Saturday, July 16, 2011

Cave Prep!

It rained and rained as I sat on the Dart on the way to Ayton's Cave yesterday...

Text messages flew back and forth as I tried to see if I was the only one maintaining my blind optimism that the Cave would be dry...

John met me along the way and we drove to the parking spot. By the time we got there it had stopped raining... Success!

The walk in is getting easier and easier, maybe it has to do with the fact that I'm pretty psyched on projects in the Cave so I'm usually pretty hyper on the way!!

We arrived at the Cave and as usual, threw the bags down and checked the key holds on each line - it was dry... It's always dry... unless it's soaking, I convince myself, it's dry.

It wasn't dry!

Well, parts of it were - Caroline's Traverse was dry, but all the key holds on Loco were damp and seeping a lot.

To warm up I sent Caroline's Traverse twice and John did a cool back and forth traverse on the line, reversing the moves - I'm pretty psyched to try work that out.

Matt arrived along and the session had a good amount of energy about it. We were all working on separate stuff - I was working Loco (7a), Matt was working The Funk (7b+) and John was working out a project of his.

Tom appeared around the corner and had with him just the answer to the wet holds that were spitting me off Loco Total on each of my attempts...

A bog roll!

Tissues were applied to all the holds on Loco and it soon became clear as the tissue dampened, just how much preparation was going to have to go into drying the line if any major attempt was to be made on it.

Chalk, tissue, brush, chalk, tissue, brush, chalk, tis...

Ok, time to try this thing!!

It must have been my third attempt that I got to the final move, I wasn't pumped, and I was - in my head - about to send the line... until my foot slipped and I swung out, holding onto the matched pinch trying to re-establish my feet on the rock, but was unable...

I can't remember if I had to let go, or I just let go - but in the minutes after I came off the end, I thought - why! didn't I just do it!!!

Tissue, chalk, brush, tissue, chalk, brush....

I was too eager and made some silly slips at the start of the problem.

I sat down and took a rest while the tissue soaked up the damp.

Tom was on Afterthought (6b), Matt was still working on The Funk (7b+) and John was still projecting away...

There was a lull in the action and I grabbed the chance to place a boulder pad over the exposed rock on the ground and take a proper attempt on Loco.

John offered to take the tissues from the holds as I climbed and it may have made all the difference. I tried to climb quickly and efficiently, however I wasn't too happy with how I placed my right heel before the link up between Loco Total and Caroline's Traverse.

As Barry had said the previous session - if you don't hit a hold exactly right, just keep moving.

I remembered what he'd said and just kept moving!!

Got to the rest point in the corner and John told me that my feet looked dry. After shaking my arms out and recovering (though I didn't really have any pump going) I blasted through the final moves and it all came together.

I was chuffed!!

I love that line, it's so much fun to climb and I can't wait to get back on it again.

Paul Brennen arrived along just after the send and we worked on Afterthought.

Such a fun evening's climbing! :)

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