Sunday, January 1, 2012


Sean tearing the place apart.

We waited.

I had contacted Sean and told him that Tim would pick us up at 9.30 in Rathmines and we'd head to Wicklow...

Sean was eager and I'm always eager and so it got to 9.40 and the two of us were nervous... Tim's not usually late... So I called him.

Phone off.

Tim's phone is never off...

Uh oh... 'Eh... well, I'm sure he'll be here soon' - there's no way he's gonna miss bouldering today...

9.45... Still no sign and no response to a text I'd sent earlier about a change of rendezvous point... and his phone was still telling me it was off. Ehhh... Call Chris, see if I got the day wrong or something...

No Answer.

Call James who SURELY would be out bouldering with Tim on New Years Day... No Answer.

Call Tim... Ringing - phew! Tim picks up and tells me that his phone was in fact on but out of signal and that he'd just come back into range of a signal and received a million text messages and 24,000 missed calls...

He was around the corner.

I suppose the thing that exacerbated the whole timeline (cause in fairness he was only 15 minutes late!!) was the fact that Rathmines was so very vacant and quiet this morning and it kind of felt like the area had been abandoned of people!!

We set off and the skies were blue above us.

Sean, Tim and I kicking off 2012 as it should be kicked off!!

We rampaged through Tim's pathside warm up circuit in Glendalough and it worked! I was cold to begin with and was actually warm when we were finished. We threw in the Nu Rails (6c) in the middle of the 10-15 or so problems we ran through and to my surprise I did pretty well on it - making the hard first move and standing up on the two opening slopers... Was a little disappointed not to top out first go, but not to worry... Someday.

Tim and Sean both did it first go.

Me on 'Tim's Mantle'

Tim was in flying bouldering form today. He flashed the Nu Rails, did Tim's Mantle quickly and made a bloody good effort at the Pascals Sitter, which I now have the beta for.

As I received nothing less than a tutorial on how to climb Pascals (7b) from Tim (Thank you Tim!), he suddenly popped off the problem as his points of contact blew from the rock and he landed just behind the pad on another rock, on his ass. I should have been quicker.

Sean getting close to repeating 'The Egg Traverse'

Chris and Sean were working on Barry's as yet unrepeated Egg Traverse, which people who know say might go at around 7b or 7c. Chris had the end sequence dialed when Tim and I returned from Pascals. A quick break was had and we ate sandwiches and had some tea. Chris got back on the problem and I started taking footage on his camera of their attempts.

Himself and Sean were SO close to finishing it, but the start seems to be energy zapping and in the end - even though the problem had been worked out by both men in overlapping sections - it would have to wait.

It's a really impressive problem - the feet at the end where the hard moves are - become blind foot placements and the sloper that one has to match to finish seems to quickly become greasy with traffic.

Sean playing the whistle as we set up at Big Jane

We moved over to the Big Jane Boulder across the river and Chris and Sean started working on The Groove (7c). The start is, for my eye, such an elegant yet powerful position. Every muscle engaged in a sort of balletic pose.

The Groove (7c)

Tim was working on Andy's Arete with me and it was the same old story. The foot placement on the Arete is too tenuous... one day it'll stick and I'll get the problem, but I won't have done anything different to what I'm doing now... it'll just be warmer or cooler, or twelve minutes to One O'Clock instead of Ten Minutes to, or I'll blink twice instead of once, or my fingernails will be 0.1 of a mm shorter...

Understandably - having done the problem before and not having much luck on it this afternoon - Tim joined the lads on 'The Groove'.

Ding, ding, ding and he'd done the opening section.

He tried the stand and made the moves before the top out so easily I thought I had to give it a go. It must be noted that there was a bit of a moment as Tim's mind wrestled with the idea of topping out with a small amount of moss to the right of the massive break he had his hand in... but he got it together in the end and over he went.

The amount of guff I took today from those lads, means I don't feel too guilty about mentioning Tim's slightly lady-like behavior at the top of that boulder!!!! ;)

In the end though - the joke was really on everyone else as Tim was the closest to getting the Sitter to 'The Groove' (7c) sent. It's one foot swap that needs to be worked out before it's done.

Savage effort from him.

Chris's amazing jacket gets shared out!

In the middle of the serious work the lads were putting in, I flashed the stand start to 'the Groove' which is down as 6c, but I'd say is more like 6b... Maybe 6b+, but probably not.

Chris came close to putting the sitter together and Sean put in the same serious work that saw him get up to the foot swap position as well, but it was definitely Tim who looked the most comfortable.

I worked away on Andy's Arete (7a+) and then, when the lads started failing on 'The Groove' they came over to join me.

Chris nearly sent it on his first go and quickly put it away on his second, leaving the rest of us wondering how in the name of @&*£ he places his foot so precisely on a blind edge of nothing before dancing his way up the rest of the problem.

After that, Tim had to head off and we were all totally shattered anyway.

Absolutely brilliant first day's bouldering in 2012.
Cheers Tim!

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