Wales 2012 – Part 1

Back in Wales a little later than planned due to work and injuries. Hitting the ground running wasn’t going to happen. As confirmed on the first day the cave delt me a welcome back slap in the face. Especially hard as there were 30 people in there and a few beasts ticking my projects easily within a session! Ended up escaping the crowds round at pill box struggling up the V6s round there. The next few days I trucked on, there didn’t seem to be much of a point in resting.
On Sunday I didn’t do much but headed down to LPT and did Under the Board Walk F6c! This was a struggle. At least I didn’t fall off. Note to self. Get some decent bloody shoes!!! Monday was back in the cave. At least it was now quiet. I made the mistake of blasting out Left Wall then making a determined effort to work out Left Wall High. After this I was tired and failed to do Rock Atrocity. Still I ground out my training links on Pilgrim from the back wall and from the start.

On Tuesday I headed down to LPT with Tommy. This gave me the chance to stick the clips up Bad Bad Boy again. Despite having a headache and it being a Nemisis for me I sucked up the pain and got it ticked first try. I brilliant surprise since I first tried the route on my first visit to LPT and struggled then and over the next 15 years. Just a mixture of old school lime and a little bit reachy. In the end its fine now. In Wed it was back to the cave. Surprisingly I was feeling good fifth day on. After a few warm ups I got distracted and decided to try Beaver Cleaver again. This was another Nemisis since I kept jaring my back coming off it. I reckoned £500 of mattage later there were no excuses. It still took 4 goes to top it out via the cross through method but not to bad. Never V9, I think it settles at V7 these days. On a roll I got stuck into the pilgrim links. It still felt grim. On my second go I fell off the last move. The third go was a fuck up and my arm hurt across the front surface. Pist off I just relaxed and threw myself at one more go this time getting the link scratching out the last moves. I threw myself at the start and managed to link up to touching the RA flake. That was nearly as good as my links in December so a great end to the day.

On Thursday I got back down to LPT with Tommy. This time I tried the feisty little Martha. Working it out on the rope took some time, dog and warm. Even with the sloper out right it felt grim, especially the final pop slightly above the clip. I went for it next go and everything seemed fine until the pop. I found myself staring at the hold with too little power for the move. Queue the ride down slamming into the crozzel below. Luckily no damage. This happened another two times as I managed to inch higher on poor crimps but still not latch the hold. Oh well failure has a bitter taste at least on Thursdays! On Friday I was back in the cave. It was rather warm 15Deg for late March and muggy so I delayed as long as possible. It felt cool round at the cave but soon felt too warm after a warm up. Warming up was along process managing various aches earned from the week past but I seemed to loosen off. After doing RA again I sat it out for another 30min to let the temps dip. After that I managed the link on Pilgrim second go which was encouraging, maybe first if my foot didn’t slip. I still found I was building up too much heat. Luckily I’d packed some shorts. After getting aligned it was time for a go from the back. Knowing the first go is normal rubbish I just relaxed. I was some what surprised go right through the RA crux no problem only to drop getting my right into the pocket. Minus three moves! I definitely felt I could finish it! I changed my sequence to the heel method and checked it four times to dial it in – could it make the difference? After 15mins walking about to rest it was time for another go. I came through the start clean and positive. Quick shake on the jugs then into RA. As before I hit the ramp this time walking the heel around and pulled like fuck to the next sloper, booted my left foot in for tension and hit that last slot! Pilgrim ticked!

Whats more impressive for me is it was 7th day on… I think it confirms may things. Seven days ago I was struggling on the moves, it took 3 days to tune back in. Climbing a little on the rest days hasn’t done any harm. Climbing for 3hrs a day, not maxing out, resting and eating well has worked. Jury is out if the Whey protein and 5g Creatine a day has helped – probably.
Owen was up for some climbing over the weekend. Just as well as the temperatures bumped up to 19deg! We spent most of Saturday sat in the sun doing the odd route. I did Excursion Direct 6c+ that had a ridiculous run out at the top. Next was Quicksilver F7a that was recently unbanned. Both very good. In the afternoon we got down to LPT and I had a chance to finish Martha. This took another 3 RPs till dark! A real skin of the teeth effort. 6RP in total – very hard for 7c! On Sunday we did a couple of routes in the Evening. I did The Bloods F7a+ and managed to pull of the onsight of Blood Sports F7b, that’s as pumped as I can possibly get I think. Not bad as I wanted to do these routes for ages at at last it seemed like the perfect time to do them.

Monday was Cave time again. With temps still too high for bouldering 19C in March, I waited till the last two hours of light to climb. This time In Life was on the cards. The moves felt much better fresh and it didn’t take long to get redpointing. Three goes down I dropped it from the back wall. Arms melted. Tuesday gave me two more goes, enough to reach the back wall proper but arms were seriously failing me. My shoulders were in pain again – the first time in a couple of years so I sacked it. It’d have to wait. Just as well as I quite fancied following it up with In Heaven. Wednesday was day 12 climbing – so why not try another 8a. This time it was Simon Says that I’d worked out back in Dec. Shoulders hurt from working it. Never under estimate the brutality of working steep sideways routes, climbing is often easier. I had a couple of goes before I had to leave. The second got me to the final crux before arms disappointingly melted again. At least I had the Stones for sympathy on 5hr drive home with Can’t Get No Satisfaction and You Can’t Always Get What You Want belted out loud!

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