Thursday 30 December 2010


Went to craggy last night to have a climb with the Soithongsuks and try out the other tough lead line on the 8/9.

After an extended warmup, due to my partners staying true to form and arriving later than publicised, we got on a few easier lines up the comp wall to loosen up and teach Tiff to use a GriGri.

We then moseyed on to the project line round back and cleaned it up.

Tiff went first and caused a mild heart attack when she fumbled the fourth clip and fell off with a shed load of slack out. Fortunately she stopped shortly before hitting the floor and got back on for another attempt. Loads of kudos for that kind of guts for sure.

I then had a go and reached the same point as Tiff but fluffed the sequence a bit and also fell. I had the clip in but for some reason the GriGri didnt work ideally and in combination with Tiff going for a short fly in the air I ended up with a foot on the ground...Not ideal really.

The picture above gives a decent idea of the fall for both of us...Pretty good eh? Either way, once I finished trembling I had another go and fell off the last move after I battered my knee going for the dyno. Should go next session if I get back on it.

Finger feels tweaked up again, next climb will probably be at Reading on the 2nd so I think I may rest up and ice it till then.

Tuesday 28 December 2010

Cranleigh wall

Well it's only been 2 days since the last update but I'm sure many people are bored of their families and need to know what is going on in my life.

First of all I think I should take the short term goal off the right hand side of this page since I have definitely done that now. (Although I still claim not to be fit)

Second - I went to Cranleigh wall again to try out some of the new problems at the school, I did all of the easier problems (bar one which required a heel hook - my leg still cant quite do them due to the strain I got from the Reading comp) I also managed a funky compressiony neon yellow 6cish problem in rather too many goes.

I dont really have much more to say beyond that. I expect to go climbing somewhere tomorrow too but I don't really have a plan as of yet...

Sunday 26 December 2010

Christmas Update

Hope everyone reading this had a good Christmas but this post isnt really about that.

It's an update on my climbing performance:

I went to SSP and Craggy on Wednesday, setting problems at SSP for a few hours before going over to Craggy to do some lead climbing.
I am pretty happy with the SSP problems which included a cool slopey, pinchy, straight-up black problem and a big strange dyno on some white buckets. I hope there haven't been too many complaints yet... :-P

The lead climbing at Craggy went alright, considering I havent tied into a rope for absolutely yonks. I warmed up with a few traverses, auto belay lines and a little bouldering before getting on a slightly overhung 7b and working all the moves. I didnt get the route on Wednesday but I shall blame fatigue and paper thin skin as a result of climbing at SSP earlier in the day.
I also met Yann Genoux, who is the lead setter at The Arch, which was nice. He even made one of the funniest mistakes in language that I have ever heard.

Jack was just about to get to the crux of the route, which involves a large move from a pinch up to a sloper. Just as he reaches it Yann shouts

'Go on Jack, Give it some Willy'

needless to say - Jack laughed himself off the wall.

I went back on Friday and sent the route second attempt after getting a little bit of new beta from a chap nearby. Close run thing though, as I almost pulled my hands off when I was on the last mediocre hold, fortunately I stuck it and moved on to my hardest ever craggy tick :-D

Brilliant New Years Eve gift to myself, as was the coockie that Abi then bought from the cafe.

Happy boxing day everyone.

Monday 20 December 2010

Reading Winter League


My first top 10 placing in competition this year, one of my year targets was a top ten in the TCA rounds. Unfortunately I ran out of them, so this will have to do.

I came in 3rd place out of 37 people and had at least 1 whole climb between myself and 4th.
The problem setting was great and really suited my style of climbing which was fortunate.

Unfortunately I crippled myself on one of the last problems when I tried to pull too hard on a that is my current major ailment - ah well.

I spent most of today setting some problems in SSP, which I am glad to say is taking a turn for the better for a few days. I will be returning on Wednesday to set a few more problems in a separate section of the wall.
Couple of cool problems, still having trouble setting something around the 7a level though, maybe I can try and remedy this on wed.

Going to London tomorrow so that will probably act as a rest day for the most part, plenty of walking around in the cold though.


Sunday 19 December 2010

Weekly Workout

Starting on Sunday since it is that day today.

  • 40 minute chilled crosstrainer 5km
  • 30 minute fingerboard
  1. repeaters (straight hangs)
  2. hangs and pullups on the slopers of the simulator
  3. few maximal hangs
  • about 200 situps of various styles.
Iced hand once
Waiting on the results from the Reading boulder round before I write about it.


  1. Spent about 5 hours in SSP lugging around holds and setting problems.
  2. Going to go and ice my hand now.

Tuesday 14 December 2010

SIBL Writeup

A slow response but I have been a bit busy recently with uni shiz.

The latest round of the Southern Indoor Boulder League was on Saturday and held in the Castle.
Having never been to the castle before I had no idea what to expect, fortunately for the competition the wall was excellent, the setting was great, the hold set was top notch (revolution) and the music was kinda cool too.

Another earlyish (5:30am) start to get over there and get a parking space left us with 3 hours to kill before the competition started - but that is important beta planning and warmup time (we spent it drinking tea in a local cafe)

The rest of the competitors eventually showed up and once it all kicked off a good time was had by most.

I achieved my highest position so far in any of the rounds: out of 73 competitors I came 18th which is alright but, once again, I'd like to do a little better at some point.
Overall I am placed 16th out of 122 people, though this is much to do with turning up to all of the rounds so far.

My fingers on the left hand are still a little tweaked though they feel a bit better every day, might go to Reading competition on Friday to beat Henry again. He loves it.

I also got a new 3x3 record = 27.43s

Time to do some real work instead of typing away on this though, so till next instalment of my thrilling life.

Wednesday 8 December 2010

I seem to be in an unrepentant and thoroughly undeserved state of happiness right now, my infective cheer seems completely at odds with my usual state of mind as christmas approaches.
Ordinarily I will scrooge about and frown at lights and trees but I grinned merrily as the lights were switched on in TCA today.

Now unless someone is drugging me it would appear that I have little to feel festive about as I have a tweaked A2 in my left hand, my left arm has suddenly decided to succumb to tendonitis, my knee is not quite healed and I have a competition this weekend in London which will require another earlyish start.
On the other hand I have been climbing fairly well despite these issues, today I almost managed my first one arm pullup ever, and I followed this up with my first a 1-4-6.

I sound like a broken record, but if I could get a stretch of decent health then I think I would be doing alright just about now.

Friday 3 December 2010

Its a cooking 101

I decided to have a little cooking session this evening and made this glorious monster of a meal.

So here goes with the recipe:

Marinade Chicken in:
  • Lemon Juice
  • Golden Syrup
  • 4 Birdseye Chillis
  • A dash of Soy sauce
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Ginger
Rice goes into my rice cooker (love my rice cooker)

Green Curry paste gets a quick fry and coconut milk + a small amount of chinese five spice added, highish heat used to reduce the very watery liquid down to the consistency you can see in the photo - about until the rice is done.

Chicken fried in a wok till golden on outside, add chopped Pak Choi and allow chicken to cook.

Oil the inside of a bowl (the chequered one for me) with sesame oil and stuff with rice.

Flip the bowl onto a plate - the oil should help the rice to come out easily.

Cover with the green curry paste mix and add chicken.


Chef Arché Cameron Blacké

100 Posts

According to my dashboard this will be my 100th post.

I havent much to say apart from commenting on my continuously broken hands which is starting to grate a little. There isnt much climbing to be done over winter though so hopefully I can heal up soon.

