The plan was to combine a family visit with some climbing. Shame it poured down just before we arrived, so the crags were soaked. Ewan wanted to go to Gordale, I fancied Kilnsey. We ended up at Malham thinking it would be drier. Now that is a place I used to know very well. However, it was bloody freezing and the crag was very, very wet. I used to cruise up many of the classics putting the draws in a long, long time ago. On a good day I could do Raindogs, Zoolook, Connect Four, New Dawn, Mescalito, Herbie and Obsession with no falls, placing all the clips (apart from Connect). That means three 8a's, two 7c+'s, one 7c and one 7b+. Of course that was only possible because I knew each route so well and having a workout day was always so much easier than trying Cry Freedom or Bat Route. Don't forget, I am pretty lazy at heart, so I have always tended to go for the easier option. Ok, this time the crag was very wet and it is over 14 years since I moved to France. The outcome was a dead cert: I got my arse kicked big time and I'd forgotten how to climb there; my fingers weren't strong enough and I found it so hard using little, polished footholds. No excuse, I was crap.
A change of plan was needed. Why bother trying to retro flash (or worse: dog then redpoint) routes from the past? Not to mention trying to cope with wet holds and polished footholds, etc. Yes, the easy option of course! Forget climbing outdoors and go inside. We came up with a list of walls to visit. However, we were so impressed with the excellent Climbing Hangar (in Liverpool) that we didn't get to the other walls. Maybe another time.
|We started climbing at 3pm. Then we did the comp, which started at 6pm. Arms finally gave up at 8.30pm! Came 15th overall (out of around 80). Photo by Steve Boote.|