Thursday, 15 September 2011

"Look at them, its just so dangerous and irresponsible, they are just so stupid" By Jen Wilby

In my previous post I spoke about why we climb. Unless you have been there and done it, you may be tempted to voice a comment like the above. Which is what I heard whilst walking into Malham.

With a 12 month road trip on the horizon, we decided to get some time in on the UK crags. The first - a 10 day trip up to Malham - which turned out to be one of the best trips I have ever been on. The place, the climbing, the people, the psyche, living out of the van, living the simple life style - bliss. These are the reasons why I climb.

I've avoided Malham for the last 6 years (as long as I have been climbing!) due to the historic nature of how hard it is and because I never thought of myself as being good enough. I think I was right to leave it so long, as I got the chance to complete some amazing routes and meet some phenominal and inspirational people.

Everyone talks about Malham as having polished footholds and being very physical. The latter is certainly true - you know when you've been climbing at Malham after two days! However, for someone who avoids polish, you ended up being so immersed in the moves, you forget about the footholds and it just flows.

The routes I did were amazing, each and every one of them, on good rock with absorbing moves. The ones that stood out for me over the ten days were "Just another Dead End Job" F7a & "Bongo Fury" 7b - both because of the moves involved. The first had a hard start on side pulls, after lots of gurning and puffing, it's a satisfying first couple of clips. The latter route, because of the moves at the top, from gaston to gaston on poor feet. Alot of people tell you to breathe whilst climbing, if you breathe at the top of this - your off!

The other highlight of the trip was my partner making an acsent of "New Dawn" a classic F7c. We're heading back in the next few weeks for him to finish off The Maximum, which looks like a tough F7c+, with the crux being in the first few meters. Happy Days!

We spent the majority of the time at Malham, however we did managed a couple of days at Kilnsey, which sadly coincided with my rest days, it is an amzing crag and the cafe down the road also does an amzing fry up (hmmm probably why both days turned into rest days!).

Whilst at Malham we got to watch som amazing climbers, including Robbie Phillips and Dave Barran's. I'd recommend Malham to anyone wanting a physical challange and a memorable experience.

Following this trip - came the post Malham blues :( which have included so far, the flu, screaming tendons and the general loss of ability and psyche to climb plastic. Something I know we all experience. So I decided to take it steady for a few weeks and relax. Reading Climbing Centre had the final of their Summer Festival. It was a fantastic day and was a good experience to test out the blocs whilst they were being set. Turned out not to be so much of a rest!

I've been busy working in London this week so I managed to get to the Westway and the Arch. The Arch has an amazing roof which got the biceps pumping, albeit it for not very long!

The end of the year is fast appraoching, which means the road trip is on the horizon! The plan until then is to carry on training (tendon dependant), get back to Malham then hopefully have an awesome grit season - hmmm best get my sloper training started! Bring on the cold weather!

Happy Climbing !

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