Darragh got on to me first thing this morning and after the abysmal Rugby defeat and asked if I was going to the first leg of the Irish Bouldering League today...
The forecast was too good not to check out the granite in Wicklow, so I said I'd give it a miss and go do some real climbing.
Darragh said I'd better get a move on, as it was forecast to rain at 10.10am.
As Claire and I drove towards Glendalough... and at exactly 10 minutes past 10... It started to rain.
That was some freakishly accurate forecasting by Darragh!!
It turned out to be only a quick shower and then the sun came out again. It was cold, it was dry - we'd made the correct decision!!!
We warmed up well on 'Big Jim' and both Claire and I were pretty psyched to go try Andy's Arete. We worked hard on the stand start and made some serious progress.
Claire opened the line up for me today as she demoed a right hand slap on the arete before catching the crimp up high. The momentary slap on the arete balances me and allows me to pause so I can accurately hit the crimp....
That's when my foot doesn't slip, which happened more often than not today.
However - I did catch the crimp and stood up to move my foot, before disaster struck and my left foot slipped. I never regained the position again, and subsequent attempts saw a regression if anything.
The left arm needs to lock off on a crimp and after a good few attempts, I was just getting tired.
Claire has an innate sense of balance when climbing and has little or no problem with placing and weighting her foot on the arete. Catching the high crimp and moving her left hand up higher again it seemed like it was all over...
The two of us had worked hard and figured out a lot about the line. We were happy to walk away from it, but I think there's a good chance it'll get done in the next session or two.
While over at Big Jane we were joined by 6 deer. They came all the way over, I'm sure to say hello, and had little or no problem with me taking some nice photos of them :)
We headed over across the river again and met up with Kev and Tom. It had become a little warm at that point and the slopers of the Egg Boulder were kind of out of commission.
I snuck in a send of the stand start to 'Tim's Mantle' though my heel was slipping again, but somehow I managed to hang on and finish it.
The sit start didn't happen today - I just couldn't hold the greasy slopers.
Spent, we headed off back to the car. It had been a wonderful day of bouldering, sunshine, raindeer, figrolls and Claire brought along a flask of tea.