Posted: April 15, 2012
Yesterday, April 14th 2012, the Austrian Bouldering Nationals were held in Kitzbühel,Tirol. This year I decided to take a break of the comp scene because I am doing my diploma at Uni besides working half time so there would not be much room and time flexibility for comps and I'd rather spend my free time on the rock than on comp walls. But the nationals were one of the events I wanted to attend anyway so I was well excited when the day came and we drove to the comp site.
I trained a lot indoors the past months and felt in good shape, but had no clue what to expect, just that making finals would be a cool thing. With 44 starters in the male category, of which the best 8 would advance into the last round, it seemed like quite a challenge! The growing amount of strong comp boulderers and kids in the last years is just crazy!! The qualification went really well, I was able to top out 5 of the 8 problems and qualified for finals on 5th place, very pleased!
A couple hours later the finalists got introduced on stage and shortly
A very, very good gritstone boulder problem! I could leave it there but I will expand upon that sentence a little. This bloc is at a craglet by the name of Brandrith in North Yorkshire; it was climbed by Dave Sutcliffe a good few years ago now but seems to have seen relatively little attention. I had always wanted to get it done but kept for getting of its existence; you know how it is-climbs come and go in your mind depending on how many other bits of rock you are thinking about! Fast forward at least 5 years and my friend Andy reminded me of its existence. Not only did he remind me but he raved about how good it was! Andy only has eyes for good lines; no eliminates, shuffling or low balls here! After trying to fix up a time to mission up from Sheffield we eventually got ourselves in gear and descended upon Brandrith on Wednesday. Upon arrival it was warm and humid (the midges were out) and the local authorities were conducting controlled heather fires, creating clouds of smoke that engulfed us from time to time! I was gob smacked when we arrived; it really was pretty perfect looking. An immaculate, fine grained gritstone arête of about 5 metres in height with a good grassy landing! We set about trying out beta. The first part is techy arête climbing and this equals Andys bag, so in no time at all he was up to the crux about ¾ of the way up. I took a little longer but managed to put a halt to the barn dooring long enough to get established for the crux, now what?!
Tom Gangle Newman then showed up, having tried this when he was still very tall but much younger he scooted up the first bit and managed to work out a method for the top, an hour or so later he was on top, leaving us to flail around with idea, after idea, after idea! I thought I had a method but it was a committing jump for the top and the left hand pinch, in the words of Malcolm Smith, was f*%!ing greasy! So back to the drawing board, an
On returning from Spain I felt fairly strong and hungry for some more success. I kept thinking about a project arête roof that I had been shown down at Cloughton Wyke. It was a great looking line with brutal tricky deadpoint slap moves on slopes for the right hand, with some frustrating blind toe drags and snags as well. I had a fairly productive session on it at the end of summer with my friend David, but we could not do one crucial cut off move and it felt a bit hot and sweaty. We came away thinking it could be an 8b. Hungry to get it done I came back and had a very unproductive session which lead to me straining my groin in a bad fall. After that I had to leave the problem alone, but it stayed there at the back of my mind. I kept thinking that in good conditions it would go. The only trouble is that the venue is tidal and does not dry fast. Also it hardly gets any sun, so to get good dry conditions was going to be very frustrating. Nonetheless, a few months passed, my groin got better and I kept thinking about the problem. As winter came and with it the cool conditions I kept checking the weather looking for that perfect day.
Eventually at the end of January that day came. A strong easterly wind that was going to blast the rocks and rain not forecast until 3:00pm with a perfect low tide as well. I jumped in the car and blazed a trail across to the east coast. Working the moves of 'Before the Rain' 8a+ Photo- Lee Robinson On getting there I thought I had got it wrong as it was spitting with rain. Undeterred I set off down the rope to the boulder. When I got there it was getting a battering from the wind and dried in seconds after the rain had stopped. It was perfect conditions. I warmed up on some of the easier moves then set about trying the crux sequence. It felt ridiculously hard and I felt so far away from doing any of them. I thought to myself that I'll just have to put some time in, build fitness
"No Mystery" (low) in Chironico (FA afte the broken crux-crimp) "No Mystery" located in Chironico (Swizzy) is a nice littel overhanging shild first climbed by Dave Graham back in time. It has two nice intro-moves that set you up to a big deadpoint-move from a lousy crimp to a good rail. Followed by some very nice top-out moves. Late last year/beginning this year a crux-crimp broke. I had a quick look and it looked like a great new puzzle to be solved. So after having great fun with another puzzle (climbing "Souvenir" wihout the pocket) i made my way to "No Mystery".
From the very first moment it was clear that it should still be possible. I tried the move and hit the rail every time but was unable to hold the swing. Its a BIG move for me and I am totally strechted out. For somedbody taller this move must feel pretty easy, but for me it felt really hard, and for somebody way shorter it must feel super HARD! I like that crux-move very much. Especially because it is not all about power, it is a lot about timing, bodyplacing and perfect movement. Before i left to Hueco early February i came close to stick the cruxmove... well i thought i was close... Coming home from hueco i wanted to check out "No Mystery" again but was still unable to stick the move. So i put "No Mystery" on my chironico-routine: Every day i was down in chrionico i gave "No Mystery" some tries, then hiked down the 50min to the "Fisch-Project" (on which i made great progress) to get fit and ready for "Fisch"-attemps in march/april. From the very first try i was up there at the rail again, but was unable to hold on... But i kept trying and after some eight visits or so it finally clicked and i stuck the move. At the very moment i was so surprised that i neraly droped. But i put it together and pulled trough the following great topmoves. YEPPAAA!!!
To fix that promblem to a single grade feels pretty impossible to me. If you are tall and a bit lucky you
Just a quick note on my recent success on completing my first 8B bloc. Its called keen roof at Raven Tor, it took around 7 sessions and finally got done about 2 weeks ago, Very happy!!
Anston Stones This is an area that was developed about 4 years ago, and has recently become popular with a new guide book having been published . Magnesium Limestone offers a different opportunity and style for great climbing! This is a fantastic bouldering area with a full range of problems to go at. I remembered going with some friends for a day over a year ago and thought It was about time to head back a try some of the harder lines.
Day 1 This was with my good friend Ethan Walker who was also keen to check it out. We started off by warming up on some of the 7A problems and then got stuck in with some harder stuff. First to fall was Quarantine 8A. This was a fantastic crimpy traverse with poor feet. Next up was the classic Dark Art 8A, a very small but tricky bloc with some tension foot moves. After feeling strong on these I thought to try its neighbour Black Crow 7C+, to my surprise this went down in a few tries. We both then decided to go further down to another buttress to try this super steep 7C+ boulder called Soul Crusher, again after a few tries working out the foot beta Ethan and myself sent the problem! After having some lunch we wanted to try the low start into Soul Crusher at around 8A. The first few moves were pretty tough but we still had enough in the tank to pull it off and send it to the end. After this there were still some problems on the list which we went to try out, one called The Vision and the other The Phoenix both at around 7C. They both went down just as the light was fading! Perfect ending to a great bouldering session.
Day 2 - Without going into detail about these next problems I thought I would just write you a list of what I managed on this day. I went along with another friend Ja