Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Weird and the Wonderful!

Had a most wonderful weekend in Wicklow,

A night bouldering session on friday saw a rampage on the problems in 'the ruins' area of Glendalough. We had a session on Barry's new rediscovered old Michael Duffy problem: ADP (6C) which is a really cool line that throws from an opening crimp to the lip of a roof followed by a long right throw and traverses right to top out with a big jug.

Diarmuid sent it after figuring out all the moves... it's going to take me a few more sessions as the moves are very powerful. Happy with the progress I made on it though.

Had a few attempts at the opening of 'Quality Control' (6c) and got closer to catching it. Diarmuid looked like sending the problem but it's a difficult one to see without good light and so we joined the others at White Arrow (6b) Brilliant fun at that problem. I came within a few inches of flashing it and in subsequent attempts I couldn't get off the ground. Dave and Diarmuid got it eventually and we all called it a night. Woke up the next morning and it was a beautiful day. Heads were sore though and the heat of the sun in the cloudless sky motivated us to sit beside the boulders rather than climb them.

There were handstands, and a new game of shoe bowls and general silliness before Dave started climbing a (new?) traverse across Big Jim. Had great craic attempting the line but the psyche for a decent effort was low for me. Dave made great progress across it, but I can't remember if he actually topped it out in the end.

Mark and Dave headed off and Myself James and Diarmuid lazed about in the blazing sunshine and heavy blustery gusts of wind that blew our boulder mats and gear all over the place. After a while we gathered out gear together and headed to Pokery (6c).

It was a no go and James called coffee time and there was no argument. We walked out meeting Claire and Grainne on the way. Claire had organised a party at the IMC hut to celebrate her birthday and I was glad to see her down bouldering as I knew that after we were finished our coffee and the lads had gone, I would have company at the boulders before heading to the hut.

Got back to the valley after our lunch break and met Kev and Eamon. Walked in with them and met up with the girls again. Had a good days bouldering having refueled over lunch with a good amount of carrot cake for dessert!! Ticked Squamish (6a+) and FINALLY ticked Pokery (6c) which I was delighted about. Really love that line and I'm excited to have it sent.

We worked on Afro Left after that. Midway through the session I went and slept on my boulder pad under the Jiggery Pokery boulder for about an hour. Felt much better after that. Dropped Eamon off and headed to the hut for about 10pm. I had been at the boulders from about midday until 9pm or there abouts. I was shattered! Great night, thanks a mil to Claire and Happy Birthday!!

The party rocked on til the wee hours of the morning but I fell short of the mark finally saying goodnight at about 3am.

Woke up this morning with sore head uimhir a dó! Claire had a full Irish breakfast on the go and the sun was once again blazing!! There was no breeze though and the morning was hazy and I didn't feel like myself at all. The news then came through that Calvin Torrans had been in a climbing accident in the Mournes and had suffered two broken ankles which had everyone in the hut concerned. We were gutted to hear the news and I hope he makes a speedy recovery.

We got to the boulders for about 3.30pm and I think I put up a new line that might go at about a 5 or 5+! It's very short and I'm pretty sure from it's positioning that someone must have tried it before but it's not in the guide I don't think... Kev and I were joined by Paul, Tom, Darragh, Katie, Jonno and Tom.

We headed to Rhythm and Stealth and I had a revelation! I had yet to catch the compression move, but today (despite my double hangover) I held that move and slapped up to the crimp narrowly falling short. I was in utter disbelief that I'd managed it. I felt comfortable on that attempt but failed to repeat catching the move as well in latter efforts.

I'm thinking it'll go in the next session or two and I'm so excited about it. It really is a quality line, and in my opinion, it's one of the most striking and iconic problems in Wicklow. Well done to Darragh for sending it today - the top out is becoming more and more of a concern to me!! This weekend was one filled with wonderful friends, abstract scenarios, good efforts at the boulders and far too much alcohol.

Bouldering's the life for me.


  1. "Kev and I were joined by Paul, Tom, Darragh, Katie, Jonno and Tom." Good man Tom! How come I don't get mentioned twice for emphasis?

  2. very tired when I wrote this... To clarify, we were only joined by one Tom and one Darragh.