Upon returning from Lewis, I took my own advice, and went to Kilnsey! Over the past couple of weeks I've had four of my best ever sessions there.
First off I managed the huge roof line, Mandela. I was really pleased with this because for me, it is without doubt the king line of the crag. Having done Totally Free 2 at Malham last year, this means I've ticked my own personal "King Line" at both crags.
Unfortunately they are by no means the hardest! As far as I can work out Mandela was originally graded 8b+, but it's fairly clear now that it's nowhere near that hard. Perhaps people have just figured out how to climb roofs since the 80s? I thought 8a+ was fair although it could be hard 8a, since half the battle is getting to the right places in the roof to work the moves (if you fall off you end up free hanging in space). The crux move in the center of the roof is a crazy rose move off a crimp to a finger lock in a pocket. The first couple of times I made it through this part on the link I actually fell off, only to find my fingers were still locked in the pocket and I was still in contact with the rock. This was quite painful and scary and I was glad when I found a way to stop this happening!
In the four sessions I also managed quick sends of:
Urgent Action 8a+
The Thumb 8a
Complete Control 8a
Over the Thumb 8a
A tiny bit of me is feeling like it's a shame that I'm off to Greenland for the next 6 weeks and won't be able to put my fitness to use on something a bit harder. But the rest of me is MASSIVELY EXCITED and at least my fingers shouldn't have problems with any of the moves on the granite slabs!
I'll make another post about this expedition soon but for now check out the website or facebook page.
Here's a couple of snaps my mate Pete Wilkinson got of me setting up for the crux on Complete Control and boxed out of my mind about to fall off Urgent Action: