i was really keen to see what i could do where it counts - outside. I video myself indoors periodically to see if i can spot faults. I realised i drive with my legs for the first half of a move but when my arms kick in i stop driving. Need to work on that.
I hit on the idea of stopping off at Carrock fell on the way to Penrith. It's only a 10 min diversion and roadside. There was a fairly new pdf on Greg Chapman's great site Lakesbloc:
and it looked like it fitted the bill for a short stop off. The 6C and 6C+ are exactly the type of climb i've never been able to do. A proper test then. The weather out West was nice and it hadn't rained for a couple of days so it was on. Driving down the A66 i rounded the corner to see Bassenthwaite looking really choppy and Skiddaw in low cloud. The further East we went the worse it got. By the time we arrived at Carrock it was really blowing and 2 degrees according to the car. Luckily Johnny had come fully prepared with a t-shirt and shower proof top, no food, no drink and a beanie. At least i'd brought my RAB.
The first top out ended in a splat at the top into a soggy, and very slimy, pile of moss and lichen which nearly resulted in me failing on a V0. The remaining problems on that slab ( none of which can be recommended ) were quickly despatched and we moved onto ' Bishop's Rage'. Where do they get these names ? It started from a hard sit and Johnny quickly pulled on and campused up a slopey lip to a good hold and a heel hook. A good hard pull and he was up 2nd go. I fluffed about once trying to do it his way before i applied technique and skill and did it feet on 2nd go as well.
Things were looking up and the 6C+ target of the day was looming. Clay Machine Gun. Any ideas anyone ? It was a bit disappointing really as it looked like it might be a real 'fridge hugger' but there was only one compression move on it. The landing was a bit iffy and it had a decent hard mantleshelf to finish so i had to commit. Again it went 2nd go, after a first feel about for the holds, and i was well happy. The topo says hard for the grade so the 7A target by the end of the month is looking good.
We still went to Penrith after but i am not so sure this was a good idea. I was still shivering by the time we got there and i just couldn't summon the psyche.
I went on the route i have been avoiding - the blue 7a+ i need to do on my pyramid before i try 7b for the first time. It looked so slappy and powerful when Johnny did it i wasn't sure it was for me. For that reason i decided i had to give it a go and get over myself.
The bottom half is routine, but nice, before it gets into the meat of it with a brick hard rock over up to a sloper. You match on this to clip before going for a very long reach up and left. Johnny was dynoing this and grabbing the poor sidepull powerfully. I found if i swapped my hands over i could outside edge the high foothold and do it without much effort. After that you need to make a long reach right - predictably to a poor side pull. Again Johnny dynoed this but with some foot trickery i could make the reach. The next move was the hardest. Johnny just went again with poor feet and deadpointed it. I tried, but failed. Eventually i figured i could step inside and use my outside edge again and make the reach. After that it's just adjust feet, reach for a crimp and make a huge dyno leap to the top. While it's not quite a feet off jump it's going to be hard. I couldn't summon up the psyche and decided to call it a day. It'll go next time i think. I had been avoiding it as i didn't think i could do it at all so i am well happy i can do all the moves. Still not sure about the dyno finish though :0(