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

Wednesday 19 May 2010

Highball Buildering?

The traffic at my wall is rather too much during the day so instead of climbing there I was convinced to go and have another look at the bridge Tombi had mentioned.
It appears that I did not go far enough down the trail, the bridge I saw was rubbish, the bridge tombi was talking about is infact rather funky.

It has 2 main pillars, each made of stone in about 8 layers or so. We found a neat eliminate traverse of one of the pillars that involved restricting the hands to a single layer of bricks and a scary highball of one of the pillars.

Easy moves up to about 3 metres, then a couple of committing harder moves (maybe english 5b/c I dont know...) then big flat edges to the top at, I guess, around 8-10m

First time in quite a while I have felt the tremble, not sure how I feel about it with regards to doing other stupid things...

I also bought a new camera yesterday so I intend to get some nicer pictures of Fontainebleau this year.

Sunday 16 May 2010

Core and 'The Wall'

I did some core today like a good little climber,

On a more fun note I went and had a little session on the wall. I spent about an hour on it cleaning holds and working on a sequence, but only got about a quarter of the way down it, with no links of more than a couple of moves or so.

I intend to have another go on it tomorrow to release some energy after my first exam. Tombi should be heading down too so fun times all round really.

Each move seems harder than I thought it would be infact, when I tried to do the start I was worried that I wouldnt even be able to make the first few moves. However I found a sequence but it is just tiring having to work everything out from scratch,

Love it though.

Saturday 15 May 2010

No Pullups today

Instead I went on a fun little run.

I have been cooped up in the library almost all day today, eating crap, and I guess it just made me a little energetic. I went for a 45 minute jogging exploration of my near surroundings which encompassed 3.8 miles according to my route planner.

I found it much more enjoyable than normal and I think this was because of my method of route selection, which was pretty much nothing at all. I first ran to linear park to follow a lead on a climbable bridge, then decided I had too much energy and just kept going.

I took a few passages, peered at various buildings, ran into building sites and industrial areas and generally had an explore.

I'm thinking core tomorrow and perhaps a session on the new bit of wall I found about 5 minutes from my house, could be a 7c traverse of something I didn't look at it all - many crimps and not the greatest footholds in the world should be worth a giggle.

Friday 14 May 2010

500 moves, 500 moves, 500 moves onward.

After watching Patxi Usobiagiaigaigia on Progression, I decided to take a leaf out of his (slightly masochistic) schedule and try to do 500 moves in a session at TCA. While this is obviously nowhere near the 2500 he professes to do in the film, it was certainly enough to let me know all about it.

My hands are a bit sore from making so many moves on jugs, and for the first time in ages my forearms have actually hurt a little after the session, I can only assume that this is a general muscle building thing and therefore to be sought after. As such I intend to try and do the same again, although perhaps with fewer moves on a slightly harder circuit.

I am also going to commit to doing 50 pullups a day till at least the end of the exams.

2x 5 pullups
1x maximum = 16
1x4 to even numbers
2x5 assisted one arm pullups on each arm


50 pullups in total.

I believe that if I keep this up it will not only benefit my climbing through improved pulling and lockoff power, but also aid in the recovery of my finger - which seems to pick and choose the times that it wants to feel well, and the times that it wants to worry me with a niggling pain.

Another 2 weeks should do it good, then I can get up to the peak (perhaps on my own) and get some bouldering strength back, not to mention some downtime and finally finish a few of the books I have been neglecting.

Longish post
Archie, out.

Monday 10 May 2010

Sent my line!

I managed to send the line I was after in Cheddar,

'All Hands to the Pump'

Good fun route, I reckon 2* is fair. Relatively easy climbing up to some crimps and then the fun begins with a couple of tough reachy moves that lead to jugs to the end.
I felt it was perhaps a little easy for 7b but maybe just on the easy end of the grade as opposed to 7a+.

On the crux of 'All Hands to the Pump'

I then went over to the wave and had an attempt at 'Greed' it was supposed to be 7b+ but I couldnt even get near touching one of the holds, so I suppose there must be some helpful beta that I clearly didn't find.

I repeated Raw Deal first attempt it is a very enjoyable route when it is dry, smallish dynos that are protected with well placed bolts. Just a shame that the last bolts are so awkwardly placed that they form the crux of the route.

I also attempted 'Insatiable' which is just to the right of 'Greed'. I am really excited to get back on this route when I have some proper fitness back. Easy climbing up to a flat hold, leads to a duo and some tough climbing with strong clipping, finishing on a victory jug. I got all the moves but I was so knackered that by the end I was barely able to strip it. It seems harder than 'Chullila' but hopefully not so hard that I will have to spend a long time on it.

I also met a couple of guys down there who suggested heading up to 'Mescalito' which I think is given 7c-3* and apparently 'not that bad'. So once I am back to strength I will be right up there with the best of them.

I'd also like to take the oppertunity to thank Jonny for belaying me on both days out there, very close to getting both 'Raw Deal' and 'All Hands to the Pump'.
One should go next time.


Finger is still feeling ok, I just tape it up so I cant full-crimp too hard now.
Of course - on Cheddar rock that is easier said than done.

Saturday 8 May 2010

Beautiful words

I decided to listen to Carmina Burana tonight with the translation alongside, the music fits the words beautifully.
In the 5th part a certain line took my fancy

Miserable is he
who neither loves
nor frolics
under Summer’s spell.

Just thought this exemplified what I think summer is for. I will most certainly be frolicking upon the rocks in fontainebleau this summer, we have booked a couple of rooms in maisonbleau for 2 weeks and now looking forward to a great season :-)

Going to cheddar early tomorrow, hopefully I can get back in time to get to Jonny's for lunch :-S


I was just pointed to this site
imagine spotify, but free, no adverts and no signup! HOORAH!

Wednesday 5 May 2010

Well the rubiks worked I think

I had my first two sessions back on plastic and rock this weekend and today respectively.

I set a few problems that were completely outside the grade range in the red circuit and climbed them without breaking myself on the Saturday, although I don't think Paul was too impressed with it...English Tech grades are stupid anyone - no one knows how hard a 5a move is!

I also went to Cheddar today which was neat, I warmed up on a 6a+ on Arch rock - just ticking off the routes on it still. Then I got all the moves down on 'All Hands to the Pump' which was nice, managed to avoid crimping too hard and my finger still feels ok now. I appear to have lost a lot of stamina and a fair amount of strength. Not to mention gaining 3kg in my month off >:-O.

It should go next time I go down to cheddar which, needless to say, is hopefully soon given the proximity of victory on what will be my third >7a+ of all time.

Finger is still a bit under the weather, I would put it at perhaps 70% of it's former strength but rapidly improving in terms of not being injured and instead just being weak.

Plan now is to get on some circuits at TCA and get some fitness back, oh and we have these exam things...guess I should look into them too :-P