Tuesday, 26 February 2013

7 UP

I've just had one of my best few days on the grit EVERR! Temps have been super chilled, its been dry and perfect for getting stuff done! Me and my homie Sam have been to check out a few 'esoteric' places and routes that are absolutely brilliant but for whatever reasons, never get done.

The tick-list that we have managed to drum up between us over the last few days goes something like this:

Fat Slapper - E7 6c, third and fourth ascent...?
Speak the Truth - E7 6b
Jumping on a Beetle - E7 6c
Moon Madness - E7 6c
Benign Lives - E7 6c
Velvet Silence - E6 6c

Fat Slapper is a Seb Grieve classic, and a route made famous in the opening minutes of the movie, Hard Grit. When this was first done I would have been about 5 years old! We all randomly got inspired to try this historic line a few months back and finally went to give it a bash, it didn't disappoint! It is honestly one of the finest grit routes I've ever done, steep pulling with big moves on a good set of holds. It went down super smooth after a good scrubbing and we left on a massive high. Cheers Seb!

The next day we wandered into a dank and grotty looking quarry... Hardly stunning surroundings but there is a hidden gem here that sticks out from all the crap the minute you walk in. If it was anywhere else I'm sure it would prove to be immensely popular. A razor sharp arete rising up from the brambles and boulders below! Bit of a sketchy landing.... but immaculate climbing nonetheless! Check it in the video.

As the weekend came round we popped to Froggatt. Here Sam floated up the tricky Dawes slab Benign Lives. Rad effort from the lad on this, its all in the feet guys. I definitely wasn't feeling it so we packed up and made the trek across to Moon Buttress at Curbar.

 All or nothing on Benign...

The snow flurries seemed to be getting heavier and oddly falling from clear blue skies???? But conditions were top drawer and as the sun went down I went for it on Moon Madness, everything clicked, hands sticking to the holds like no tomorrow. A surprise tick to finish the day. Will post up a video soon.
I seem to have tapped into something pretty crazy at the moment, knowing I'm 100% confident of being able to execute the route without any problems or fear. Its a great feeling for sure!
Time to step it up a gear...

Monday, 18 February 2013


Suns out, conditions are minted and we finally have dry rock! When it comes good its freaking awesome and begins to make up for all the wet days we've had recently. I've been going out my mind the last couple of weeks, waiting for a decent day and spending a lot of time pulling on plastic. So it made the weekend feel all the better when we woke up and saw how good it was looking outside.
First up was a trip to Gardoms to seek out 'Make it Snappy' E6 6b. I had my eye on this a few years ago but never checked out but I had made sure it was on my ticklist for this winter. Its another sweet route and it was nice to be back on a rope and running it out!

I've also been giving Black Rocks a bit of a revival of late. This is like my home crag and the place I first went climbing. I can remember when I first lead the old time classic Lone Tree Groove and how amazing it felt (and hard!) and then looking up at some of the other test pieces and never imagining that I might one day be able to climb them. One of these was a route called Pseudonym that goes right up the middle of the West wall. I used to mess around on this back in the day and the thought of leading it used to scare the life out of me! While its not exactly anything too desperate it was just really cool to tick after all these years and it still felt a little on the scary side haa!

Yesterday I went back up to try another route that has always been a dream of mine to do. Velvet Silence, a line that nowadays is pretty much considered a highball but still something that most people wouldn't be too keen to slip off on near the top... It was super dry, the sun was bouncing off the slab and I was buzzing for it! We gave it a quick brush and it was done! Another one crossed off the list. This one definitely felt a bit special to me, pure faith in friction and a test of balance!

 Velvet Silence, E6 6c or 7A+...

We are full on back in route mode now, and have SOOOOOO many things to get on. Weather looks good for the next week. Time to get involved init, nahhhh mean ya'll. CHEERS x

Monday, 4 February 2013

Mammut Team Meet

It was great to meet up with team last weekend and big thanks firstly to Mammut for sorting everything out and making it possible and The Foundry for putting up with us all and being top hosts! There was a huge turnout and it was cool to see people psyched and getting involved. Hoping everyone enjoyed the masterclasses from Anna and Jakob and we're already looking forward to the next one.

It was a shame we couldn't get out on the grit for very long, but we did manage a few hours up at Curbar and an interesting short while at Minus Ten wall...

Also thanks to Mike Hutton for taking pictures all weekend!