Sunday, 5 February 2012


Hi Everyone,

Its been a couple of weeks of travelling for me, starting with a bouldering comp at TCA in Bristol. I really should spend more time there, it’s awesome! In the comp I was climbing well until a foot slip spat me off one of the easier problems at around halfway which really stopped any chance of doing really well. I ended up in 5th (would have been 4th within a couple of holds of the winner without the slip), fine for a bouldering comp against some really strong guys, including at least one 8a boulderer!

We then drove on up to Wales and stayed with Simon Rawlinson. We had some great ethics debates and our conversation reminded me how much I want to do The Quarryman groove pitch! Its such a great line and the moves just look so cool. I’d really like to get up there during the summer to try it, but it might be beyond me at the moment.

Johnny Dawes on The Quarryman 

After a walk around Dinas in the morning (defiantly a place for the future!), we headed off for Dynamic Rock for the leading ladder. I always like the setting here, and this round was no exception. Up to 6c were awesome, but the 7a was really hard, and almost spat me off on more than one move! I got it though (after a proper fight), and moved onto the really nice 7b, which felt easier than the 7a. I then moved onto the 7c, which was fine up to a low footed rockover. The move was off of two rubbish slopers, low foot and a move out right to a rubbish two finger pocket at the edge of my span and then go again to a good side pull. This move was a real stopper for me, and after 3 or 4 goes admitted defeat and moved onto the 8a. The 8a was awesome, but the two days had got to me, and twice I flash pumped about halfway on really good holds, showing me that the session was all but over.

A good weekend, and a couple of reasonable comps.

This weekend we headed to Kendal wall to scope it out before the assessment day. Now there are a lot words that can describe that wall, but the one I’m going to go for is HUGE! It’s massive, just walking from the ground floor to the top via the stairs is tiring! The main wall is 24.5 meters tall, which means that it is almost 3 times longer than The Barn!

After a quick plod up a 6a I was pretty freaked, heights aren’t really my strong point but I got on a 7a on the main wall, and after climbing to the top and jumping off (which caused me to fall the length of The Barn!) I was feeling really good.

I started on the 7a which was fine, before moving onto the 7b which was relatively easy up until a big dyno off of a rubbish hold to finish, which I stuck and topped. I was a bit pumped by this point so had a bit of a rest, but the wall was so cold I had to warm up again on the 6a to get any feeling back! I figured that was a good opportunity to get on the easier routes and did the rest of the routes up to 6c, which included a terrifying trip up the corner of the main wall. 20 meters up, no hands on and rubbish feet is not really a time for thinking…

I then got on the 7c, which was a huge stamina fest up the main wall again. My first go had me stumped by what I’m sure was a crossover, which I tried as a crossover but the feet were too low and I came off. The next go I just monoed the right of the hold and matched, which worked and I pulled on up to about 2/3 height before I flash pumped after the long day. A quick go on the 8a and a few more on the 7c confirmed that the session was all but over, so we left before the snow got too deep! The journey was a bit sketchy in places because of the snow, but we made it to the services and slept.

Today we went back to Dynamic rock. We planned to go to Malham for the day but the snow the fact it would have been ridiculously cold put a stop to that one. At the wall I got on the 8a first, and after a couple of mistakes near the top that I put down to pure stupidity, I got it and added a whole 6 points to my score. That stubborn move on the 7c didn’t go for ages, but after deciding to not go for the 1 point I worked the move and eventually managed to do it, missing out the good hold and pulling hard off the rubbish 2 finger pocket. It would probably go next session but I was too knackered today.

It’s been a good couple of weekends, and a load of training is scheduled for the next month. PSYCHED!!!

Happy Climbing,

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