Friday, 19 July 2013

A Muerte!

Chee Dale is where its at right now. Even more so if you want to escape the infernal heat that has appeared out of nowhere and is now providing those endless summer days many of us had forgotten about or even knew were possible this side of the channel!

I signed off my Tor season a couple weeks back with a tick of Revelations, 8b and I'm quite content now to leave the place till the autumn arrives and with it the cold temps needed to climb well down there.

I had two main routes in mind down at the Chee Dale cornice at the start of the season. One I had tried the last time it was dry 2/3 years ago, Kristian's big roof masterpiece Gran Techo, 8b and an uber bouldery 8a+, Devonshire Arms.
With all the hot weather they both quickly came into condition and I was really fired up to get stuck into climbing here again. That summer of 2010 seemed a long time ago and its just fantastic to see the whole scene reappearing, see everyone syked and have everything dry once more.

After reacquainting myself with Gran Techo (which literally means 'big/great roof' in Spanish) it went down fairly quickly, and I had brief thoughts of trying Bob Hickish's harder direct finish, Techno Prisoners which he gave 8b+. I remember him doing this a couple of years ago and it was just something on another planet to me at the time and never imagined trying it. I knew I had the roof dialled up well so started to wonder how hard it'd be to carry on for a few extra moves, even though I'd heard rumours of a HUGE span on the head wall.
Before that though I had a date with Devonshire. Nige had given us all the beta for this very short lived and burly product of the 90's, a couple days previous and I almost sent the morning after climbing Techo! But it wasn't to be so we came back on what turned out to be one of the hottest days of the year, hardly ideal at all for this route... Much to my relief I made it through the powerful sequence of undercuts, chalking way more than usual to keep the grime and sweat at bay and suddenly the chain was staring me in the face and it was laid to rest.
I think a lot of people are put off by this one after hearing how hard it is and how it should really be 8b. Maybe it should... I don't know, but it isn't as bad as its made out, you just have to be prepared to pull a bit harder! So get to it and ENJOYYYY!

 Gran Techo | Screenshot from an upcoming video short...

I've had to try enormously hard on routes many a time, but yesterdays efforts on Techno Prisoners seem to eclipse previous endeavours. It literally felt like the fight of my life! I could have dropped every move after the crux so easily, spat into the waiting void behind me. Maybe the next try would have gone better, if I had blown it, and quite often I prefer to climb something with the feeling of being in total cruise control on every move. But to have tried so hard and succeed makes it all the more sweeter.
Most sport routes pass us by and we generally forget what it all felt like to get to the top. I've read a lot lately from folk about how it is the 'process' that we all crave and enjoy, rather than the eventual send. With this, yes I enjoyed the whole process immensely but I equally enjoyed, if not more so, the actual feeling of redpoint success. It was a close one, and an experience I won't be forgetting in a hurry.

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