Friday, 28 September 2012

“Not Bad For an An Cap Athlete”


For the previous two years I have been heading up to Kilnsey for a weekend of climbing at one of the UK’s best sport climbing crags. With my A Levels done and a long holiday before starting uni, I decided I would take some long trips up there this summer.
            The weather looked iffy but according to some reliable sources (the oracle that is Ian Dunn), Kilnsey was on. I headed up with fellow GB climber Buster Martin in my trusty steed (a little blue Kia Picanto). When we arrived we found that the sun was shining and the crag was dry. We walked in and warmed up on two easy routes called The Directissima F6c and The Bulgelette F6b+. With these done and feeling warmed up I pulled on The Bulge F8a. I got all of the moves worked quickly and found myself lowering off from the top psyched and thinking that this route would definitely go. I tried it twice more on this day but it didn’t go. I got a good high point on my second redpoint, which was one clips from the top.
The second day saw us at Malham Cove, it was an absolute suntrap and as it turned out it was too hot to climb anything hard. I managed to do Seventh Aardvark F7b on my second redpoint. After this I pulled onto Raindogs F8a but it was just so greasy because of the heat I could barely do any of the moves. We headed off back to the shade of Kilnsey and I had two more goes on The Bulge, dropping the last hard move twice. Gutted. We walked off back to the campsite and cooked some dinner. Morrisons Value Chilli definitely hit the spot after a long day.
Third day and I warmed up and had two more goes on The Bulge. It wasn’t to be. I stripped the clips out as my skin was getting destroyed. I then went on and did WYSIWYG F7b on second redpoint.
Fourth day and I was back at Kilnsey. After warming up on the usual routes I managed to flash Smooth Torquer F7a+. With this done I had a look round or something else to try and before I knew it, Ian Dunn rocks up to the crag. With his recommendation of The Last Gasp Finish F7b, I pulled on, worked the moves and put the clips in. I came down, had a rest and then went for the redpoint. I pulled through the hard bottom section fairly ok and was in the mid point rest. I took a long rest there and fully recovered. I carried on and pulled through to the chain. Done. Sick route. Cheers Ian. With three F7b’s and an F7a+ I went for one last ditched effort for glory. A flash attempt on a new route called Dead Calm F8a. It is an extension of WYSIWYG that goes through a steep overhanging upper section. An F7b followed by an F7b with a V5 boulder problem to get the chain. It looked amazing and I couldn’t wait. I set off strongly and ticked WYSIWYG, took the mid point rest and pulled through the second section and took the rest just before the V5 Boulder problem. All felt good and I was on huge jugs. I rested for a long time. Too long. I pulled through three moves on the V5 and came off. So close yet so far. Still. As my coach Tom Randall once said, “Not bad for an An Cap Athlete”.

Thanks to Evolv, PrAna, Metolius and The GB Climbing Team