James on the 'Twin Aretes'
Today I went to the Scalp with Shane, We quickly met up with Dave, John and Kev but I couldn't climb properly! My arms didn't pull, my core rendered me a rag doll and my head was so far out of the game, that before I got to the scary part of one of the problems, i was too scared to get to it.
So I dropped off.
I got scared, with 4 pads on the ground and 4 lads standing under me spotting before I got to the potentially scary part of the climb.
That's never really happened before - usually I'm pretty good at dismissing the near misses and wobbles of others and keeping in mind that I might have my own way and it might not be scary at all... But today I looked at the lads as they topped out on the Twin Arete boulder (which Dave has converted into the single right arete) and saw them all waver slightly and imagined myself peeling off the top of it and got too scarred to even try.
I couldn't even try.
We arrived and started on LDF and John and Kev made it look simple. Their technique on the line was so clean, it was invisible and watching them made me think I'd easily put it away. But I just couldn't and didn't get near it. Dave caught it from the second move in and Shane had an all or nothing 'one last go' and sent the line from start to finish.
We rocked up to Ahabs and aside from John, none of us really got near it. Dave did a radical throw in an attempt to lank the problem, but out-spanned himself and had to step off, Kev tried too and had the same result.
Tom arrived mid session as did James. James came to climb, and poor Tom came to get a slagging and pick up some draws off Dave for his trip to Margalef this evening. Very jealous.
We moved on over towards 'Primer' afterwards and stopped at the 'Twin Aretes'. Again, Kev and John sent the problem to the left with relative ease.
John attempting the crack climb (not in the guide - dunno the name)
My body totally let me down though as there was little or no umph in my 'dynamic' throw from the crack to the arete that runs up the top of the boulder.
James and Dave were both giving it socks when out of nowhere, Dave employed the use of a trad right hand jam and a font-esque left drop knee and did the move statically. Completely radical and the idea of it left the rest of us a little uninspired... John suggested Dave needed to google 'bouldering'!!! ;)
Dave's hand jam/drop knee technique left us all a bit shaken after he fell from it and his hand stuck in the crack -
we were all glad he's about 8ft tall - a shorter man would have snapped his wrist.
James tried Dave's technique but it didn't work and in the end everyone's attention was diverted to the 'Twin Aretes' problem. The lads all sent it using only the right arete and I was left a little disgusted at the fact that I'd wussed out entirely.
I was psyched to have a look at Primer and didn't know what to expect. It looks cool, but the landing drops away in a pretty unforgiving manner and the problem was drowned in sunlight, added to which it's out of my difficulty range (even on a good day) and so I said I'd head down and try 'Dark Angle'. Shane came down with me and we were soon joined by Dave and James.
There was much fun had trying to work out the beta but in the end, despite my best efforts at trying to be graceful and climb the line... the best method seemed to be humping it and we all sent the stand start that way.
John and Kev arrived down from trying Primer and John gave a demonstration of how to climb Dark Angle. Shane was inspired to have another all or nothing blast at it and suddenly caught the opening move and got to the top before falling short on the humping technique we'd all used to top the thing out.
He tried again and fell,
One last try.
Shane sending Dark Angle
Shane and I hit the road and the lads headed back up the valley to find some crack that James had spotted earlier.
Great morning hanging out with the lads.
I've gotta get back into climbing.