Saturday, November 26, 2011

Winter Season Kicks Off!

I'm not a natural prankster...

Shane called Ron and I on the walk in towards the boulders of Glendalough today and asked that we might pick up a flask that he'd dropped earlier if we saw it any where along the way...

I related to Ron, the story of the Mitchell brothers telling me that my lost jacket was nowhere to be found in Font a couple of weeks ago, when I'd left it in a car park and they'd gone to look for it...

They left me stewing for about a half hour before they arrived down the stairs... Shane modeling my jacket!!

Back on the Path and before long, we passed by Shane's flask, picked it up and I thought... Perfect! We can tell Shane his flask was gone and Ron suggested I hide it and when lunch time rolled in, I should offer him a cup of tea...


Shane was warming up in the ruins when we arrived and almost immediately asked Ron if we'd seen his mislaid flask... Ron responded 'No, didn't pass it...'

At which point Shane looked around at me while I tried to pretend I was checking the holds of the problem we were about to do... with a big smirk on my face...

He'd twigged the fact that I'd want to seek revenge and knew his flask was on the path because he'd met Diarmuid, Dave and James earlier and they said they'd passed it, but not picked it up.

I went to my bag and got his flask and handed it over...

My plan foiled - the three of us warmed up on 'The Original Route' (5)

I hadn't been on it in AGES mostly because the winter season has only just started, but also because a huge puddle has formed beneath the boulder and much and all as shallow water soloing sounds like... a broken ankle...

we usually don't go near it anymore...
Today, however - the puddle was some what smaller, so we took advantage!

Afterwards, Shane was psyched to try the Nu Rails (6c?) and so we headed over in that direction to warm up on the Rails some more and try the sitter...

I used to be able to repeat the Nu Rails on command... whenever I wanted - however the last time I was on it... Last January 1st... I couldn't latch the opening hold and felt a little disheartened as I watch Tim warm up on it...

Today however, the opening move seemed easy, and I put the problem away in about 4 attempts or so. I thought... Brilliant... my Wicklow Season this Winter is kicking off nicely!!

We all moved on around to Superstars of BMX (7a+). It's a problem I associate with Diarmuid because he used to make it look like it was nothing... despite the first moved being a torturous wrench on the left shoulder, back and stomach.

Ron had made the opening move years ago, and hoped to repeat it today and maybe send the problem. I hoped I'd be able to move off the ground.

Last year I'd tried the line a couple of times and failed to even pull onto the boulder.

It was after a couple of attempts. that Diarmuid, James and Dave arrived out of the blue, to join us. I knew they might be in Glendalough today, but didn't know if we'd bump into them -

The lads were in great form, having arrived down from the crag after some tradding.

We all worked away at Superstars of BMX and Ron was looking very solid indeed.

I found myself able to pull up and move my foot into position - not without effort, but with more ease than I thought.

Ron ticked the spot he was aiming for at the top of the line and on his next go, he blasted up the thing - He made it look easy.

On my best attempt I began to stand up on my right foot and I'm sure it was a blasting gust of wind that knocked me off the thing!! ;)

Either way - the line now seems plausible and I can't wait to get back to it.

The day was so windy and spitting rain at times which is not what was forecast at all, but then I remembered - Glendalough has a weather system all of it's own.

We headed off to seek shelter and finally settled under Chillax (6c) - Glendalough's over-hanging classic.

We waited for the wind to stop throwing rain at us, but before long, Chris felt the holds and somehow, the spitty rain wasn't affecting them. The rock was good to go and we began to work Chillax.

Ron hadn't sent it before and Chris had sent it a hundred times... I was somewhere in the middle of having never done it and being overly familiar with it and wanted to see if I could repeat it again today.

I narrowly missed out on one of my attempts, but I brushed the mats on my way through the campus move, so it wouldn't have couldn't anyway! It would seem my body was wasted tired after my efforts on the previous lines. Chillax eluded me today.

Both Ron and Chris sent the line - Ron for the first time and Chris with an extension that he'd never done before. Chris then did Chillax Left (6c+?).

We finished up there and moved on up to the Fin (7a+)

I was so tired by then and the wind was only picking up. It was wild.

I tried the Fin and was totally and completely shut down, I moved around the corner and had a bit of a laugh trying the 7b+ slab that runs up the left hand side of the Fin Boulder. Couldn't do it and Ron suggested we go try 'The Arete Right of the Fin' (6b).

The stupid first move has left me totally stumped on past occasions, however - today, with the help of Ron's left foot beta, I made the opening move and got established on the block!

Ron sent the line in two different approaches, and after he did, Chris had a couple of attempts and sent it too.

I had been up at the jug before the top and had somehow slipped off.

'The Arete Right of the Fin' is on my ticklist and I definitely wanted to put it away today. As soon as I became established on the opening move again I took my time and made sure of every move. It was a nice little send and a nice little tick to get it as the sun set.

We headed down from the Fin (it'll have to wait for another day as we were all shut down on it) and Chris was keen to give 'Pascals' (7b) a go.

There was nothing left in the tank for me though and I just kind of sat and watched Chris as he totally crushed the rock, ending his day by sending the 6c stand start and the 7b sitter, first go.

Mightily impressive.

Amazing day out climbing - only a pity about the hurricane!

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