Friday, October 27, 2006

Friday - Cuvier re-match

Scott was really feeling the effects of yesterday on his ankle, so was going for a rest day anyway. We went to the Carrefour up past Cuvier first, to get the obligatory Pommerol before getting the last bit of climbing in. It was a little damp still, and not sticky damp either. But the warmup went well, Marie Rose first time, other stuff flashed and I felt more comfortable, both from having had a rest day so the skin and muscles were better, plus more accustomed to the style of climbing.

I had intended to purely try to get on Charcuterie, via Dutch's sequence of go for the RH crimp from the undercuts, rather than getting into the other undercut. But Scott persuaded me to get on the arete that I'd briefly tried on Wednesday. RH slot, LF on good hold, rock up on LF nobble to get LH sloper / crimpy layaway depending on how you prefer to take it, RF by LF and LF onto smear, then RH into crimp, RF goes into starting slot and then LF kind of hooking / flagging on the side of the arete to throw LH for high chickenhead. RH comes onto pinch the arete above the chickenhead , get the feet high (RF into RH crimp?) and go for the top of the arete, whereupon you really shouldn't fall since it's a good hold and you'd probably miss the mat if you fell from there anyway.

Whereas previously, I couldn't even sort out my feet enough to get the RH into the crimp and do the crux throw for the top, this time I did it first go, despite the damp. Just pysche and concentrate, sufficient rest and skin. Fucking basic things.

There was a group under Charcuterie, so I had a play on L'Abbatoir instead. Not done it for probably eleven years. Couldn't remember the sequence, I was getting close using a high LH sloper and kneebar, but conditions / skin / strength / time weren't permitting it today. Only had three goes, got further each time, but had to sack it off.

Had quite a speedy journey back up; at one point Scott had to brake for a van that was going slowly in the fast lane and fortuitously went past a gendarme with a speed gun. I commented that was a bit lucky and maybe we ought to observe the speed limits. Alas, he got clocked doing 126 in an 80 zone at the turn-off for the ferry-port and we got a motorcycle escort to a cashpoint to pay the 90€ fine.

Got home without too much bother, quick Thai curry and then crashed.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Thursday - Apremont

Still no rain, so went to Apremont with the team again. Left my stuff in the car, to enforce the rest day and hopefully just help Scott climb well. He had a good warm up on a few yellows and then the others arrived and we moved over to a new area. Scott, Laura, Sarah and Fi were doing the blues and other stuff to warm up. Scott's ankle seemed to be holding up under all the strapping. Wandered under a problem that Laurie was trying. Cligne de l'oeil, or Wink as it's translated. Font 7a of loveliness; RH high layaway, step up to get good LH dish / crimp. RH crimpy layway, LF into starting (staring!) pocket and then RF heel-hooking on starting layaway. Go for top, match, shuffle right to the good bit and sort the feet out before pressing out the top. Scott got it fourth go or something, very good effort. That's his trip basically, Font 7a in Font. Fair play. Laurie left it for later.

Mooched off to join the others over at Delta Roc, up the route de la solitude. Didn't remember / realise that Apremont is so big. Delta Roc again is 7a, didn't quite look like my sort of thing (slabby arete) but again, quality problem. Scott wasn't quite trusting his ankle on that one, understandable. Again, hero effort from Laurie, getting it seventh go or something stupid, on his fifth day on. Dutch got it with a more obvious hooking method, as did Dave or Hoggie, can't remember which. Barson was close too.

Over finally to Science Friction and la Lune (6c), which was Fi's demon for the day. Couldn't quite get on the top hold enough to pull onto it. Looked good; Scott thought that the first move was too powerful the way she was doing it, but then he'd had a long day. La fleur de rhum (7a+) a bit further up looked flashable; Emma was making progress on it, and then a lovely wall to the right of it, on chickenhead weirdness above a nasty landing (6c/7a?). Coefield said it's not too bad though - he did it last Christmas and exited left rather than right due to snow on top! (Like a Baboon trying to open a Kinder egg!)

