Monday, 28 April 2008

Weem Team

At last, the promise of a sunny day, and on a weekend! Bong, Sarah and I headed to Weem for some spring sport climbing. The last time I was at Weem various routes were sopping wet and everything was very green and overgrown. This is what I blame for my dragging the others up steep paths and the long way round to the bottom of the crag. Oops. Sorry guys.

Anyway, we found it, and the sun was lovely and warm on it. We legged it up a 6a called, I can't remember, but it was certainly easier than the last time I did it. I was intrigued to know whether 4 months of full time climbing had improved my strength or technique at all, so we made some attempts at the Lama Parlour, a 6c that we had attempted on a top rope last summer. I think on balance it was more attainable this time than last, although I won't pretend that it was still pretty hard! I've no excuses for not doing this, other than I was a big chicken. I've spent too long bouldering, and just bottled out of taking the falls. It was good to have a shot at it and remind myself where the holds were, what they were like and what the sequence should be. I'm not entirely convinced I'll remember them for next time, but I'll try :-)

Sarah top roping the Lama Parlour 6c

As if 6c wasn't hard enough, Sarah persuaded us to try The End of Silence, 7b. Ahem, yes, 7b. It was hard. I'm sure the last 7b I did wasn't as hard as that, but then I'm also sure that memory fades things into being easier than they actually were. Sarah went up it bolt-to-bolt and Bong and I made some valiant but unsuccessful attempts at toproping it cleanly.

One genuine problem we encountered was the cold. It might have been a sunny day, but the air temperature was probably only around 9 degrees. So once the sun had moved round and was no longer on the crag, it was pretty chilly. Therefore, belaying or waiting meant a fairly significant chill-down, even with duvet jackets and hats. It's amazing how much harder any climbing feels when you're cold. However, it's still only April, and the leaves are not yet on the trees, so the sunshine is somewhat deceptive. Apparently the air temperature was down to 6 degrees by the time we left.

Sarah invented some fantastic moves: toe-hooks, heel hooks, foot swapping, crimping, thumb spragging (bet you didn't know that one, huh?!).... idiot that I am, I forgot to take my camera, so I'm sorry these pictures aren't very clear.

It was 10pm before we got home, but while Sarah was studying in the back seat, Bong was driving, I was mentally working through the moves in a desperate bid to remember them. It's a nice little project for the summer I think. A bit more effort and a bit of bravery in taking some falls, and it might go.....

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