“Give us five”, the words struggled to come out of Sam’s mouth as he put both hands on his forehead. For a second, he looked like if he was having a brain freeze from eating ice cream too fast or something like that. It was New Years Day, there must have been dozen climbers cramped up in a small shed that we were living in. Even Robbie Phillips was on the floor; I thought he was in another climbing destination; Margalef? Sam’s brother Ed was still in his coma. What happened here? I was glad to see my phone under someone else’s pillow; I was incredibly surprised to discover I actually took lots of pictures from the previous night. I don’t remember half of this. Every image justified a thousand words of wild animals we were, celebrating away the New Year! There always seems to be a different drink in everyone’s hand as I flicked the photos by. We all drank probably enough alcohol to kill a small animal. This will be the last time I ever drink.
“Sam, how did we get back from the party last night” I whispered
“Give us five” he croaked. He said 5 minutes 20 minutes ago.
I remember the small crimps in Siurana on some amazing routes I did with Ollie Benzie 3 years ago. We cramped in a one-man tent in the coldest month of the year. We were completely broke having to hitch all over the place. But now I have a job and I told Sam I wanted a proper crib with warmth and warm water but couldn’t believe he booked a shed for the same price as a fancy apartment where our German friends were staying in. I made a vow to not let Sam book any climbing trips in the future.
Here in Siurana everyone was incredibly strong, everyone was sponsored and some were climbing the odd 9a grade. Hanging out with some of these cool dudes made me realise it was a trip I needed to put in a bit more effort on the rocks.
I managed to make a quick tick on Ramadan, 8b, on just my second redpoint attempt. The crux contains a ridiculous crimp that was almost too small to be an actual hold. I don’t know how I did this. I just remember freezing like a gecko on the crux and then huffing and puffing till I blew my way up towards another pathetic sloper crimp hold. This is the real magic power that you see in the comics. Towards the end, I did the top crux in a completely different way from my original sequence, almost On-Sighting. Why? I don’t know, I am just pathetic at repointing I guess.
Ed, who just recently won the British Leading Climbing Championships a few months before made a remarkable achievement by flashing the classic Kale Borroka 8b+. This is not the first time he has flashed this grade! Let me tell you a bit about the Hamers. From a teacher’s point of view, I would have marked them like this.
Profile: Sam and Edward Hamer
Summary: Two brothers, both keen as mustard for rock climbing, living large in the heart of the Peak District far away from civilization. Ed is a blondie with a 1980’s American mullet hairstyle who’s addicted to Biggie Smalls and Earl Grey Tea. Sam dresses up like old people and talks about fish more than anyone I know. He gets excited like a kid playing Super Mario with his fishing iPhone game. Once upon a time, I witnessed him nearly getting attacked by a seal whilst spearfishing.
Conclusion: Ed needs to stop self-cutting his hair and trust a hair saloon to do the job. Sam needs to wear normal clothes and stop getting a culture shock every time he comes down to London.
Through the trip we had the car stolen by some low life scum. A sad thing to do that cost Sam a fortune on his credit card. Since this issue happened, we had to hitch everywhere as if I was a student again, but some days we didn’t have much luck and had to walk for hours and sometimes there was heavy rain. What goes around comes around. We will get every penny back from this scumbag.
Sam managed to climb up to 8a with absolutely no training in over a year. He still is recovering from a bad wrist injury, which also lead on two more small injuries. In my opinion, this was impressive.
The week’s trip flew by fast and I just managed a quick flirt with the line Migranya (8b). I am not going to waffle about the moves like most boring blogs do. But all I will say is that the line is incredible with powerful dynamic moves. Oh boy, I can’t wait to return!