I came 23rd in the last SIBL competition which puts me 16th in the overall standings. Not much to comment about that except for it being just about alright. Coulda, Shoulda, Woulda again but it really would be nice to turn up to the January round and not be injured. I am already assuming I will still be a little bit broken by next weekend for the Castle round so we'll see how it goes.

I spent a little time taking some pictures last time I was nursing my finger and came up with a couple that I quite liked. I hope you enjoy.

One arm!


Portland 003 copy

Friday 26 November 2010

Open Handed

I went to TCA this afternoon and did a session on open handed holds,
My hand still feels ok right now so I safely avoided the crimping.

I actually find it quite interesting dropping back to open hand, everything feels weird, even the big holds feel awkward. I guess I never really thought about how much I use something resembling a full crimp until I started not using it.
It is also interesting that I can still manage holds that I would normally crimp, if I start doing this on a regular basis then chances are that my shoddy footwork will stop being a cause of A2 pulley issues.

This period of open handing will no doubt help me out in the future, and with any luck also strengthen up my ring finger leading to an increase in pocket pulling power.

Thursday 25 November 2010

14th place

Turns out I came joint 14th/86 in the latest comp but I appear to have tweaked a finger in the process, or rather, I tweaked my finger the day after when I went back to work some of the problems.

As such, I have spent another week icing my hand morning, noon and night to try and get some blood into it. Tssk, this weekend is SIBL and it feels a lot better, but open handed is the way forward for now.
I just need to get a result so I can stay vaguely there or there abouts, and if all else fails I can enter the photo comp instead.

Since I havent been climbing or updating much, here is my offering for the day:

Saturday 20 November 2010

TCA comp

I took most of the week off last week as I had a niggling A2 in the left hand middle/ring fingers.

Fortunately it seems to have worked and I put in a decent showing in the TCA comp, I shall hopefully find the results tomorrow but I believe that I am around 15th place out of who knows how many.

Finger felt alright today and I have about a week to get in a final bit of stamina for SIBL in Evo next weekend.

I am trying to focus a little more on open handed climbing now, three fingers open handed is the way forward!

Monday 15 November 2010

Thursday 11 November 2010

Rubiks PB

I would just like to be the first to congratulate myself on my new milestone.

I just solved the 3x3 Rubiks in 28.76 seconds - hoorah for me - this has been a goal for me for a fair while but I never had any dedication to actually getting it. Continuously getting 31.XX or 30.XX is pretty annoying when you know a marginal thing like a cube locking would have tipped you over the edge

I got a little bit lucky with a couple of stages but for the most part it was an honest solve, quick F2L and a Corner skip for the last step.
That was it really.

I shall connect a youtube video from earlier in the evening when it is done uploading, although it was only a 33 second solve, or something like that, and massively lucky. Still, you should be able to get an idea

and this one is not 33 seconds, it is significantly slower.

Wednesday 10 November 2010


Despite my crippling hand injury (which has healed remarkably well for the single day off I gave it) I decided to go to TCA again and partake in fisticuffs with the problem that tried to skin me.

Joe dropped a little beta for the final moves and I managed to do it shortly after starting.

They may be some of the easier whites that I am getting but it is nice to start getting a few under my belt, I think I may try Pauls pebbly crimpfest next time I am in, in an effort to bother Pete.

I also tried the red problem across the front of the mothership. I had previously tried this about a month ago after succumbing to major psyche levels for the moves.
Unfortunately I had just returned from injury at this point and I could barely do a single move. Today however I managed to do every move, link large sections and put in a decent attempt. Time is running out till the reds are removed though and I think I may only have a couple more sessions to attempt it before it will be consigned to the cleaning fluid.

Had a nice curry tonight with the TCA crew at Redlands Tandoori in Bristol. I would feel happy recommending this place to anyone around, tasty and not too damaging on the wallet.

Monday 8 November 2010


Been climbing a lot still,

On Friday I checked out the Reading boulder wall section that was opened recently.
Some really cool problems and masses of potential once the rest of the boulder surface opens, well worth a visit if you are around, pity it is about 20mins walk from the station.

Also went to SSP on sunday and had a good session trying a lot of the new problems and some of the old ones. I also heard my first finger pinging noise when Jack pulled too hard on a crimp. I await news but it didnt sound good when he did it. :-(

TCA this afternoon and I did another white and several of the reds.
Unfortunately I also did my finger falling off the last move of one of the whites...lame.

That's a few days off at least, I might be able to climb on wednesday...but it is a bad flapper, guess I will have to wait and see.

I need to go shower now and eat some foodstuffs.
Humous for the win!

Monday 1 November 2010

A Tirade of tiredness.

I just got back from TCA,

7 hour session in there.

I am tired.

I will be abused for the problems I set today, they are too easy.
I hate leaving shit routes on the wall, this is going to sit on my mind all night and I really cant be arsed to go and change them tomorrow, and that's if I get time after the lab session.

I got a blister today on my right ring finger and that makes me sad
add that to my phone being broken, the lame routes that are up, the chemistry I cant do and the massive sugar crash I am suffering and you have a pretty lacklustre moi.

Not a very good session tonight, I guess I pulled hardishishish, but meh.
I need to chill out or something, but at the same time I have work to do.
And I want to go climb something that isnt just plastic crap.

I was talking with Omar today about the problems I was setting, and he loves the indoors.
He was saying that he likes the white problems to be practically impossible.
On the way home I thought about this and I just can't agree.
If you are going to spend ages trying a problem that may or may not be completely impossible for you, why wouldnt you do it outside? If you do it outside at least you get something against your name for your effort.
If I was trying to 'train' then I would just use the fingerboard or campus rungs.

I guess the routes I have set in the 'hard' circuit are really just trying to replace the hole left by the red circuit, but of course this just prompts the statement that they arent hard enough.
The red circuit is full of nails hard, unpleasant problems.

I would certainly prefer to set some fun, interesting (slightly easier perhaps) problems that you can at least enjoy climbing on while you are indoors.
I guess that is my two cents, when the red circuit comes around I hope to actually get to set some fun moves unlike 90% of what is up now IMO.

I'm going to go find some food, and maybe do some core.

I dont know...

I dont feel like slacking though.

Saturday 30 October 2010


Portland today,
Great time.

I went down with Si Brice, Ben Dickinson and Dan something or other.
An early start to get to Bristol then Si kindly drove the rest of the way in super quick time.
We warmed up quickly on 'The Tank' with a V2 and a V4, before heading to a secluded 3* boulder called Collo Della Terra.

Ben on Collo Della Terra 3* V7

CDT is a really nice problem possibly a little soft at V7 maybe more like V6 but if you are down on Cuttings boulder field I would definitely recommend spending some time on it.
I also managed to open my ankle on this problem which left me with red shoes. :-(

Despite this we moved onto Lightning Strike - 3* which came with strong endorsement from Dr. T.
I grabbed the beta from the relevant ukb article and we worked out some moves.
I eventually sent the problem and once again - very much recommend it to anyone going to the island.
Take some spotters though.

After a quick lunch break I also sent Split Lip V7 and Petty Thief V6 which share the same start through a roof but different finishes. Both alright problems but I imagine there are better ones in the area.

Assuming the grades are somewhat relative to font, I am clearly a little stronger than I was in the last font trip.
And I can also without a doubt say that the last few weeks of training have definitely had an impact on my climbing ability.
I have been doing a lot of core, pullups and fingerboarding as well as climbing on hard problems at TCA.
On Lightning Strike this all came together with a roof section and a long, long lockoff on a small crimp to an equally poor two finger crimp. Two weeks ago I dont think I would have been able to do it based purely on the strength requirements but right now it was perfect. for me.

