Friday, 24 May 2013

Gone West

Firstly a massive thank you to Scarpa and the Mountain Boot Company. I'm really excited to have joined the Scarpa - UK team. I've been wearing the Vapour Vs  for years now and think they are by far the best shoes available.

Almscliff is 20 minutes from my house. After years of living down south, 3 hours from the nearest crag, this still feels like a luxury.

One of my best experiences at "the Cliff" was doing Pete Browns Megadoom, ground up over a couple of sessions. This route feels absolutely nails for E5 6b! Featuring a desperate and awkward boulder above a large and kind of unpleasant fall. The guidebook warns that if you're off the last move you might "land in Caley", whilst this isn't true, you do go a long way!

It always struck me that to pack in a load of great climbing on this buttress you could link the whole of All Quiet E4 6a into the hard climbing on Megadoom.

The first attempt saw me out over the final roof, eying up the boulder on Megadoom. Without really pausing to think I had my right hand on the awful pinch on the arete and was rocking onto my left heel. Everything felt wrong, as I inched up I felt my right hand slip a fraction on the pinch and before I knew what was happening I was off. My leg caught behind the rope, I tumbled upside down and crashed backwards into the wall. Grim. Some cuts on my back and a sprained wrist... bring on round two:

If it's worthy of a name I think I'll call my link up "Gone West" to be in keeping with the other names on this wall.

The next morning my wrist felt extremely weird. Fuck. A&E.

It's taken two weeks of bone scans to confirm that, I'M NOT BROKEN. Even so, I'm gutted to have put myself out of the game for a while. Especially given I was close to the form of my life. The day before the fall I managed to onsight Man With a Gun 7c+ at Kilnsey. Whilst not the highest number this was personally my best onsight performance to date. Being a vert/slab on british limestone, it features intricate and non-obvious sequences, bad footholds and hard to find hand holds.

Since I've been unable to climb or train, I put together some other footage I had of the cliff over the last few months. Here's a great day doing some of the classic boulders:

And finally, one for the connoisseurs. Browns roof, the scrittly highball left of Syrrett's roof, would probably be more accurately graded E5 than 7A+! This video also features some reggae cows and Ian crushing Big Greeny as part of his epic day doing the four classic E3s at the crag...

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