Tuesday, 18 January 2011

7a + dans le sac

Been trying a 7a+ at Penrith for the last couple of sessions. 1st bolt to bolt felt way out of my league. One hold i couldn't even grip and the sequence seemed way too hard. I had another look and got the sequence for the 1st crux in my head - though it still felt hard. I had a burn on it aiming to get through the first sequence and surprised myself by sticking the hold i couldn't use and getting through to the 2nd crux. The added performance benefits of being on the sharp end i guess.

The 2nd crux ( getting over a small lip using 2 poor undercits to a shockingly insecure slopey crimp and going again to a jug ) seemed even harder but once i got to the jug it'd be all over so surely i could push through ? I got to the jug next go. After that it seemed quite simple to the top, if i hadn't been boxed out of my mind. AARRGH ! So that's what a redpoint crux is :0) Fairly easy moves but so tired by the time you get to them you can't pull them off. 10 o clock came and we got chucked out so it'd have to be next time.

It was definitely getting in the way of my 'training' as all i wanted to do was get it done so throwing volume to the wind i warmed up and had one more bolt to bolt to refresh the moves. Properly psyched up now i powered through the 1st and second crux and found myself at the redpoint crux. Panic set in and i changed the sequence, going for a foot hold i'd tried on the bolt to bolt but discounted. I wanted to put my foot on a nice big plastic blob instead of the smear on the opposite wall i knew was required. I made the move, which was sooo much harder than it should have been, JUST clipped ( there was a really decent fall waiting if i didn't ) but couldn't get any further.

STUPID ! Stick to the plan FFS.

To add insult to injury Johnny jumped on it after watching me and got it 3rd go. He's not climbed for 6 weeks and had a raging hangover. The difference is as a boulderer he's strong and powerful, focusses really well and gives it 100% to the plan without getting distracted. He never pauses or rests just goes one move after the other, and keeps going until he gets to the top. By his own admission i am a 'better' climber, better technique and fitness, but his extra strength and commitment are his winning cards on short routes like this. It's what i need to get better at. Zeroing in on the target and going for it.

The good news is that due to feeling so annoyed at Johnny doing it i cracked it off next go. One of those nice redpoints where i got to the top and didn't even feel pumped - though i was tired.

Another grade done and with 2 bolt to bolts, 2 links and 2 'proper' goes at it it went fairly quickly.

Hoping for Malham next weekend. A nice confidence booster.

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