Sunday, April 29, 2012

The Connemara double

On Saturday I had the privilege of climbing the 'best route in Connemara' and the 'best boulder problem in Connemara', Carrot Ridge and Highawatta. I christened it the Connemara double.

Carrot Ridge in the stepped ridge on the LHS of the crag

Ped on P3 just after he broke a foothold

The top of the Second Step

Two down jackets

Another party on P3


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Scalp slab

Went to the Scalp this morning to clean a slab that we had tried just over ten years ago. I abbed down and gave it a good clean, some of the ivy had even taken good hold. Sorted the landing and tried the moves on the rope. At first they felt desperate and in my head I had decided I was going to leave it, but after a rest it came together very quickly. I quickly did the crux a few times in a row, which invovles palming down on a smear and a large crystal. Was pleased but this also meant I was going to have to do it.

It's not that high but the ground drops away and there is a rock. I went through the rest of the moves and gave it another brush. I started trying it from the ground without the rope and it felt pretty ok but I decided to leave it. I will get back later in the week with another pad and a spotter.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Wicklow Gap

Got out early today to beat the rain. Checked out a few problems I tried in May 2010. Still couldn't do the roof but was very bloody close. Bit annoying really. Ran out of chalk is the offical excuse. Tried the slab to the left that I didn't bother with last time. Absolutely immaculate rough, blank granite. Gradually steepening with a bulge at the top. The very top was wet which didn't help. I had been wondering recently why we didn't have any/many good pure smeary slabs, well this is a prime example. There was one hold of sorts a tiny little divot but it wasn't much use. Just pure smearing. Great. Took a about 5 falls on it that invovled running down the slap and jumping for the pad. They all went ok but there was potential to bursting. (Pad is around 9 feet below and 9 feet out from your feet at the crux). Will come back to it when it's dry.

Then drove up to the Wicklow Gap carpark and walked down to a boulder Seamus did some problems on a few years back. There are maybe, 4/5 quality lines on it. Some needed a bit of a clean. The central line took a lot of effort interuppted by rain and hail showers. Finally got it even though the top holds were damp. 6a+ maybe. Be interesting to see what Seamus gave it. I used every trick in the book to get up it. Thumb-cutting. Palm pinches.

Did a bit of photoshop on this, is it overdone?

Really enjoyed the battle. As much as I was on my own and had to work it out entirely for myself. Don't think I would of put as much in (= get as much out) if I had company. Does that make me a prospective serial killer?

Then went and sorted some landing for 2 great looking slab problems but was too wet to try them at that stage.

Got a call from James Gernon who got lost looking for Gullyblock. The shame of it (for me). I can easily imagine crawling through a dense forest guidebook in hand cursing me.

Lots happening at the moment which is great. Must of been that moan I had about the scene. It feels like I (my pals and I) have had the place to ourselves for years, which was cool, but it's great to see other people getting out there exploring, cleaning and climbing new problems. For year it's all been about Glendo and I'm glad to see people looking beyond that. Thought to be honest it takes a little getting used to, I definitely have a sense of urgeny now, which is good. But there is plenty to go around anyway.

Good day. Lucky with the weather.

theshortspan is updated

I updated theshortspan last week. Tidied up a bit and there is now a shiny new forum as well. There is a blogroll and list of the latest forum posts on the left column. The right column will be for news. I can only put up what I hear so let me know if you have done anything interesting or new or have any good photos or videos.

This blog will focus on my day to day stuff.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Grand friday

Initially planned to go to the Quarry but decided to take the chance and head further a field. I prefer to keep local places like the Quarry and the Scalp for the evenings or when I don't have time to go further.

I believe there was a good few out in the Scalp today. Would be good to get a regular mid-week session going there.

Went down to a misty Wicklow Gap. Was pretty cold when we got out of the car. The inital boulders we visted were wet thanks to the driving mist, spotted a really nice slabby wall with around 5/6 nice looking slabs on it. The landing is slightly sloping but nothing a bit of light engineering can't sort.

Went to a more sheltered hillside and looked at a few things. Had a micro-revelation about the sheer volume of rock in the Wicklow Hills. There is tons, a lifetime easily. I keep a list of projects I want to climb/clean/try and it only gets longer. Probably added another dozen problems to it today.

Played on a rock I had been to a few times before and spotted a line that I'm not sure how I missed. Almost perfect arete, has holds but looks hard. Very highball, a route really. Going to try it on a rope once Ped gets me my stakes.

Ped and I spent ages on a nice rounded yoke. The crucial holds were filthy and we didn't have the mean to clean it. Ped has a ladder for me down in Munster which should be perfect for that sort of thing. We gave it a good few goes. nice moves. Codename: Optimus Prime. Will go after a clean.

 Stopped off at the hut on the way home and did the arete on Zef's boulder. Such nice rock, very draining problem. Bad value at 6a+ I'd say. Anyone done it?