Well up for finishing off the two whites in the academy now and final training for next SIBL :-D

Cheers for reading.

Friday 29 October 2010

Some Advice.

I wrote this today after I was inspired by a UKC post.
Hopefully it can help you as much as it has helped me.

How to Boulder Harder.

1 -
Remove any tops before starting.

2 -
Find a Beanie, the more ridiculous the better. (see 'Nalle Huckataivalle')
The grade you can climb has been proven relative to the size of the pom pom on top.

Nalle followed the rules and he does alright on the rock.
Unfortunately he is breaking rule 5...

3 -
Only ever use loose chalk, balled chalk is too slow for projects. If you have time to sqeeze you are not climbing hard enough.

4 -
You want to have a roughly 10:90 split between actaully climbing the problem and brushing the holds. The more horse hair bristles the harder you climb.

5 -
Any time not used climbing should be spent in a down jacket.

6 -
The more mats the better, if you are at your limit you should be falling lots, the more mats you have the longer you can spend projecting.

7 -
If you are failing on something, find something harder of another style (or the same style - the holds on the current one are greasy anyway)

8 -
Group size must never be less than 3 for hard sends, beta, pad moving and the more brushes available all contribute to success.

9 -
Your group should contain as many nationalities as possible. And at least one American, Spanish or french person so you can be shouted at in as many languages as possible. VENGA!

10 -
Your chances of success on a problem are more than doubled if a weak punter has just fallen off it, make sure you have one as an essential part of your climbing gear...(oh...hi Tombi, didnt see you there... :-P)

I had another day off today, early start tomorrow then a day trip to Portland, Lightning Strike sounds like it is an awesome 3* problem and I shall be getting on that for the day.

Also Miso soup is taaaaaaaaaaaaaaaasty.

Little confused as to why the 'next blog' link leads on to 5 pages of fishing blogs....

Thursday 28 October 2010

A Peace Offering.

So here goes,

In a vain attempt to regain the trust of my alienated readership - I visited a health store today.

A neat meal ensued.

Breaded Tofu in paprika, parsley, chilli flakes, salt, pepper, a dash of soy and lemon juice.
Unfortunately I did use eggs for the breading process and for that I apologise...

I served this over a bowl of Sweet Potato and Buckwheat noodles.

I'm not overly convinced I would go to all that effort again, but I might mix up some miso soup to get rid of the huge block of tasteless squidgy (<---cool word that) tofu I am now left with...

Rest day today really, did a few hamstring curls for my right leg after orders from the physio.
I sense this might actually make a difference to my climbing because my heel hooking is really rather poor and who knows? this might just make it better all round.


I just looked up tofu and I bought the silken variety, regular tofu is easier to handle it seems and would have probably made the whole experience a fair bit better.

Wednesday 27 October 2010

TCA again

I wasnt really feeling the trip over today,
but then Geoff offered to drive and I couldn't really say no.

The whites I set yesterday were playing on my mind and I really, really wanted to tweak them to be the right grade.
I think I have gotten it right now, but it is probably too late to change them again if they aren't
I was alright today because they were set last thing at night and no one good enough to climb them is ever in before the evening on weekdays.
Hopefully they will have stumped a few tonight...probably a fair few ascents though.

Made a bunch of attempts on the new problems to check they are ok,
Did a beastmaker session with Anthony afterwards and I really think it was quite valuable.
We grabbed the suggested training from the web and tried it out.
The two finger pocket hangs are rough, what worries me is that the workout they suggest for 'intermediates' (6c+ - 7c boulderers) contains a bunch of hangs that I find both painful and really damn hard. However, if I do them enough that it no longer feels too hard I should be proper strong.
My biceps hurt from the high lockoffs on slopers now and that can only be good.

Just watching the second episode of 5 climbs, 5 islands now to chill out, be nice to have a rest day tomorrow and just chill out for a bit.

I've been a little unlucky this week in terms of climbing offers, Rich Emerson from work offered a trip to font yesterday but I have a management presentation that I have to be do on friday so that was off. Then I just received an offer to go climbing tomorrow earlier this evening, but I am too wrecked right now to make it worth while.

Hopefully I will get out on Saturday to Dinas Rock and maybe even try my first outdoor bouldering since Font in June...
Time to wind down now though.

Tuesday 26 October 2010


Right now it seems like my rest days just involve taking other people to TCA and doing some setting instead of proper climbing.

Half my life is in there right now.
Unbelievable how hard it is to find people committed enough to get out into the gorge or elsewhere.

Climbing a lot with Omar now, not sure where that leaves me but I definitely feel psyched to get stronger.

Today I tried to set two white problems at TCA (supposed to be >7b) I dont think they really hit the grade...but they are good problems to climb so I dont know really where that leaves them...If I get in quickly I might find time to tweak them for some crappier holds.
Painfully slow setting again today, but I have never tried setting a problem that is too hard for me before...I dont think I have ever set a problem that I couldnt do by the end of the session,
Maybe something to work on for the next setting spree to come.

Fingerboarding to finish.
Many offset pullups and lockoffs.
Definitely feeling stronger, and today was a good long session.
I need to be putting more of these in if I hope to have the stamina to do well in the next SIBL round.

81.7 is today's blog update weight.
Peanuts for breakfast, vegan panini for lupper, carrots and humous for late dinner
tasty tasty :-)

Sunday 24 October 2010

Cheddar today

Well yes,

Cheddar today.

I attempted a 7c on the Tsunami called 'Hard Bass Religion' only it was a little more than Hard.
I did all the moves but one of them, which seemed to be a four points off dyno to a sloping crimp hold with the right hand...Now - I could have been doing it wrong, but I sure as hell didnt see any other holds up there, and the one that looked vaguely chalky seemed like it might have broken.

I shall investigate further and report back to you - my adoring fans.

I also flashed the most wishy washy 7a in the gorge 'Joyride', never that grade in a billion years.
Far, Far easier than Raw Deal and if I had tried it a year ago I would have had my first 7a onsight with ease...

anyway...we then got on a 7a+ 'Dope on a Slope' described in the guide as an exercise in slopers...
It is a complete 1 move problem and personally I wouldnt bother with it if you had other options...I eventually sent the move and finished the 3 moves to the top. Unfortunately it took it's toll on my skin and now my finger feels a little sore.

I am hoping to go to TCA tomorrow and just do some finger training instead of proper problem climbing.
Nice to do it in a cheery atmosphere and all that.

Might spend some more time this week trying to lose some weight in prep for the next SIBL round, instead of just getting stronger...Time to eat like a rabbit.

Saturday 23 October 2010

I wouldn't normally write this

But my meal tonight was awesome.

Thin beef slices with a little soy sauce, honey, pepper and Chinese five spice.

Caramelised onion slices, mushroom, sweet peppers and some tomato puree.

Lovingly combined in a crusty white baguette.
This isn't just freaking awesomely tasty food, this is Archie's freaking awesomely tasting food.

I'd post a picture.
But I ate it all.

Cheddar tomorrow.
7b+ in a session?
That would be cool.

(I realise I just alienated about half my readership with that post)


Friday 22 October 2010

Short update

Had a really good productive session at TCA,
After warming up Anthony and I spent most of the session pissing about on the woody and I managed to send the moves I was trying last time, so that was nice.

