Chris cutting loose on 'The Funk' (7b+)
Matt was on the phone to me as we drove out to Howth yesterday and he wasn't painting a pretty picture with regards cave conditions the previous night -
Sure! It had been raining heavily the day before and it was raining as we drove out to the Cave but we had packed our bags and left our houses and made the commitment!!
There was no way we weren't going to at least check it out...
As we approached the Cave Paul said he was going to cut across the seaweed field of slipperiness as a short cut...
It's definitely shorter, no doubt about that - but I hate uneven slippery ground so myself and Claire took the slightly longer route around by the steps.
Paul was checking out the holds as we arrived at the Cave and confirmed that we had won the Cave lotto! The whole thing was dry!
It was pretty much as good as it was last weekend, and after what Matt had told me about the conditions the previous night, I felt like we were about to steal a bouldering session.
Honestly, I think as much as everyone speculates about seepage, wind direction, high tide/low tide levels etc... The condition of the Cave on any given day is a total lottery.
You make the commitment and you go, and whatever way it is when you get there, is your lot!
I'm putting 'Loco Total' (7a) away pretty easily these days, which is nice - but I'm still scared of breaking my ankles on 'Solstice' (7a+)...
Went out to the McGetigan's gig last night and was chatting to Barry about being scared on it - he said I just have to believe - and do it...
So as the Cave session went on, Chris and Shane arrived and we did some work on 'The Funk' (7b+). I was a bit tired on it and meant to try the crux throw 10 times but just couldn't find the want or the will to repeat the move that many times, so I left it at 3 fairly good attempts and moved on to the end sequence.
It didn't come together for me yesterday - but I tried and it's all money in the bank.
It would appear that when one is really working the crux throw on 'The Funk' in sequence, that one's right elbow may start to niggle a bit... Both Chris and Kev have complained of the same pain in the last week, and a repetitive strain injury is definitely not something I want to acquire at the moment... Not on a problem that's so far beyond me anyway!
I had set an alarm on my phone for Claire that sounded and left others in the Cave puzzled. It meant Claire had to go but myself and Paul were pretty psyched to stay. Chris had no space in his car, but came up with a plan to strap boulder pads to the roof rack so that myself and Paul could fit in the back of his car.
Chris realised he didn't have his roof rack straps with him, and Claire offered to leave hers under his car.
My climbing session had just been extended by 2 hours!
I thought to myself at the time, that the things my friends do to facilitate my climbing has made me the climber I am at the moment. I can't drive, and there's never ending offers of lifts to and from the awkward places one has to get to in order to boulder outdoors in Ireland.
I'm a lucky girl!
Shane had been working 'Afterthought' (6b) and I thought it looked great... I had been on it before but had never REALLY tried it. Yesterday evening I got pretty psyched on it.
I struggled with the end of it, but Paul had some magical beta that worked perfectly for me. There's a cut loose move which ends up with a massive swing that has to be held.
The move sent me flying about 2m from my cut-loose point every time. Paul's beta enlists the help of a foot smear against the side of the cave which allows the left heel free without the swing at all. Then I could cut loose in total control and move into the heel hook end sequence.
At that point my hands and forearms were spent so the line didn't come together for me.
'Deepthroat' (6b+) is another line I'd never tried before and though the holds are all massive, the big reach backwards is a strong move. Chris took a couple of attempts before he sent it and I think it looks really cool. Psyched to get back on it and try it properly.
After yesterday's session, and the great conditions and introductions to new problems, I will certainly be playing the Cave lotto again this evening!!