Monday, 10 February 2014

Mid Season Blues

Golden early season grit

So far the "season" has been going great. Coming in I had a couple of routes I'd wanted to do, The Zone was the last one left on the priority list. It could be criticised for being a pretty mediocre line on a wall that harbours some of the best on grit. However the moves are really good and it makes sense to deviate around like it does. Its another route I'd tried last year and failed on. Not that it felt easy this time but its all in the tiny margins. One negative about the route is that it eats your skin, the holds being almost all edges, very unlike your average grit route. Another quirk is the gear. Skyhooks that sit on edges halfway up the wall.

They're alright really

 Whilst hardly bomber they're not too bad and  have been famously tested by both skinny youths Pearson and Grounsell. The day of the lead was a comedy of errors, searching for my keys on Stanage only to find them in the car, getting ridiculously pumped placing the skyhooks and watching my camera fall off a cliff. The lead was not so comical, the kind of boring plod some would say headpointing often produces, oh well, I enjoyed it, even if my fingers didn't. Nick Brown got some stellar footage of both this and Knockin. If you haven't seen the video yet what rock have you been hiding under??

The Grinning Zone
As per usual mid season staleness kicked in around early December, when the weather turned shit and the psyche went through the floor. Resuscitation arrived in the form of a trip. Just after Christmas I had the pleasure of visiting one of the best crags on the globe; Siurana. Arriving in the dark gave us no clues as to the grandeur of the valley, the sight of which left me gobsmacked the next morning. Sport climbing has always been somewhat of a sideshow for me, never drawing much focus away from the boulders or routes of the grit, but Siurana has changed this.

On the flash on Ya Os Vale

 For starters the El Pati is simply ludicrous, I cannot picture myself ever being fit enough to scale the steeper regions, I get the feeling alot of things will have to change in my mentality to make it happen. Watching the eurowads attempting these extra terrestrial routes gave food for thought, the training is probably worth the effort if this is where it leads you. Most of the trip was spent ticking away, resisting the urge to spend all my time on things too hard for me and repeatedly eulogising on how cool this place was. All I can say is that being back in England for the wettest January for years was horribly sobering. The Works must be raking it in.

El Pati! Jack on one of the 7a's

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