Sunday, November 20, 2011

A Day at the Scalp promised so much for todays forecast - maybe a passing shower at 9am, but dry otherwise...

Shane picked me up at 10.30 and we drove to Wicklow, and it started raining...

With no sign of a breeze and the rain getting heavier and heavier we did an about turn and set off back to The Scalp... Our last resort!

I'm sure Shane will avoid going there with me forever more, because my skills at navigating through a sliding muddy hillside are not up to scratch...

Shane plodded along as if there was a paved, even concrete surface beneath his feet, while I used branches and roots and anything I could get my hands on to make progress towards the boulders we wanted to climb...

It took me forever to get there!

The sky was still spitting, and we were reluctant to start and reluctant to leave.

Finally, Shane made an executive decision and we laid the pads out, put on our climbing shoes and started warming up on problem 26 in the guide... it's down as a project, but it's well doable.

It's my first time back on Granite since Font, and my hands were screaming at me... I'd forgotten how much the corse granite of Wicklow can sting as it removed lumps from the palms of my hands.

The two problems we started on were committing and bold. They're great and there's a lot to them, but for some reason (maybe it's because of the cold I've got), my head wasn't in the game... Shane was finding it difficult to commit to the moves at the top of problem 25 too (also down in the guide as a project?)... But then suddenly he got on the problem and made it all the way to the top!

He had a bit of a battle with his feet and despite being so close - he backed off again! He seemed disappointed with that effort and I knew by him that he'd make no such mistakes on his next go!

Again, I acted like a total girl and backed off a rather committing foot smear up high...

Shane got back on the double arete (problem 25) and there was no stopping him!! He blasted up the thing and looked super confident. He had told me that in the past, he'd come flying off it a few times - there was no sign of that today, He was totally assured in his moves.

We moved on to look at Muppetree (7a+) and it looks cool, but I knew by how pumped my arms were that I'd be better off trying something easier. We headed down to Dark Angle (6a) and worked the sit start for a while. I came pretty close to catching it on the few attempts I made. Shane grabbed the sidepull from the sit start on more than a couple of attempts, but was unable to see the full extent of the problem through.

I took out my camera to take some shots, but then I realised that I'd left the battery at home charging...

We worked the top and it came together pretty quickly for both of us. It's wired now and as soon as I latch that side-pull, it will be done!

I was a bit disappointed in myself after I sent the stand start to Dark Angle... I'd easily stood up up on smear with my right foot that was FAR sketchier than the smear up on the double arete problem before... I didn't think twice about it...

Up on 'problem 25' the smear is up high and the fall is pretty damning... It didn't occur to me at the time that I was scared... I didn't feel scared - but why else would I have backed off...

The foot smear on Dark Angle is far less generous, however it's about a meter off the ground and the landing is flat.

I need to get my head back in the game big time! Font landings have left me spoiled rotten.

We moved over the road to a LOVELY arete called Gen Tilly (6b+)

It had all the signs of being sent, but both myself and Shane were wasted tired from our efforts on the previous boulders, and surprisingly it was getting dark already (at 4.30!) so we decided to call it a day.

It seemed as though we never really stopped today - the boulders we chose to climb were all pretty pumpy problems and I am now absolutely SHATTERED!

Brilliant day's bouldering with Shane, the Scalp beta king!

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