I always find the difference in ability amazing after a while working on a certain angle or trying a certain move.
I certainly feel more competent on that angle now...hardly an expert though...

We eventually moved on and tried to onsight as many greens as possible (didnt get very far though)


time for tomorrow and a chance to find someone to climb with on Sunday.

Aaaaaaaand the results finally go up...

They took their time about it (apparently the person in charge was moving house............)

but the first round of SIBL results are up now,

I accrued a mighty 160 points to tie with such masters of the sport as Henry Forrester in 28th position (Joint 21st) out of 81 competitors.
I shoulda, coulda, woulda done better on at least 2 of the problems which I failed to even complete in the comp. Both of which I could have onsighted if fresher and slightly stronger.

As such I have been training for the past week with a combination of power and endurance on the hard circuits at TCA.
Unfortunately I tweaked something in my left arm a couple of days ago, so nowt been doing for the last few days. Instead I have been doing a few short core sessions a day to try and make something happen with my upside down climbing.

I am about to scoot out to TCA again (becoming a bit of a fixture there tbh, was in there monday and Tuesday after SIBL and about three times the week before) the woody got me inspired last time, I want finger strength like Omar (dont tell him, his ego is big enough already) and he seemed to go from little to lots quite quickly climbing on that board, even now he can move off stuff I have troubles getting off the ground on.

I'll probably come back and tweak this when I return home.
Skin feels really good so if my arm holds up this could be a good session.

Sunday 17 October 2010


Back in Bath,


I'll update about SIBL once I know the results and perhaps receive some pictures from Jack.

Wednesday 13 October 2010

"Project" = Sent

So I went back to Cheddar with Geoff today like I said I would,

I put the clips in with a clip stick, climbed the start and checked out a couple of the moves.

My first attempt was similar to my previous attempts, wherein I reached the 4th bolt and the hold afterwards, but I couldn't hold it and completely bailed on the final move.

I then took a few minutes break while Geoff cruised his way up a 6b and stripped it.

My second attempt was much, much better than the first, I reached the fourth bolt feeling I had plenty in the bank. Unfortunately I missed the final sloper by about an inch and fell off with one easy move to go.
On the way down I gave the crux holds a brush and checked the sequence at the top.

Third attempt went like a dream, held static on every practically every move but the top throw and cruised to the belay.

Very, very happy overall. 3 trips attempting the project and success this time feels like a nice reward for the effort.

I'm well up for attempting a 7c now, but only after the first SIBL round this weekend. Sometime this week I might find time for a last session on plastic, some more core and maybe some repeaters. Might even do them now...who knows what might happen?!

I just found this (rather poor) video of someone on Insatiable.
Assume my attempt was a lot cleaner, less pissing about at the top.
"Know the moves - Do the moves" is my mindset, don't be wasting energy on the wall.

Tuesday 12 October 2010

Well Well Well, Many news items for you today

1st - The TCA Comp

On Saturday we had the opening competition of the TCA Winter Series.
I did respectably well, I flashed 16 of the 20 problems and put in mediocre efforts on the remaining 4, but it was good enough to come joint 10th.

One of my targets for the year is to get a top ten finish in a TCA comp, unfortunately I find it hard to accept joint 10th as it seems far too much like 10.5th for it to count.
I am however feeling a lot lot stronger on the mothership angle, I need to do more pullups and lockoffs to really be where I want to be in terms of static moves, but I am moving fairly well compared to my previous thrutching attempts.

2nd - Cheddar!

On Sunday Tombi and I made the trip down to Cheddar for the day. I wanted to have a look at a couple of 7c's but after a poor start, where I was spanked by a 7a+ followed by a schooling on a 6b problem (which I sent out of sheer bloody mindedness - hardest 6b in the gorge?), I decided that today was not a day for pulling hard. So instead I fooled myself into believing I could make a decent effort on 'Insatiable' (7b+) on the Wave. As it was I made all the moves many times, but just kept running out of gas on the top moves. The bottom of the problem is a semi pumpy flat jug fest, then a long reach out to a vertical finger pocket and a battle against a combination of polish, barn dooring and stamina to the top. Unfortunately I lost the latter fight about 4 times before I called it a day.

Hanging just below the crux on Insatiable - Beautiful weather

Just after I stopped a couple of strong locals came and flashed it. One with my clips (then stripped it for me) and the other went up putting the clips in...Kinda inspiring and a little deflating in equal measure.

I am hoping to go back tomorrow to finish it off...but...

3rd - TCA today (trying some of the comp problems again)

So I got bored today and decided that instead of sitting around doing nothing I should go and do some sort of training. I headed off to TCA, stripped a trio of problems as a light warmup, then got on a couple of circuits, day flashing the two two 6b+ circuits. I then attempted the supposed 7a+/(7c) circuit and pumped out hard.

I thought my session was going to be over quickly after that but I tried some of the problems I had decided to project and, after many attempts, achieved both. The first was a crimpy, dynamic problem up the front of the mothership (really happy to have managed this problem - it was later sent first attempt by some strong locals - b@stards, I spoke to one later and it turns out he almost did a V13 up in Parisella's cave, so I don't feel too bad about it :-P)

I then managed to send the 18th comp problem which I was really happy about, it involves a tough dynamic span between the two highest volumes you can see in the picture below then a bit of grovelling afterwards. Unfortunately I fell off this move in the comp leading to the annoying position in the rankings
Great volumes, with any luck Will (who makes them for his company Climbing Wall Solutions) will have uploaded the video of my repeat attempt to facebook or the like sometime in the near future and I can link it to here)

The cool new volumes that I climbed on :-) That is Will in the photo though. And a different problem.

Friday 8 October 2010

TCA Comp Tomorrow

Really psyched for the comp tomorrow,

I was having a chat with Mr. Emmett about the problems today and watched him attempt them, they look really good so I can't wait to give them a shot.
I think I mayt also get there a bit early so I can go grab a new pair of shoes from Dick's Climbing before I start competing.

Both my other pair of miuras have a nice hole on the toe of the right foot, which is a bit shit really...Apparently hasnt stopped me climbing hardish, but what could I do with a new pair?

Trying to find some people to partner me outdoors in cheddar on sunday too, not being very lucky finding some commitment, but you never know, someone might take a punt.


Tuesday 5 October 2010

A couple of climbs

So after my last post on Monday I went to TCA and had a proper go at the Mothership, I hate that angle and I cant climb for shit on it. As such I was chewed up and spat off the holds. Inspiring me to get stronger fingers though.

I think I have an imbalance between my first two fingers and the ring fingers on both hands, which leads to injuries to those fingers and overloading on the first two. Hopefully if I keep training on three finger open handed holds then they will toughen up and I'll be a pro...

Today I took an hour or so and went to Bathford to try out this climb.

And it is certainly as hard as he makes it sound.
I made the first few moves (which he makes look easy-they really arent) but didn't manage to get the crux move (the move through with the right hand followed by throw to the jug.

The last left hand hold is alright but very hard to get your hand into with the crossthrough, coupled with that is the way it is held puts a lot of pressure down the ring finger...which didn't fill me with chuckles. I'm sure I can do it at some point but it is hard and not often in condition (surprised it was alright today actually, maybe it could be a wet weather keeper)
Anyways, I gave up after a wasp flew out of the crux left hand pocket. We went up there last year and they swarmed when Jonny accidentally bothered them, so I wasn't too interested in exploring their potential nest...

I'm going to go to TCA tomorrow it seems, hopefully I'll manage to put in a decent performance and maybe tick a couple more reds.

