We had discussed going to the Cave for what will surely be one of the final weekends of Summer climbing on the Howth coastline and both myself and Chris agreed we were pretty keen to check it out.
Yesterday's fail with regards conditions had left both of us skeptical and the texts that were exchanged this morning read of a co op session rather than a risk on conditions and ending up with no climbing at all!
We had agreed to meet at the board at some point, mid afternoon... beep! - text from Ron wondering if we were still cave bound for 5pm...
I told him about yesterdays fail and how we weren't going to risk it today...
Ron pointed out that it was a lot windier today and that humidity had dropped significantly... and that it might well be worth a go...
Myself and Chris needed little persuasion and Chris picked me up at 3pm and we set off Cave bound! I let Ron know we had set off and he replied, 'Great - let me know if it's dry!'
Had to laugh!
Dry it was, aside from a couple of holds that we salvageable with traffic, brushing, toilet roll and chalk! Got straight to work on Maneater (7b) and Chris and Ron were working on 'Bring out the Swans' (7b+), Matt was working 'The Funk' (7b+) and Eamon was on Solstice (7a+).
Everyone was making really solid gains for the work we were all putting in on our lines and then almost out of nowhere Matt took another attempt at 'The Funk' (7b+) and sent it. He hit move after move - solid.
Toe hooks weren't fiddly, throws were accurate - He matched the final hold and there was no doubt it had been a savage effort from him.
My knees are in tatters after a summer of knee barring in the Cave. I think I've learned a lot though about the sensitivity needed between toe and knee, before I know I'm solid and can take my hands away from the rock altogether...
Also my pain threshold has risen significantly!!
It's funny how I'm more concerned with getting a project done than I am with how much any of my extremities are hurting... it's just more important!!
Ron's technique of knee-barring through the crux of 'Maneater' is impressive, no doubt - In this case however I was pretty adamant I wasn't using his sequence, because my knees are just TOO sore these days.
When push came to shove today, Ron's way made way more sense to me. His opening sequence is easier, his knee bars cut out the crux, and there's something a little magical about hanging from my knees upside-down from the ceiling of the Cave!!!! I threw on Ron's knee pads and tried to forget about the pain!!
I can see that line coming together for me way quicker than Solstice did, but are there enough sessions left for me?!!
I was pumped out my mind by the time I'd finished on it, and having just spoken to Matt about what might be causing my current state of total mental and physical exhaustion, I have to agree with him that a good night's sleep might solve the problem!!
Chris and Ron worked 'Bring out the Swans' (7b+) today and it looks amazing - Chris started hitting the big throw backwards and was looking super solid on it before he had to go.
The move is a giant span backwards to a jug from a left hand side pull and a right toe lock, followed by, what was a pretty dramatic cut loose, until Ron worked out a sequence of foot moves through the ceiling of the Cave.
All in all I'm very glad Ron convinced myself and Chris to go to the Cave today. I'm also glad Chris was willing to pick me up, and Ron was willing to drop me home.
Amazing evening's climbing!