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Thursday, 14 July 2011

Season Opening

It would seem the sport season is upon us. I think this is as much to do with the fact that sport climbing is currently in vogue as it is to do with the weather. In previous years I'm sure all the strong young things would still be flinging themselves from various bulging lumps of grit at this time of year, and whilst some obviously still are there's plenty that are on the white stuff. The fickle nature of climbing fashions. Anyway enough of this, on with the sport.
The plan a week or so ago was to head to Trollers Gill and try and open my sporting account for the season with a quick red-point of Angel Heart to get the ball rolling. It gets 8a in the Rockfax guide but in reality is 7c, or it was before I tried it. The plan was to do it in a session, a bit of dangling on the rope to get the moves sorted and then an effortless float up on the sharp end. All is going reasonably swimmingly until, in a fit of extreme overgripping, I rip a jug off and it shatters as it hits the ground. Now this jug was just before the crux sequence and provided a reasonable pre-crux-moment-of-contemplation point and was also handy for reaching up to clip the fourth bolt. So it falling off pretty much changed to route completely and, given my dwindling window of free time and the requirement to work a new sequence, put pay to my "in a session" plans.Grrrrrr...
Oh well a week-ish later and I'm back, a new sequence is worked out using a sidepull that was next to where the jug used top be. It makes a pretty significant change to the difficulty of the route for a few reasons. The climbing is obviously more powerful and the crux sequence is longer now but also the fourth clip now has to be done mid-crux and is a little bit gripping. After a few unsuccessful redpoints I finally managed to get it in the bag on the last attempt of the day, which was nice. In it's current state it's probably worth 7c+/8a so a promising start to the season. What's next I wonder...

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