Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Deep Water and Lime Failure

Being a weak swimmer and having a general dislike for all things watery made me apprehensive going into my first deep water soloing trip. Luckily Jon and Emlyn had expressed similar doubts and were both relatively new to the style. It usually takes very hot weather to get me in the drink and funnily enough thats what we had. The temperature dictated the venue for the weekend, go climb some sweaty slab on cloggy, or go jump in the sea, easy choice...

After the quick 5 hour drive down on Thursday evening we set up camp in Langton Matravers and quickly hit the hay. The first day was to be spent at Stair Hole at Lulworth. Home to many of the classic DWS's such as Mark of the Beast and Horny lil Devil. After a quick lap round the Maypole we set to work on the latter, and it saw the first splash downs of the weekend with both Emlyn and Rees plunging off the middle crux section.
Jon on the Lil Devil 7a
The rest of the day was spent durdling about ticking various other classics including Hornier Than Thou and Animal Magnetism. The plan for Saturday was to head to Conner Cove. This is where I think of when I imagine DWS, as there are so many classics, many of them at pretty amendable grades. The three I'd planned on trying all went smoothly. Freeborn Man, pic below, was as good as the hype, with a scary rockover way up. The Conger, a classic E2 traverse, had great balancy moves never far above the sea and Fathoms was truly stunning, a rising flake to a jug which gives you unwelcome time to think about where you are. Once committed though the moves flow steadily to the top.
Freeborn Man 6c
Our final and hottest day was spent back at Lulworth, it was a fair bit greasier than Friday, and there was more falling in than ticking. Kim took a sideways fall off Mark of the Beast and I dropped off Gates of Greyskull a few times lacking in commitment. After that we headed back to Sheffield, I can't wait to get back down there, it really is the best thing to do in this weather!
Kim off a greasy Mark of the Beast 7c
Aside from this trip the past few months have been pretty quiet, with a few low 8 and high 7 sport routes and some nice easier trad climbing. Having ticked my aim for the year by doing Appointment and then making the second ascent of the mythical Lets Get Killed just a few days later I felt a nice lack of pressure for a couple of weeks. After that wore off (it always does) its been on with lime projecting, and bashing my head against the brick wall of chronic weakness. I'm getting there though, and have some sport projects which should see me break new personal ground in the next few weeks.