Again, Laurie went back to Cligne de l'oeil and got it with the new sequence. Respect.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Wednesday - Cuvier

No rain in sight, so on to Cuvier with the team. Started to warm up but felt very sore. Kept going anyway, just to make sure that I wouldn't let any sort of recovery happen today. Thrashed on Marie Rose, tried three times on some 7a arete opposite la Forge that Laurie was doing. Just not happening, so left the guys to it and Hop-a-long and I went into Font to meet Fi and Emma. Fi was doing some shopping for her new house; Emma was just being professional and avoiding the temptation to climb. Had the world's most expensive beer in one of the cafes and took off to prepare for the BBQ at the gite. Bloody palace!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Tuesday - Isatis

Late risers, to give the day a chance to dry out the rock. Then went to Isatis; my intention was to have a fairly long day of easy-ish problems on the reds and then take a rest day prior to blasting on Thursday. That tied up with the forecast that we had, that Wednesday was supposed to bucket it down.

We got to Isatis and it didn't seem too bad. The wind was up and drying things out nicely, so sent the guys a text telling them to get their arses in gear. Apparently that tipped them sufficiently to come out, since they were sat there arguing about where would dry out first.

Scott and I did most of the first eighteen reds (missed out a few wet ones), repeating a few that were enjoyable. I didn't feel that I was climbing that well, but felt fairly strong and was looking forward to getting some stuff done. Scottie seemed to be having fun as well and was pretty tuned in to the climbing. The guys arrived, Scott flashed the Crocodile thing (silly thing, see Bleau video / DVD) and we had a bit of lunch.

Then followed the guys over to the Hautes Plaines. Never been over there before, really cool place. Quieter than Isatis and some really nice problems to do. I was trying a problem in a pit up on the ridge; only around 6c but it wasn't happening. Couldn't understand it. We went up a bit higher to where BANKSIE! had found a (7a) roof to suit Emma, but again, I couldn't climb for shit, couldn't concentrate, just thrashed and wasted muscle and skin. Scott looked good on it, Laurie(sp?) was so impressive, getting it about tenth go, just really fighting and stubborn. Oh well, just leave it for another day.

Did I bollocks. Dutch and Kim were trying a really enticing wall lower down (pull on with RH crimp, flag and go up for small projection to balance with LH before extending for high LH crimp / slight gaston. Skin too sore to pull on, but tried a few times, just to make sure.

Then Scott sprained his ankle playing rounders, and I had to help him walk off.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Monday - travelling down

Christ, Scott had a shitty journey last night. But he got here finally and we had a few hours kip before heading out to miss the joys of the M25 on a Monday morning. Got to Dover early doors and snagged an earlier ferry. Ferry food sucks! I don't think there are any eggs in the scrambled eggs, and the beans were watery and tastlesss. Should have stuck to croissants, but I was trying to keep the healthy thing going.

Got to Milly in just under four hours - not bad. Sorted out the tents - John had forgotten to include pegs to the one I'd borrowed, so we improvised and sent slagging texts. Then headed off to Apremont, thinking that it was a bit showery, but it would be close to the road.

Arse. Road was closed, so couldn't drive all the way to the main car park. Instead, parked at the south end and bush-whacked around for a bit.

Finally got to the near car park area. Easy problems were all wet, so ended up doing stuff that was probably too hard, and wasted too much skin. Stupid, where's my self-control? That's what happens when you don't get out on rock much.

Didn't hear back from the others, so we just sorted out food at the campsite. It started to bucket down, so we cooked at the toilet block, hopefully not setting a precedent for the rest of the trip.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Pre-Font trip

So, I've been training reasonably well. I had a bit of a gastric infection a week ago and missed some training, but otherwise I think I'm going pretty well and hope to do some good stuff. Last time I was in Font (two years ago!) I was not quite doing Surprise (bad sequence) and was trying Alta as well, but had the sequence really bad for that. I was trying to go from the starting crimps to a high left good flat hold, but the normal way is to reach into the undercut first with the right and then move across using an intermediate. Hoping to do better with it this time - I've put 5 kg onto my deadhang whilst maintaining the same weight, so I'm stronger than last time. On blobs at Craggy, I'm doing OK, but it will be interesting to see how it transfers to rock.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Mirroring the parents

Al took Callum to a third birthday party for one of his friend's yesterday. One of his other friend's 'had to sit on the naughty step' for spitting at Callum, but Elliot came up to the Bash later and apologised. Callum's response?

'That's not good enough, Elliot'! Where did he learn that ...