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Fun afternoon of climbing top rope with E. Not having done anything other than the auto-belay routes for a while, it was nice to get a bit of variety and to try the some of the newer stuff. There was a good mix of difficulties, with some of the new routes set for recent competitions, and some particularly fun climbs featuring the ever-popular EP Yangshou tufas.

Sitting around in the cafe afterwards, we bumped into L who'd come in for his physio session. He's starting the TGO Challenge — a west to east walk across Scotland — in just over a week and he's trying to make sure he's fully fit.

Once he'd left, E started talking about a Duke of Edinburgh event she'd taken part in where she'd swapped packs with her friend because they were struggling to carry their heavy rucksack. When they reached their stop-over point, the reason for the excess weight became clear: the friend fished out metal cutlery and a full set of porcelaine plates to eat off! Their explanation? They'd packed in a hurry and had grabbed whatever the could find in the kitchen on their way out of the door...
sawyl: (A self portrait)
With today marking the end of the working week, I left early to balance my time and catch up on a few boring domestic tasks ahead of the Easter weekend. With that done, I wandered down the climbing centre where I discovered they'd reset one of the autobelay lines.

The new routes were a fun mix. The first was an easy 4, which makes sense because I think they try to ensure every line has something suitable for beginners and people on taster sessions; even the 5 on one of the other lines starts fairly gently, giving people the illusion of progress! The second was a 6a which was much easier than the 6a+ it replaced; the latter having been composed of a number of powerful moves on big slopers. The third was a 6b+ which appeared to feature a good hold on transition from the overhang to the head wall but which, when reached, proved to be awkwardly positioned that it could only really be used as a large pinch.

The final route on the line was a 6c+ and the only one that I failed to on-sighting. The lower section was composed of quite a number of very small screw-ons that could just about be used as crimps and some very similar looking holds that were intended for feet, making the choice of hold critical for success. The first good hold after the opening section was a solid side-pull that moved right to a couple of other side-pulls, requiring a switch from facing right to facing left and a reach up and back for the next right hand. This was followed by a shallow, dirty two finger pocket for the left hand and poor feet, followed by a bump up to another crimp. It was at this point that I popped off, unable to work out quite what to do next.

Unwilling to accept defeat, I climbed up the 4 and worked the moves past the overhang and up on to the headwall. These involved a sort-of side-pull and undercut on the overhang, a pebble on the corner of the oblique start to the headwall, and then a move up composed of another shallow pocket and the tiniest of crimps on the vertical section which gave just enough stability to move up to the final hold. I wasn't able to put the two pieces together — nor, to be honest, am I entirely confident I can do all the moves on the headwall — but I can see how it might be done and the route itself is an awful lot of fun.
sawyl: (A self portrait)
With the wrist injury I picked up in January finally healed, I've resumed climbing in earnest although I'm still avoiding full-on bouldering. I've been alternating stamina training with projecting a technical, fingery 7a that seems to fit my style — although I couldn't read the start until someone else gave me the beta for it — and although I haven't sent it yet, I've managed to get to within a couple of moves of finishing it.
sawyl: (A self portrait)
Skimming through the Express and Echo web site in search of news about the most recent fire — a recycling warehouse went up on Wednesday — I stumbled across a nice profile of Mikey Cleverdon, our local hero, and his fight back to fitness following a stroke.
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With the first round of this year's BMC Youth Comp rapidly approaching, the Quay was heaving with setters. The regular crew were working hard to reset the first boulder cave — I think the second is down to be stripped tomorrow. The area around the prow was also closed off, with Ben West and Cailean Harker down from Bristol to set some new lead routes. Should be good.
sawyl: (A self portrait)
As I suspected based on news from E that there had been a power cut in Pinhoe on Saturday and the missed calls I'd got while we were out and about in the afternoon, most of the day was lost to mopping up a few last little things. I also discovered, slightly frustratingly, that the deadline for the paper I'd submitted last week had been extended by a week; hopefully this means that they're short of contributions and hence more likely to accept my proposal.

Went for another climbing session in the evening. E continued projecting the 6c she'd attempted on Saturday, successfully completing the crux and latching the big pinch but without enough in the tank to send the whole thing. After a few tries, we moved on to a fun 6c+ — another one of the routes Cal had set just before Christmas — with a set of opening moves with sketchy feet followed by a big bridge and an interesting top section. Although neither of us completed the route, together we were able to cover all the moves: I struggled with the few moves but crushed the rest; E managed the first moves very elegantly but couldn't reach through the bridge.
sawyl: (A self portrait)
Fun afternoon of climbing top rope with E, crushing a bunch of routes set just before Christmas. There was a 6a+ with some moves that E found reachy but which I could power through. There was a nice, balancy 6b on one of the slabs with a tricky start and a couple of fun hand-foot matches at the top. We both flashed a 6b+ route with lots of slopers which felt easier than the 6a+ and much easier than the other 6b we tried.