Next aim is to get on The Slick Red Road to G'dansk in Cheddar when I can and finish up on the year's target.

Monday 4 October 2010

thuper thyched!

First lecture of the Uni season today, next one is on timetable rocks.

Worked on Sat/Sun, had a great day on sunday listening to Led Zep all day which made a change.

Climbed last friday, went ok, didnt set the world on fire or anything like that.

I set up my fingerboard now, two holds screwed on to a plank, starting to do repeaters and many more pullups.

to be honest I'm not really feeling this blog update, I'm going climbing later and there isnt really much to put in here...

Going to SIBL.

Saturday 25 September 2010

More Climbing?

Why yes. Thankyou.

So today myself and Max headed over the Severn and climbed at Wintour's Leap.

I started gently with an onsight of the nicely named 'Gunshot Wound to the Head' 6c+ which climbed nicely with one toughish crux move that I missed first attempt but managed to hold myself on the fall.

I also onsighted another 6c - 'A Blast from the Past' which, while lacking in holds at the top, climbed nicely and slapping for chalky patches worked perfectly again.

I cant wait to go and climb on some Grit, where the holds are not hidden from view or awfully slick...Perhaps I have tinted glasses on, but the last time I was up there was brilliant.

I finished up today with a quickish ascent of a 7b in Avon, perfect for me, vertical wall, crimps, rockovers, good feet, 10 move power endurance sequence followed by a race against fatigue to the chains. Brilliant problem but quite polished at the start, just trust your feet and it is alright.

I then went to TCA and watched Ron Fawcett's lecture, I have a lot of respect for the guy now I know what he got up to, the huge amount of soloing was perhaps a little reckless but he seems to have impressed everyone who saw him climb and he was up for any challenge, anytime, any place.
I got my bag signed and shook his ridiculously huge hand then sprinted off to the station where my train was at the wrong platform...leading to me missing it and returning home an hour later than planned...Unimpressed.

I battered my knee on the overhang today, and now it is crispy and quite greasy.....hohoho
but seriously, I hit it quite hard and now it hurts :-( bad times.

Friday 24 September 2010


Went to Cheddar with a Polish/Australian? chap from UKC today.

Interesting climbing with someone who (speaking kindly) was larger than myself. For obvious reasons I dont normally meet people who climb at a similar level to myself while weighing any more...

Anyway, this chap called Max was quite a good laugh really, we had a good time and I had my best day outdoor lead climbing. (unless the date 01/02/2010 is correctly logged in my book)
But even then I might claim this one as better due to my first ever 7a onsight.
I'm super chuffed to have finally gotten this off my back because it has been a target for a while.

And Jack - you may turn your nose up at the idea of an onsight climb, but they are undeniably the most impressive style of ascent possible.

I followed this by doing the 3* 7a "Shakin' Like a Leaf" which climbs quite nicely and is very resistant up top. It was also on the ticklist I made ages ago, so nice to tickthat off as well.

I then did "Partners in Crime" 6c+ in two attempts, brilliant climb, best described as 3 interesting rockovers, all of them different.

After that we pootled over to Arch Rock where I made a valiant attempt at the ineptly bolted "screwballed" I have all the moves, but making the clips is the biggest pain on the route, moves are nice - couple of hands off rests, just gotta keep it together to the top...unfortunately I was drained by the time we got on it and I couldn't do it in a single push, but I dogged it twice with only one short rest on both attempts.

Still, not a bad day.

Tomorrow I am going for my first ever specific 'trad climbing day'.
I am pretty much excited.

Bring it on Dave Macleod, as of tomorrow there is a new bloke on your turf.

Tuesday 21 September 2010


"I have to work really hard
I havent had a rest day in 3 months
My talent is being a masochist
The training totally breaks your body and mind"
But it's worth it to be champion.
The future is mine, the future will be mine. - Patxi Usobiaga

You only have to look at this guy to see what it is all about.
Those eyes after he falls...That is some desire right there.
You gotta want it, no point putting yourself through the pressure and training if you arent going to go for it when the chips are down.

I am so psyched for projects now.
Thankyou BigUp, thankyou Patxi.

I love indoor climbing

Who doesn't?

You'd have to be insane to want to climb outside in the 'fresh air'.
Cows fart out there you know.

You get nice filtered air indoors, the problems dont stay long so if you cant do soemthing then it will probably be changed sometime in the near future, and you are never far from a toilet.

Of course, I say these things in jest and I actually cant wait to get outside again.
I really should have done so today but I am still a bit achey from sunday's fives and I wasnt really feeling the whole exercise thing today.
Then I reminded myself of one Mr Usobiaga and forced myself to drive to the wall.
After I warmed up a bit I felt a better and got down to the business of climbing the problems I had set on my previous visit.
Last time I was down was the day after the Sutton competition though and my skin was very sore,

so I didn't actually climb all the moves I set and just made a vague approximation of what was possible.
After climbing the problems today I found one was fecking hard (so I added a hold) one was bloody awkward (so I moved a hold) and one had easier beta than I I left it alone but didnt change the grade.

I also tried out the purple problem in the cave, I finally worked out all the moves and have most of them relatively keyed in, but the last move is really really hard. I wouldn't like to accept the grade it is given (7c) but for me it would at least earn 7b. Right now it feels easily as hard as Dr. Med did when I did it, but that was a fair while ago, when I was strong and not aching from exercise...I'll propose a grade if I do it, until then...just gotta try, try and try again.

Sunday 19 September 2010

2 Competitions in 4 days

Comeback Comp!

On Thursday I went to Sutton and played in the Hard section of the comp.
Unfortunately the word 'hard' didnt throw me off and I think I came last in the category.
I climbed alright, just fell off the last move of many problems, obviously equalling no points.

My stamina was shit poor though, I couldnt climb several of the problems just because I ran out of gas on the moves. I'm planning for the third round now, I intend to place somewhere decent and not completely disgrace myself like last time.

I got a nice picture out of the deal though so that is alright.

I also played in the Eton Fives U25 Championships today,
Partner was not as bad as I had feared and we did alright in the group stages, almost going through into the main competition.
Fortunately we didnt, otherwise it would have been a very short day, as it was we went into the plate competition and fared alright. We could have come second with a win in the last game, but after losing the game before and playing 7 games before that...mental and physical energy was a little lagging and we ended up losing to the only pair that we had beaten in the group stages.

Here is a video from the final of the main competition.

My leg hurts a bit now, and no doubt my right arm/shoulder will be a wreck come tomorrow.
Hopefully I can climb in the next few days, I am excited to keep climbing and get proper fit for the TCA league.


Wednesday 15 September 2010


shmeh, I really cant be arsed to update this right now but if I dont then it will get backlogged and I wont remember anything.

so, on monday I went to the Westway centre again and played fives, played average,
Dissapointing, I feel like I am playing ok, but still end up losing.
I dont know if it is the opponents, my shot selection, my partner, my fitness or what, but I keep losing and it is a little annoying.
Fortunately I manage to keep my head a little better than one of the other chaps there, who gets in a right tizzey if he plays a single bad shot...swearing and the like, nice to get a proper hint when you are playing well though... :-P

Tuesday, came home and rested due to being completely knackered.

Wednesday, weighed myself in the morning 80.3 Kg, pretty happy with this, but could still lose more.
Got let off work early so I went and had a climb at Cranleigh and didnt really manage anything but did loads of the hard moves on the 'hard' problems (around 7a perhaps maybe a tad more)

Thursday - work in the morning then a competition at Sutton, looking forward to it. Im wary of pushing myself a little too far though and I dont think I will commit too well to moves...but oh well...better in than out I guess.

