Sunday, 28 September 2008


Given the recent sunny spell and impending monsoon season, we decided that it would be wrong not to go climbing. I was still feeling unwell from my miserable cold and hadn't been training for ages so I had very little hope of achieving anything of meaning. On the drive up to North Wales I was distinctly feeling down, even for me; 'last chance syndrome' I suppose.

My negative feelings were confirmed after visiting the various Satellite boulders in the Pass and not getting up anything. Ugh, so it was going to be one of those trips… however things started to change when I basically gave up on trying hard stuff and decided to revisit a V4 that I couldn't send last time I was there since it was wet and I was being attacked by a horde of midges. It's called In the Attic. The first move is interesting then it fizzles out to random slapping and hoping. I was just glad to be able to tick a project.

In the Attic

With my new found optimism, I decided to take advantage of the deserted Cromlech Boulders, a venue with which I have something of a love / hate relationship. I dislike their roadside location. If I wanted to be regaled by randoms blasting their stereos whilst breathing in diesel fumes and standing in a queue to boulder, I would stay in London. However, they seem to be the only place where I can climb. I guess their fingery nature suits me. I always thought I was more of a power person, but looking at it, maybe I'm not?

I decided to hop on The Edge Problem because I felt like I could do it, which is odd given how I was feeling in general. I tried it last autumn and did all of the moves, baring the top one, as I was knackered after a full day's bouldering and couldn't really be bothered. I came back after my injury-induced lay-off last spring and, much to my anger, realised that I couldn't do the hard moves anymore. Given the location, it wasn't at the top of my ticklist, but I was upset by my loss of strength.

The Edge Problem

I sent it on the second go. In fact I found it so easy that I decided to try the sit start and got that on the fourth go. I should have flashed it, but I was too tired and too excited to take a break. Even that wasn't hard. I know that it isn't the hardest V6 around, but it measurably demonstrates that I got stronger.

The next day I felt pretty broken and just did a few odds and ends. Rather optimistically I tried Johnny's Wall at the end of the day and flashed all but the top move, which was a bit of a stopper for me. It will go next time.

On the last day I ventured out to just about the only remaining bouldering area in North Wales that I haven't been to, the Gallt yr Ogof boulder in Ogwen where I flashed two V4's but didn't do the V5 that was on my list, mostly as I was worried about the landing. Oh well.

The overhanging North ArĂȘte - somewhat easier for the short :-)

I was rather in awe of Sway On; the ultimate project perhaps? I was confused as to which holds are in but I tried to hang a few of them and was bizarrely successful. I fully know that being able to move between them is a world away, but I have time…


Stubbs said...

Congrats on the Edge Problem - one i've tried on a few occasions but rather embarrassingly failed miserably! You must have strong fingers.


Jenn said...

Cheers. I was happy to do it considering that I was ill for ages.

I’m ok-ish with crimps or positive holds for that matter, but I’m rubbish with slopers.