Monday, 23 January 2012

A 7b called Lucy

Hey Everyone!

Me and Simon had a great weekends sending so thought I’d put up a blog about it! We have both had projects since we got here 2 weeks ago, Simon an 8a and me a 7b.
Simon’s project was again a very bouldery route, probably more so than his first 8a. It started with what looked like a nails hard boulder problem, Simon said that this was a boulder problem at his limit so around 7b, really cool moves! Which then went into a short hard route, Simon was unsure how to grade this part of the route, he thinks maybe 7a. The last part of the route looked very committing, basically reaching round a bulge to sloapy crimps and then throwing a right heel up there by his head to then clip the belay! It went quicker than his first 8a, was a great effort!

I chose to do a 7b as so far I haven’t felt as thought I’ve been climbing truly at my limit on routes and it’s kinda been bugging me, I was pretty sure 7b would be hard for me so decided to get on it and see what I could do if I applied myself to a route! Simon even told me after I had sent it that it was 7b+ in the old guide so defo solid for the grade! (He didn’t wanna tell  me before as he thought it might physce me out! Bless him!) The route I chose was called Lucy, it is to the right of a beautiful 7a that I did last time we were in Siurana, so I spied it from that route and thought it looked really cool! It is super bouldery with big moves between reasonable holds which is perfect for me! (I say reasonable holds I doubt I would said the same at the beginning of the trip! :P) But yeah it really couldn’t have been more my style! And the fact that it was called Lucy aswell was kinda funny! Simon said he would describe the route as he would describe me, ‘Short, engrossing & difficult’ my comeback to this was ‘don’t you mean short, engrossing & strong?!’ hahaha :P

It took me 2 sessions to work out the best beta for me, I think I would possibly have done this in 1 session but in the first session I was trying Simon’s beta, well actually more our friend Jason’s beta as this is what Simon used when he climbed the route, seeing as Jason is over 6 foot and much stronger than me it turns out his beta didn’t suit me that well (surprise, surprise!). I also had to limit how long I spent on the route when working out the moves in order to keep my injury in check.
Once I had worked out my beta I started to go for it, on my first day I did too hard a warm up so ended up really tired and couldn’t actually do anything usefully! I do think I was tired from working the route as well so first session was a write off! After that I was getting stuck going past the crux, I couldn’t work out why it was happening, it was very frustrating! I always say when I watch climbing movies how annoying it is when people fall off stuff and scream really loudly but this is exactly what I was doing so I take it all back!! Haha :P Falling when redpointing really helped though as I didn’t realize but not wanting to fall was sketching me out a bit, I don’t generally have a problem with falling anymore but it felt really different doing moves so hard for me above bolts but once I had fallen afew times was totally comfortable again. In the end I realized that I had to take a certain hold as an undercut rather than a gaston and after that I could get through the crux everytime. From then on it was small progressions each time I got on the route, it took 11 redpoints over 6 days. The day before the last day I fell off after clipping the last draw. As u can imagine this was the worst time for my blood curdling scream! There were afew people around this day so I was sorry to have been ruining everyone’s peaceful time!! I realized the reason I fell off was down to bad beta, basically this part of the route was the ‘easy bit’ so I didn’t really have a sequence here. So I worked it out properly and did it I think 6 times one after the other when I was super tired and in the hot sun. So then I knew I could do it in any state!
So the next day was our last day……under pressure much?! I had put so much effort in I knew I would have been gutted to walk away and not have done it. I was thinking that morning about Dave Macleod’s training blog’s and his book as his stuff has really helped me with my climbing, thanx Dave! Haha. And I was thinking about his scientific approach, trusting in sports science etc. And I knew each time I had gotten on the route I had made clear progress each time and that the only logical progression left was to get past the last draw to the belay! The only thing stopping me was how knackered I felt!! My warm up this day was atrocious! I climbed so badly and felt quite unwell to be honest so I thought my chance of sending was pretty low, but I tried to keep positive, before I left the ground on the route I counteracted any negative thoughts with positive ones and went for it. The crux didn’t go as smoothly as usual but the top section which I usually found really awkward and pumpy I cruised it! Could not believe it when I clipped the belay I was so physced!!
All the effort I put in was totally worth it, I think I could get used to this redpointing business!
I learnt a lot from this process so hopefully the next one will be quicker! What I learnt was (this info is for Jim!!) –
1. Do not try and use someone’s beta when they are way taller & stronger
2. Be sure your crux beta works (I wasted 3 redpoints due to this mistake)
3. Make sure your comfortable falling (which should happen anyway as if your not falling your not trying hard enough!! haha)
4. Don’t underestimate the ‘easy bits’ of the climb, have a definite sequence for each section
5. Positive thinking and enjoying the route will get you up it so make sure you love the route! J
6. Always go to the top of the route at least once during each session so you know the moves like the back of your hand (shouldn’t be a prob in brizzle as wouldn’t leave my draws anyway but don’t clip stick it at the end of the route when tired, this is the best time to do the moves anyway as you may be tired when you crush!)
7. Always do a useful warm up, don’t be afraid to just take if you end up getting on a route that is too much as you don’t wanna sap all your energy! (this was my stubbornness wanting to onsight a certain route the day I was too tired and that cost me a redpointing session!)
8. Aim for small improvement’s each day and be happy with your achievement’s! Again keep positive! (i.e. Doing the moves, linking the crux, getting new high points, getting good links etc)

