic V4. Oswald made some good progress and eventually hit the elegant lurch for the decent sidepull, and it was in the bag. I, however, failed repeatedly to make the first move, so I consoled myself by soloing a few of the routes nearby. It's been a while since I was more than 6 feet off the ground, but I managed not to get a nosebleed with the extreme altitude. I finished the day by sandbagging the youth on the start of Powder Monkey Parade and watching some gentlemen make impressively short work of Gritstone Megamix, a highball classic.

You can't beat a good sandbagging...
Yesterday the forecast was glorious, so I made plans to go to Yorkshire with Lizzie. I felt a little cheated when I woke up to a world of fog. I felt more cheated when it still hadn't burnt off by late morning, but eventually around noon the sun managed to break through, so I set off. Driving through Leeds is a bit like punching yourself in the face, only it takes much, much longer and is substantially less fun, so it wasn't until 3 that we actually reached the bottom of Crookrise and racked up. All the jangly gear was a bit confusing, but after a massive attack of uselessness at the start of a VS I pulled myself together and managed my first leads of the year, and even a new ticklist route, whoop. All in all it was a very pleasant afternoon, and it was nice to catch up with Lizzie. It was also a good reminder that I need to get better, so VSs don't feel like quite such hard work...
Getting stuck into some traditional VDiff action