Kinda out of stuff to piss and moan about now so I am going to do some mroe uke, my recital earlier was shoddy.

Sunday 12 September 2010

My first ever recording! Enjoy it!

Pretty self explanatory, recorded on my laptop, which is the only reason it is not very good.
Nothing to do with my playing, or more importantly my singing.

Aside from that, much has happened over the weekend, I played rugby on Saturday for the Cranleigh village second team, we won, but my leg cramped up biiiiigtime and kinda ached for a while. Anyway, I drank up on water and went out to SSP this morning for a bit more climbing.

My hand feels bags better, climbed a 6c onsight then attempted a 6c+ onsight, but it had a stupid move at the top that must have been nigh on impossible for some people. There is some stupid ass setting in there. No doubt. Nice moves though once you get em.
Great people too, in my two visits there I would say I have met more friendly people than I have at any other wall, and regulars too. Just a shame it is not better.

Cant wait to get back to bath now, I really want to go climb in the gorge and get my hard earned stamina back.


Wednesday 8 September 2010

Setting at SSP

My fingers



Red raw.

I went down to Surrey Sports Park today. stayed for 5 hours and performed some repairs on the useless set of problems they had present. I met Jack HP and set about 6 or so problems of about 6b/c and a couple easier.

It's funny, after setting there I can now appreciate the management at TCA. Not that SSP is godawful, but TCA just gets it right. Holds are kept together and easily accessible to setters, bolts and screws go in specific boxes, the drills work well. etc etc. SSP has a lot of potential right now, but I reckon it could do with tightening up everything that goes on, the holds are a good set, some really good slopers, crimps and angles to set on.

After setting the problems, we then had to climb them, and explain to everyone how the stupid sitstart to the black problem went. Fortunately this was pretty easy, only one held out for a while. A huge dyno between jugs, possibly around 6c for size alone.

Anyways, hand is alright still, just need to chill out and let the skin regrow.
Might be going back to SSP next week sometime to get some more routes set and get some more climbing in. Excited!

New Fastest Solve

Not much to show here apart form a picture...but here it is

Not 100% but I think the 32.57 time might be a new pb.
The average time is for sure. First time averaging under 40 seconds.
Good stuff.

Time for a climb now I think.

Sunday 5 September 2010


Seems I have some issue with being capable of staying in a semblance of fitness for more than a week at the moment.

Yesterday I managed to put a spade into my foot while attempting to dig a hole. Pushed down on it, and it went straight through the sole of my shoe and punctured the skin. Now my foot is bruised and walking is a right pain.

I'm just trying to help out my family garden and boom injured. Lesson here I think is never to try and help anyone ever, it only ends in pain.


might do some fingerboarding on my left hand.
Nowt much else to can do.

Saturday 4 September 2010

Sitting Awake, watching films

I was happily clearing out my harddrives, moving things around, making space, and I found a bunch of climbing films that have evaded viewing by hiding in the wrong files.

First on the list was Welsh Connections, which took me ages to download, and then I completely forgot about it. Some super bouldering on that, not to mentions Emmett's attempts on Muy Caliente.

Next up I found Dosage 1 - Which opens with Sharma projecting The Mandala in 2000. At the time it was thought to be hard V14...after a few holds broke and over time it has settled to be soft V12.
I just thought it was amazing to see how talents have grown. It seems a lot of people are climbing at around 8c now. Some even harder. People are flashing/onsighting up to 8b+!

Lastly I am watching Steve McClure trying overshadow on Hard XS. It is a little strange for a sport route of it's calibre and history to actually receive such good coverage I think. I am sure FRFM will have the same amount. Jumbo Love almost certainly did and it is because of the human element to the story, of the effort that goes into the first ascent. La Novena Enmienda 9a+, which is the same grade as Overshadow, received sod all coverage over here and I feel because of it, that Sharma didnt really have to commit himself too hard to the problem.

Of course, I could be massively wrong about the whole thing, and missed all of the hype surrounding it...

Anyways, I'm getting the SPS (sweaty palm syndrome) from watching these films, so I am going to cut off now and keep watching more intently.

Wednesday 1 September 2010

Boom! Sit Down!

UKC gets on my tits something special.
I ask a simple question regarding average grades, and some 'finance type' douchebag tells me that I am speaking nonsense.

That should teach him not to disagree with someone who: has far too much free time, stays awake till 3am to argue a point on the internet, has unparalleled spelling ability, no respect for grammar, and was (most importantly) correct in the first place.

However, due to the nature of this fickle beast at the heart of the web I suppose it will have absolutely zero effect whatsoever on this dunderhead.

At least I bumped my thread back to the top and gave my brain a vague workout.

Craggy tomorrow! woot woot!

Tuesday 31 August 2010

I thought of a new title!

After all of 10 minutes thought I came up with this brilliant name.

Let me explain;
Archibald the Koala obviously has the same name as me (bar the koala bit).
Koalas climb, are generally lazy, and eat a lot.
A crimp is a style of grip used in climbing, and one I favour.
Archibald the Koala uses his high powered detective brain to figure out problems - and, digging into the bottom of the barrel, I use my high powered intelect to solve bouldering problems.
Archibald is also well spoken and gentlemanly, I hardly need to make a comparison here...

In other news I climbed another 6b+ today then repeated it twice more for good measure. I did loads of laps on the start/end of a 6c sloper problem, linking the moves loads of times but never actually sticking the whole thing together...meh...doesnt really matter when it comes to fitnessy rehabby ribbish but I was pleased.
I can crimp and I can use slopers. Hopefully I will be able to get my confidence back in holding things with the hand...still nervous about dynoing/deadpointing to it...

Monday 30 August 2010

A New Look

I would like to thank Jack Smith Keegin (perhaps the only person who actually reads this rubbish) for my new background picture.
I would like to thank myself for the genius of poor design.

I need to think up a new blog title too as that one is a bit generic and not very impressive.

I'm sure something will jump up and strike me with a pointy stick of inspiration.

Sunday 29 August 2010

6b+ what?

You read right enrapt readers!

Climbing at Craggy cured my creaking tendon.

'Terrific' I hear you cry!
'what did you climb?'

Well nothing too hard.
Started easy with a bit of traversing on a 4, then upped the grade significantly to a 5.

From there shit escalated and I went a bit crazy, and carefully cruised a cantankerous 6a, cutting the comp wall to its core.
I then followed up with a juggy style 6b through the roof which resulted in a bit of a pump near the top.
After that we headed round the back to play on a slightly less angled wall where I sent another 6b, a 6b+ and rounded the performance with a final 6b.

I am really happy with this ticklist.
It is comprised of several different angles, quite a lot of routes, and several different hold types.
And my hand did not complain on any of them.

My hand feels ever so slightly tender still, and obviously I will be taking it carefully- just like I didnt with my A2 pulley - and continue easing it back in. The Help for Heroes competition is next month on the 25th and I think it would be great fun to compete.

Wednesday 25 August 2010

Development on the hand situation!

Bizarrely the way my hand injury feels has suddenly decided to change...

I shall start at roughly the beginning.

On Monday I went to the climbing centre at Surrey Sports Park and checked out the wall there; really quite impressive. I was planning on climbing on easyish stuff but ended up pulling on some stuff a bit harder than expected.

I felt ok for the session, and infact I felt alright for the evening too, but the next day my forearm aches, like a muscular ache...For some reason I feel this is a good thing. At least now I know where to ice my arm and stick on some gels.