So now we have just 3 weeks remaining! Can’t believe it has been a fantastic trip, I have gone from my hardest lead being 6b+ to now 7b which I never thought would be possible! We r heading to 2 bouldering area’s in Spain called el cogul and savasonna, these r small local areas that you wouldn’t really come to Spain especially for so thought it would be cool to check them out while we are here! Then over to France to Venasque and Buoux for some routes, then Font, then home! Can’t wait to see everyone! Really excited! See you all then!

Much love!
Lucy x

Sunday, 1 January 2012

new years

Happy new year everyone

well what can i say the last year has been the best year ever which makes 2012 one in which im going to really need to try hard to have as good a time, hope all you guys had just as good a year and that your new years resoloutins will be followed through.

Here we went for the final clinb of the season and again attempts on my project trying to end the perfect year with a send of the perfect route, but allas it wasnt to be i am broken and battered far to tired to send it i did reach my previous high point twice but with nothing left for the final powerful move to easyer ground, it is strange i have never had to try so hard and give everything for such a long time on a route, i normaly cant do it or dont send because of hesitation, being intimidated by moves not having a good sequence or lack of effort, this one i am giving everything i have and after 2 goes in a day i am waisted and im only doing 13ish moves!!! i can feel today that i am starting to feel a bit ill so will be taking a few rest days then when fresh i will be jumping back on it and crushing, theres a few photos below cheers to Lucy for the camera skills,

New years night was a chilled afair with all being totaly knackered from the days climbing, fearing we wouldnt make it to midnight we chatted drank champagne and then revitalised with coffee :). midnight came to the sounds of spandu ballet. then David muttered the thoughtfull words of lets have a night climb to see the new year in, so fuelled with a few beers we headed to the closest crag to climb our first climb of the year at 12.15 am!! head torches donned were off climbing in our own little bubble or light, after warming up on a 6a+ i decided to try something a little harder and managed to squeeze out a night onsight of a 6c+ with a few mutters of david watch me here i cant see my feet, and him saying i cant see you how far abovethe bolt are you:). thankfully on this climb i didnt have a beer can in my chalk bag as chalk was most deffinatly needed.

see you all soon

simon and lucy

setting up for the first hard move

taking the pocket

jumping for the pinch

take the swing

position the heal

Crank on the heal

 new year team

Drunken dog

the girls looking lovely

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

xmas chilling

hey all

lots to talk about in this blog well the first its been xmas hope you all

had a wicked time, we chilled out here had a bit of a easy climb in the sun

then settled down with friends around a fire and enjoyed a roast dinner

lovingly prepaired by lucy and very nice it was, all washed down by home

made eggnog :)

been climbing a fair bit since then not been trying the project as i have

been super achey from the strenuous positions on it, so have been onsighting

and trying easyer stuff. have managed to flash my first 7c so super happy

with that, Big thanks to david and ayla for the amaxzing beta and


Also a bit late but we have finaly found the video from the flour explosion

we talked about when we were in ceuse in august. here it is for your viewing

pleasure :)

