Last week saw me heading back to one of my favourite crags, Kilnsey with Orrin Coley. First on the agenda was to stop off at Manchester so that I could pick the keys up for my house for next year at uni. We arrived at lunchtime picked the keys up, nipped to Tesco’s to get food for the trip and killed some time walking around some park.
The morning came and we headed off from Manchester towards Kilnsey. Psyched for the days ahead of us. Already deciding what to get on first. I had a nemesis project from last year, which I was determined to get back on and hopefully send. It is called The Bulge F8a and is a line, which has stood out to me ever since the first time I went to Kilnsey four years ago. I got on the start of the route a couple of times which is The Bulgelette F6b+ to warm up and then dogged up The Bulge to put the clips in a re familiarize the moves. I pulled through each of the sections with relative ease and didn’t find any of it too hard. I was psyched and ready for some redpoints. I rested and went for a go, I got right to the top moves which are where I had done before but this time I had better beta. I pulled and just missed the letterbox crimp slot. I was a little disappointed but then I was happy with how I felt on the route, I wasn’t too pumped and I was confident it would go soon. I rested and had another go but fell at the same point as my left arm just gave in. I decided to have a little longer in the rest and then went for the third go of the day. I felt good climbing the bottom took the last good rest and then pressed onto the top. I arrived at the crux and then pulled through that, feeling fresh still I arrived at the final few moves where I had fell before. I was boxed now but managed to latch the hold. I pulled to the next, then the next and then I was clipping the chains. Super. After this route I decided to get on The Thumb F8a, as this has also been an inspiring line for a long time. Being short of draws though I was only able to work half of the route, this was still useful though so I was psyched for the second day.
We arrived back at the crag on the second day and I decided to sack off climbing until the afternoon. This was for two reasons. The first was that Orrin was working The Bulge and meant I didn’t have the any spare draws. The second was that it was just too hot. So with this in mind I stuck with belaying for a bit and before I knew it, Orrin had ticked The Bulge. Props to the boulderer doing a 26 metre pump fest route. I then got on The Thumb so that I could work the rest of the route. I got all the moves done, sorted the clips out and rested for a redpoint. I pulled on and then climbed it well; I got to a section and just blanked. I had no idea what I was doing and came off. With the section worked and a rest taken, I was back on for another go. I climbed the bottom well again and then reached a crux section and couldn’t clip, I almost got it in and then it slipped. Then with one big effort, I got the clip and was boxed out of my mind. I extended this clip and this made it so much easier. Lesson learnt there… That was me done for the day with pretty bad skin.
Second day was productive training but not good for ticking. I dropped the last move before the vertical top section that I knew shouldn’t be droppable five times and called it a day. Good endurance training though.
The last day arrived and was so psyched to get back on the route. The moves were sick and the line still looked so impressive. I warmed up and got onto some redpointing. With some better beta on the last hard move it was on. First go went and I got massive flash pump. I just thought to myself after this that it was a good thing; at least that’s out of the way. Second go went and I got a new highpoint and dropped the very very last hard move. Good. The new beta works a treat. Third go on and I felt good. I got past the hard move and latched a jug, took a rest. Pulling through the top wall I decided to take my time and take every rest going. And with these rests later came the top. Saweet. Second F8a of the trip. After this we went for one last route called Hardy Annual F7b. Orrin went for the onsight and had a sick fight on it to clip the top. I pulled on for a flash and dropped the bouldery start. I pulled back on after chilling on the ground for a minute or two and got past the hard bottom and started the upper wall. This was still really quite tricky and I was getting pumped. Skin hurting I pulled through to the last hold and clipped the chain. Brilliant.
Really happy with this trip and was so psyched to get two F8a’s which have been on my tick list for a long time. Thanks to Orrin for being patient on the belaying front and making it a sick trip. Check out his blog at http://www.orrincoleyclimbing.blogspot.co.uk
The Bulge – F8a
The Thumb – F8a
Hardy Annual – F7b