Thursday, July 10, 2014

Keeping up

                                          Neandertal 8b+

Years seem to pass by earlier as we grow up. This year has been a roller coaster for me, being constantly on the go. More work came along draining all my precious free time in order to save the half terms for the real rock. I ended up working nearly every weekend as well as week days and evenings.

My girlfriend and I recently bought a property in London for the cheapest price you could ever imagine, but imagine how much DIY is required for that? I will probably be on this project for my entire life before I can actually sit on the sofa with a beer. On the edge of being gazumped by sellers and endless financial worries. This is real survival life in London! But with 99 problems on my plate, as a true climber, I always keep the side game spinning. Training was still going with Baxter most mornings before work. After a few mini rows with the girlfriend who sees climbing as just scaling some lump of rock. We came to an agreement in the end that I am allowed to go on short climbing trips if she is allowed to get a new ‘organic’ bed mattress, which cost an absolute bloody fortune! When really I only wanted the cheapest one from Argos or even a camping Thermarest would be fine.

Since my trip to Siurana, I managed to get 7 climbing days in Chorro, 6 climbing days in Tenerife, 1 day on Grit and ½ a day at Cheddar. All during the last 6 months, in just 15 climbing days on rock, I managed to climb….

Danza Agresiva, (El Chorro)                    7c On Sight
Madre Salvaje, (El Chorro)                       7c On Sight
La Golosa (El Chorro)                              7c+ On Sight
Quei Instants au bord du monde               8a RP
Talibania (El Chorro)                                8a Second Go
Subway, (Tenerife)                                   8a Second Go
Preserancia (El Chorro)                           8a On Sight
Morralla De Basca (Tenerife)                  8a On Sight
No Toques a tu madre (El Chorro)          8a+ 3rd go
Bulging Orange (El Chorro)                   8a+ second go
Lion Sleeps Tonight (Cheddar)               8a/8a+ 3rd go
Neandertal (Tenerife)                              8b+ 3 sessions
White Lines, (Peak District)                   E7 6C

I was pretty pleased with my achievements after managing 52 hours of work every week. With motivation and dedication it IS possible to do anything. How much do you really want to push? How ambitious are you?

Tenerife was different compare to the glass rocks of Europe from the comings and going generations of rock climbers. The volcanic rock supplied perfect friction gifting a feeling as if you were in Moab mixing the cracks with crimps from Siurana. Wow! Tenerife is an absolute killer crag.

   Neandertal (8b+) without the ‘th’ as the Spanish pronounce, was the highlight of the trip. After two days of working the route I could barely do the route in 2 half’s. I did loose faith in myself from the struggle. My dad also said that I was never going to get it from observing my poor progress. The nightmare continues, the crimp at the top came off on my second session making the crux nearly impossible. I made a note to quit muffins for life.

After countless searches around the section for clues and solutions I found a new sequence, 6 additional bizarre moves flying to opposing powerful side-pulls. After 10 attempts, more or less, from the ridicoulsly spaced bolt bellow, I finally conquered the moves.  But then was the real challenge, from the bottom, 25 meters below. Uh oh.

The truth was, I barely did the route on my second last day, I don’t know how I did it but I made more noise then anyone could imagine. It was a really triumph. I just couldn’t believe it when I opened my eyes at the chains. According to the locals, it could be harder. I am psyched.

All the hard training with Adrian Baxter is paying off. ‘But it is only the beginning’ he says, ‘you’re going to have to pull much harder’ he continues, like this was advice straight from the Dalai Lama. It’s going to be a hard month ahead now.

 El Chorro
 Beer sends with Ramon and Dad
 El Chorro
 Scary White Lines at Curbar with Ed and Sam Hamer (Ed is passing through the first crux)
 Ramon 'Rambo' Marin
 rest days innit
 Dad has to carry the big haul bag.
 After the gorge of death
 Cold innit
 What a beauty, riding the 'Subway'

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