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Xmas, crushing and wild pigs

Heya all

Another sunny day here in margaleff and another rest day in tres pins on the internet.

well since last message we have had lots of stuff happening, we had a fire one bitter cold night and drank hot sangrea and wine. with the friendly neighbours. At around 10pm we heard what sounded like 2 really big cats fighting lots of schreeching and weird noises then they came closer and closer up the river then grunting and other noizes from what sounded really big, the dogs didnt like it and guess what it was massive wild pigs, theres loads of scape marks in the floor where they have been forraging.

We had a rest day a few days ago where we went for a wander for a while and found a 500metre long cave with a vague trail going through it so i wanderred around with the head torch scrabling and squeezing my wat through all good fun with some weird formations there, if you come this way its worth checking out, from the parking head towards "Calamarta crag" then follow the resivour along the right hand edge then once oyu cross the bridge turn imediatly right and follow this to the cave then squeeze through the first bit and the back and it opens right up.

A funny thing we saw asweel was a french guy looking at a route called Photo shot(8b)  his friend had just tried it was obvious he was going to try and flash it as he was going through all the moves he felt the first few holds then cleaned them then tied in the rehursed what he was doing, there were maybe 10 people watching then he fafed a bit more then he grabbed the first holds and then went for the first move and was off swinging on the rope, so funny, he didnt look the most impressed.

We also have a christmas tree in the van now freshly sourched from margaleff  along with missle toe and other home made decorations.

we went out forraging here and got loads of almonds from a tree also the red things in the bowl next to them in the photo below, would you eat these? we have been told by loads of peopl that theyre edable, they have the texture of a peach with hardly any flavour, the dog loves them but they make her sick :).

I had another really good day  yesterday finnishing off tsunami which is a super bouldery hard 7c i tried the day before then warmed down on a 7b+ that i got 2nd go so amazing best day so far.

anywho thinking of bristol and home, speak soon all

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Projects and injuries

Hey all

Well in the last Blog i mentioned that I had found a 8a project and was working on it, i have since then had another 2 sessions on it and good progress has been made, i have linked upto the 6th bolt where there is a hard stopper move that i have come off at a few times due to having a stupid way of doing it i now have a much easyer way. So next time on it i hope to get past this and get a new high point. I have also linked from this point to the top with 1 40 second hang on the rope. So linked in 3 parts with a super short rest at each point. I am now confident that it will go given a bit of effort and time. It has been good as johnathan has joined me on this project it is his first 8a he is trying and he has done super well doing all the moves and linking to the 5th draw on his 2nd redpoint attempt.

We have both been discussing the route and have come to the conclusion that trying to project a 33metre super overhung endurance route is absoloutly exhausting. Both of us have bene feeling it in our stomachs.

However bad news is that the way i was trying the hard move was really tweaky on my knee and i have strained it a bit so will be taking a rest from this route for a few days to let it recover, my new way doesnt hurt it like the old way but still requires the use of a heal hook on the bad leg :(.

 Cheat stone are the only way to start

Missing the frist clip is a nescisary evil less drag and saving energy

 Steep start leads to a steep finnish

 Setting up for the Hero cut loose jump to a jug

 Johnathan pulling hard

 Johnathan on the i feel like a hero jump

Other good and bad news is that lucy has a 7b project at the crag next to where my project is yay, and she managed todo all the moves on it first go up then on the second linked the whole middle section yay. Bad news is that she has tweaked a finger on her left hand just after so is having to rest for a few days :( Its not looking to bad it is similar to what i did in bristol a year or so ago where you pull really hard on a 2 finger poicket with the middle 2 fingers where your ring finger is strait and pullin and your little finger is curled shut it stretches the muscle groupe that controles these fingers. Time will tell.

in other news tala has found a new Boyfriend who is being a bit ambitious and keeps on trying to hump her see photo :)

Climbing here has been good in addition to trying Dr feelgood i have managed to onsight a few 7b's and got a quick ascent of a really sustained 7c so pretty happy to be able to project and still get other things done.