I also got hold of my protein from Bath, I dont know if this will help healing, but it cant do any harm, apart from making me feel ill whenever I catch whiff of it.

I also had another short fives session today playing topstep into the buttress. I think I got my spin much better in the short session and I am also much more proficient in volleying with both hands. I think I need to work on playing backcourt shots into the buttress now, I can play a cut style shot but a straight in shot generally seems to go down. I am trying to hard to play the perfect shot and instead delivering something worth nothing...


Monday 23 August 2010

2 Months Later

So, here we are.
2 Months to the day after I suffered the tragic injury.

I went to the SSP centre in Guildford today and it was a giggle. Couldnt really do too much, but found myself trying things, that if I had been sensible, I probbaly wouldnt have tried.

On the good side, my finger doesnt feel worse.
Sore - yes, but not broken.

I also think I identified the place in my forearm where it started to hurt later on. Perhaps I can massage this in some way to aid recovery, seems like it might be the insertion point to the muscles.

Following on from the vague advice of the physio, I wonder if the pain I feel in the hand is somehow connected to the insertion point. Which would also explain why icing the hand doesnt seem to do much good. I shall start icing my forearm instead and hope for some improvement.
1 more month?

Who knows?

Friday 20 August 2010

Dying a little bit inside

I'm going to write this in a style
not well known for it's class or it's guile,
you can tell I am bored
do you want an award?
I might go and change my hairstyle.

For that seems to be what I do,
when I dont have something to view
I watched Shutter Island
American Dad and-
I think I preferred number two

My finger is still not much better
so I thought I should write out this letter.
To my blog I shall post
nonsense of no note
perhaps I should go make it wetter.

I've tried taking pills and icing,
I've tried liquid gels and erythromycin.
Neurofen works
my tendon just smirks
perhaps I should just stop this whining

My life, of course, could be worse
I could be lying still in a hearse,
or worse even still
I could be really ill
I hope that don't bring on a curse.

Right...after 5 passages of garbage I am going to stop and write something sensible.
or not...
I dont really have anything to say...

Welcome to my insanity.

Sunday 15 August 2010

11 days on.

And still not much improvement in the hand.

I keep myself occupied with other stuff and try to forget about climbing for now. It seems to be working. One of my most fun days so far was last Monday at the Westway centre.
For the first time in a year and a half I played fives. I also went home with an 0-4 record...not awe inspiring but considering the competition I dont think it was too bad.

I ached for a week afterwards and could barely do anything with my right arm but it was well worth it.

I am going to go back this monday, and I think I will try and get in some more training in during the next few weeks to see if I can compete in the U25 championships in a month or so.
Fortunately I can play on the nearby courts at cranleigh. Cycle in, play some shots, cycle back. Easy as 1,2,3 and with any luck I wont embarrass myself on the 19th.

I also attempted to swim for the first time in absolutely yonks. It was fine while I was in the pool, but once I got out the hell started. I have some sort of allergy to chlorinated pools and Cranleigh is heavily I spent the next 5 hours (at which point I went to bed) in a state similar to a bad bad cold. My nose is still raw from the number of times I wiped it and I will not be trying that again any time soon...which is a pity because I really enjoyed myself. Oh well.

Wednesday 4 August 2010

A climb!

I went for my second rehab climb at craggy island today,
Did some lead climbing on some very easy routes and my hand doesnt feel too bad so far, very happy in a way.

I realised how much I love lead climbing again, I looked in my logbook today and the last time I did a lead climb was almost 2 months ago on the same day I tried my first 7c.

Today I was just climbing 4s and 5s but I still had a lot of fun getting back to what I love doing, nothing hard, nothing tough, I hung around on big jugs looking for methods of doing way harder routes for my partner and just pissed about mainly.

I dont think I have been missing that with my normal climbing sessions as such, but it was nice to have a solid reminder that I really just enjoy being on the wall, with some fall potential below me, some nice moves above me and problems to be solved.

I would also like to wish Lisa luck on her travels, may she be lucky on her routes and not get any injuries.

In other news
this dyno is sweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet

Tuesday 27 July 2010

Hoorah - The video is finally back!

Jack has finished the video from font, and after apparently suffering some set backs (like loosing his first cut) it looks pretty good.

I shall post the link here.

Please do go watch it.

and in other news I climbed yesterday, and it kinda hurt my finger. Not any worse than it was already so no extra damage done, just need to lay off for a bit longer another 2 weeks perhaps. I need to start icing it too, definitely been lazy on that aspect of treatment.

Sunday 25 July 2010

Righty ho

Another lame post of not much happening.

On the plus side I think I might be ready for some light rehab in about a week or so - and I mean light.
Jugs on the vertical I imagine.
This is positive.

So. While I am on holiday, doing not much, I have to keep myself entertained in other fashions.
As I mentioned in the last post I went to the world cup which was neat.
Then about a week after I ended up going surfing in Sennen Cove (cornwall) where I saw the most awesome line of holds on a problem.

I was super psyched to find out what it was so I could do it some other time. After traipsing through ukc and a few shops in Sennen I eventually found out it is an E7 with death fall potential...perhaps one for a top rope ascent methinks.

My other attempts at keeping myself occupied are fairly varied I guess.

Watching films - Braveheart is good. - Eclipse is very much on the opposite end of the scale.
Rubiks cube (new pb 33.30)
and Ukelele (I am still pretty rubbish after 2 whole days of practice - what is that all about?!?)
I also got involved with a game of ultimate frisbee the other day which was interesting.

I am thinking about going to London on Monday to play some fives in the Westway centre. I could do with a partner though.
unfortunately one is in Germany,
another in Devon,
another in Kenya
and the last one is being non commital because he has one of those job things.

Oh well. Might go anyway.

Some of my favourite pictures from the last few weeks

Kilian on one of the WC problems
Bobby midway through a jump on Leith Hill
Looking towards Lands End (note the wreck)
Bobby on the Beach

Monday 5 July 2010

This is going to be a long one.

Hello to everyone who has been waiting in earnest for news of my life.
I can only express my deepest apologies for keeping you waiting for so long.

However, as Michael Jackson once said, 'This is it'

Right - Last time I posted one here was just before leaving to go to Fontainebleau.
I had just about recovered from the A2 Pulley injury
I was just trying to get back fitness and whatnot.

Due to this I had no idea what I should try to attempt over in France, and set no real targets for the trip. I tried a few problems and my hand seemed to be holding up ok, so I moved onto tentatively trying some harder stuff. Everything seemed to work out alright and I managed to tick:

Insistance 7a Rataplat 7b L'Oblique 7a Le Lepreux direct 7a Envie d'Ange7a Retrofiction 7a Jo Dalton 7a+ Entorse 7a+

It isnt a bad list, and it is equal to my list last year(slightly better grades actually). I think this should be taken as a positive because of the length of time I took out before the trip and the injury I was still carrying out there.

Unfortunately in the last few days of the trip I managed to screw my hand over again.
A 2 finger pocket on the top of the classic highball - Big Jim 6c strained my hand and after seeing a physio at the World cup I apparently have a strained Tendon. This is another month or so out again... I seem to have spent about a third of this year out with injury so far so this is just lame.

You can see some of my favourite pictures from my trip at:

Onto the second bit of 'news':
I went to the World cup this weekend and won! (but I'll get to that in a bit)

On Saturday we watched the qualifiers and went to Curbar for the afternoon.
Ondra and Fischhuber both looked very impressive during this session. The problems were set quite easy though and many people succeeded on most of the problems.