Tray Trying hard

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Siurana, Margaleff and Home

Hey all

Loads of stuff happening here in sunny spain, we have spent another 4 days in siurana after the last message then having picked up my newly resoled shoes we headed back to margaleff where we are now most probably untill xmas,

Siurana was good whalst we were there Lucy managed to get a really cool 7a 3rd go called "es algo" in The grau Del Massets sector. Lucy had a really good attempt at flashing it where she made it through the hardest moves and got 3 moves away from a rest and the start of the easyer climbing. Was super impressive to watch. I had a good rest of hte time there onsighting managed to get anoter 7b+ and a few 7b's including one called "Fridolin" which was a 30 metre crimp fest up a buldging wall, i was super happy with this one as there was no chalk on it at all and it looked super blank it climbed really well but felt like each crimpy section went on a few moves longer than what was comfortable then a better hold to chalk then off again, then a really cool finnish with a mantle onto a small ledge then the chains,

We have now headed to margaleff and stocked up on some suplied on the way, including 2 items im well pleased with i have now got some Slippers!!! sad i know but they are massive warm things kindof like converse but like something off the simpsons. Also we have a doggy toy thats a pig which Oinks when you squeeze it, i think i have played with it more that the dog. She seems sligly miffed by it :)

We have had the sad decission to make whalst in siurana in that we have booked our return ferry we will be arriving back in england on 14th of febuary. so looking forw2ard to seeing you all. good times and sad times. Its been amazing here and were going to be making the most of our last 2 months to crush and achieve our aims, mine being to onsight a 7c and climb 8a,

On the 8a front i have a project here its a 30 metre pump fest called "dr feelgood" it starts super steep and gradualy eases as you get higher most of the holds are fairly good and there are no super hard moves just a really pumpy climb. I have bolt to bolted it twice and worked out all the sequences and clipping positions. Tomorrow and saturday if needed i will be heading there to try and crush, Photos and a report once i do hopefully crush it, I know there are 2 what i think will be redpoint cruxes which if i get past the first i will make it to the second and if i make it past the second i should make it to the top. But time will tell . . . . .

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Escaping the mist

Well we have left margaleff a few days ago as i was ill lucy wasnt feeling great and we had been stuck in low lying fog for a few days and it was generaly cold and damp and miserable, We decided to head to siurana or Arboli as they are both A few hundred metres higher than Margaleff, Having driven through fog for 45 minutes we arrived at the top of the Ridge which siurana is situated and blessed with a few minutes of sunshine before the fog rose up and obscured it. hopping for good weather in the morning we frequeneted the super nice refugio to bask in the warmth of the log fire and consume sickly hot chocolates.

Monring broke and brung with is a super cool inversion where the cloud level was below us giving the impression we were above a swirling white sea it stayed below us all day and again yesterday , although today it has finaly gone so heading back to margaleff in a few days to contiune crushing there (see photos for the inversion)

My stomach bug is much better now im climbing, not feeling achey and my feaver has gone, although having a super rich and spicy Curry a few days ago didnt help so plain food only for me the last few days.

Had a really good day today managed to onsight a super nice 35 metre 7B+ called "Muerte De la Sponsor" it features a fuper technicl crux on small crimps and super poor feet followed by some contiunous climbing into a rest then a Goey sprint from the last bolt to the chain. With the last move being a big slap from 2 poor holds to the finnishing Jug. once again i slapped and only just caught the edge of it with 2 fingers then ajusted and it was in the bag. Just before this i also onsighted a super fun 7B which started up a thin crack then headed into a steeper jugy section with a few spicy moves in the middle, I though that once i got the the end it was in the bag but alas a Tenuous Slabby section awaited me, 4 moves on sharp crozely crimps and bloind feet lead to the warming glow of te last few easy metres and the chains. All in all an amazing day