On Sunday we watched the Semi finals and Quarter Finals.
Unfortunately Kili went out in the Semis due to some tough setting and the rules of qualification, needless to say he looked a little unhappy with the state of affairs. Ondra however cruised through with ease and rocked up in the finals looking impressive.

In the finals Hori from Japan (#3) failed to do anything and ended up in last place which showed how tough the competition was this round. We then watched the other 5 competitors come out and achieve varying levels of success. Last of all came Ondra. The kid really is a machine, some of the moves he made were simply out of this world. On problems that the other climbers seemed completely stumped on, he walked up and every so often looked a little confused by the harder moves. On the first 3 problems he put in a quick onsight in the first minute and I think he did the last problem in 2/3 attempts to win overall.
Very, Very impressive.

Now onto the important victory of the weekend. Mine.
We stayed at the Alpkit Shakeout campsite on friday and saturday and enjoyed it thoroughly.
On Saturday evening we were entertained by the marvellous Bell Hagg Orkestar who's myspace account does no justice to the performance they put on. Gypsy madness to dance to. Brilliant.
Anyways- The theme was 80's rockmasters so I donned a bad wig, bad lycra, bad moustache and quality aviators for my entry. Of course, since no one else entered I won the contest with ease :-D

The next day I picked up my prize of a new head torch and a new drybag from the alpkit store at Cliffhanger. Unfortunately I don't know of any photographs from the evening so you will have to imagine the quality of the costume for yourselves.

Anyways, I think this is the end of my post for now.

Another month out now, maybe I will be able to climb again before the end of summer...targets are looking unlikely right now...

Thursday 10 June 2010

Well here it is

The last post for 2 weeks...not that anyone will notice the difference given the amount of time since the last one...

but anyway,
Tomorrow I go to London, and from there France.
I finally feel like I can climb without particularly endangering my finger, I crimped pretty darn hard today on a route at Craggy but didn't feel a thing.

Unfortunately I also discovered my complete and total lack of anything even remotely resembling stamina. I did a 6b or something and a couple of 6a type of routes on the overhang. I then tried a cool looking sloper problem on the front wall and got owned by it.

Fortunately I dont seem to have any particular fear of falling any more, not that I think I was that bothered in the first place - I would prefer not to deliberately take a big fall, but taking one during the course of action doesn't get to me too much either.

I was also rinsed by a 6c problem which was only 14 moves...I counted them...and then I managed to read the route wrong while I was up there. I was dissapointed by this effort because it symbolises, for me, a large backward step in what I was capable of doing.

However, when Ed got on the green sloper problem I had attempted, and cruised up to the point I fell off, I have to say I was a tad jealous. It has been a long time since I have climbed with someone who makes me want to push myself in a competitive manner, I have too long been around people I am not bothered about beating and I think the return to Craggy will do me good.

End of summer aim is to lead a 7a route up the craggy comp wall, this will demonstrate a return to some sort of stamina and also help to train my overhang ability that for too long I have avoided combating.

Cant wait for Font now! Hoorah!

Wednesday 2 June 2010

I'm thinking about changing my name

Either to:
Crimpy McCrimperson
or Slopey McSloperson

both of them do it for me.

First of all I now seem able to crimp again which fills me with happiness, I havent tried too hard but it seems to be roughly better...I found myself full crimping today and got worried. But I feel fine now so it is all good

Second of all, due to the amazing CORE holds we have at the academy I have been setting cheeky sloper problems all day, two grimy problems at around 'V5' or so and another 4 problems dotted around the centre. I am not sure what takes me the most time to do but I do seem to take a long time setting each problem which is a faff.

Thirdly I cycled to Bristol yesterday and it was wet...very wet. The gods decided to rain down their displeasure upon me in a manner most soggy. 15 miles of rain was most cleansing for the soul. Perhaps next time I try to be fit you could rain down something harder and preferably more putrid?

My tips are thin following many days of setting and so on, so tomorrow I think I will go to cheddar and take some pictures if anyone will have me.


Monday 31 May 2010

The 50th Post!

And what a post it is.

A fun week of revision has held me back from the keyboard and as such there is also little news to be told.

I just came back from a 5.84 mile run outside of bath and I am certainly feeling very sweaty.

In my 3 days of freedom from work I have actually been quite active. On Saturday and Sunday I was working at TCA but a low volume of people walked through the door so it was relatively relaxed.
On Sunday I stripped the entire yellow circuit on my own with a little bit of help from Dan partway through, I also set a couple of blacks which are a little lower in the range than the others...which are apparently very hard, no surprises there - they were set by Joe and Keith Bradbury.
After work I ventured to the RingRoad Boulders and sent both Knuckleduster and Knuckleduster sit start which were really quite fun climbs on good quality rock.

In other news I am also getting relatively close to doing a one armer with my right arm, I can get about 3/4 of the way but cant quite finish it out. Maybe some reversals from the top might help...

I'm going to have a shower now. Bon Voyage!

Sunday 23 May 2010

High on Mescalito

So with the B.E.A.U.tiful weather we are having I decided to sack revision yesterday and make my way to cheddar with an eager band of like minded individuals.
In a fortuitous turn of circumstances, the group managed to procure another member, and make our band of merry men up to the grand number of 5.

Upon debarking from Tombi's able automobile, I caught sight of a triplet of likely looking lads who were heading up to the same bounteous cliff face I had been planning on climbing upon. Filled with the prospect of some quality partners I bounded up the approach after them leaving my gear and my compatriots behind, soon becoming mere ants as I reached, what seemed like, the highest crag in the gorge.

The band of brothers who had ventured before me seemed impressed at my rapid ascent and courteously agreed to my proposed plan of making a duo of quartets from our two mismatched groups. I hastily retreated down the hill to fetch my gear and once again made the approach. This time however I trudged slowly up the seemingly endless path, every footstep arduous, every thigh strain a chore.
My training on Widcome Hill seemed to be worth naught when steep ground was coupled with a weighty bag and searing sunlight. I eventually reached my goal and became acquainted with the lads.
'Gaz' was to be my partner for the day. Of similar size and stature to myself I was interested to see how he would climb, and I was not disappointed. Warming up on a 7b+ he eventually found all the moves and returned to the deck.
After a short pause we moved onto 'Mescalito'- The gem I sought.

Easy climbing with several no hands rests over the first part lays way for some harder climbing and a two finger pocket that the route is well renowned for. After falling at this point for a fair while I decided to give way to Gaz. He dogged the move and reached the easier ground above, topping out on the route after placing the last few clips.

After a pause for soup and a brief chat about the other good routes in the gorge, I made my second attempt of the day. I knew there was slim chance of me succeeding on a 7c route on my second attempt but I gave it a shot and made it to the move before the pocket. My stamina somewhat let me down, I do not know whether it was due to the heat or the levels of strength required on a 7c. All I can say is that I definitely suffered from lack of preparation in the morning.

I then left my new friends and headed down to Arch rock where Tombi and crew were chilling.

I am kinda done with the whole 'write a nice story to procrastinate' thing now.

Suffice it to say - I stuck myself on a prussik above Tom's climb - took some pictures for the rest of the day and went home.

You can see some of the pictures at

I think it is time for bed now - I dont know when I am next going to go back to cheddar now, probably on the 29th or so I imagine...Try and clear up these projects before heading to font.
T'would be nice to have a 7c tick going into a trip, and also clear up any lingering fears about my finger. Always on the mend.

night night