The afternoon's most difficult problem was a 6c which required a nice combination of power and technique. The route started with a balance on a couple of little foot chips and a shoulder press up to a right hand-foot on the first hand hold — a screw-on on the first volume — with the left hand on a screw-on on the second volume. This was followed by a pull up on a terrible pinch to get a foot on the second volume. The first few times I tried it, I lent out right and got my foot up parallel to the wall, making it almost impossible to generate any leverage.

I switched places with E, who came up with the right beta: putting enough trust in the pinch to lean out from the wall and get a left foot up perpendicular to the wall, making it possible to pistol up into a nice hands-off rest. We swapped over again and I gave the route a go with the new beta for the crux. The next hold was a sketchy little pocket that actually worked better as an sloper followed by a tricky smear to get enough height to latch a huge, open-handed pinch up to the right. Pulling up on that gave enough reach to get to a decent crimp out left and a little balancy move for the final hold. After I'd sent it E had another bash, but lacking my span she struggled to get enough height to latch the pinch; even with a smear she was only able to tap the bottom of it, but it was a solid effort and she was only held back by her lack of reach.

Pausing for tea, we were surprised to find the cafe much busier than normal. Despite seeing the email, I'd failed to remember tonight was the night of the BMC's South West Area Meeting and the place was busy with people waiting for it to start. Once the meeting had opened, things calmed down and we settled on one of the sofa for tea and a natter...
sawyl: (A self portrait)
Having not done as much as I'd like this week, I met L&A at the Quay for a post-work climbing session. We took things gently, or at least I did; I managed to talk L into climbing a very reachy route without much in the way of feet. Fortunately he was able to put his height advantage to good use, managing moves where I'd've fallen six inches short had I tried the same thing.

As we were winding down, we walked past one of the bouldering rooms where people where checking out a new group of problems. One of the problems on the overlap wall to the right of the doorway had obviously been set with a combination of a running start and a dyno because every so often the setter would come flying past the entrance, cackling to himself, as he tried to persuade some of the other climbers to commit to the challenge...
sawyl: (A self portrait)
Having managed to get the day off, I met up with R and we went climbing. Despite not having climbed a great deal recently, her technique is still extremely elegant and solid; her footwork is very neat and she's very good at getting her weight just right to minimise the amount of effort needed for a particular move. In contrast, we saw group thrashing their way up a route with nothing but brute force, making the difference particularly obvious.

My highlights included a clean send of a burly, massively undergraded route I tried and, in a moment of overconfidence, come off last week. I also got to the top of one a fairly long, rather reachy 6c with a hard early crux and a subtle, balancey section on the head wall. I didn't manage a clean send, but I'm pretty confident I've got all the moves down — there was nothing, bar the last couple of moves where I couldn't keep my left foot on forcing me into a very carefully balanced pistol up on my right leg — that gave much cause for trouble.

We finished up with a lovely pot of loose-leaf tea — Chef Paul very convincingly up-sold us on it over two regular teas — a very generous slice of cappuccino battenberg cake, and a raspberry cheesecake brownie which was every bit as good as it sounds.
sawyl: (A self portrait)
Fun morning of climbing with D&P at the Quay. P had to repeat his sign-off tests because they'd lost his paperwork &mdsah; probably because, when he renewed last week, they had to set up a new account because whoever had entered his initial credentials had misspelt his name! But once we were over that glitch, we stormed the auto-belays as a warm-up and climbed some top-rope routes to finish.

I climbed a pair of fun new routes, graded 6a+ and 6b+ respective. The 6b+ was probably graded a bit soft, with a few fingery crimps and technical bits but nothing that prevent me from on-sighting it. The 6a+, on the other hand, was extremely difficult indeed with a complete absence of feet in several places. The second move involved a massive reach — P couldn't span it and he's a good deal taller than me — which I was only able to static by working a hand up a bad arete feature and cranking up enough with one foot to get a couple of fingers on the next hold before throwing for a hand match. Then, once past that, I got to the penultimate move, also very short of feet, which I eventually managed to complete with a cunning heel/toe hook, a reach back for the next hand, and a campus for the finish.

Makes me wonder if the grades might not be the wrong way round: I could totally see the easier route as being a hard 6a+ an the harder route being a challenging 6b+, but I'm sure their current ratings aren't correct. Sadly, they hadn't been added to the setter's whiteboard, so we couldn't re-rate them.

Afterwards, I accepted the offer of light lunch after discovering that they'd got a loaf of sourdough bread from the Magdalene Road Bakery. It was utterly fantastic: firm, chewy, and a completely different species to the terrible supermarket stuff. A real treat.
sawyl: (A self portrait)
Despite feeling tired after my Sunday morning training run, I dragged myself down to the climbing centre for what was supposed to be a short session. I did a series of warm-up routes with the idea of tackling the one new auto route I haven't finished — it features a hard crux up on to the headwall &mdsah; and going home. But just as I was finishing my easy sequence, Iz arrived and suggested some lead climbing.

I did an easy route and took a few practice falls to try and get my head into the right place. I started gently, just dropping back on the bolt, before building up to some proper falls taken from above the clip. As ever with practice falls, the hardest part is convincing yourself up to let go; because the actual fall, once you bite the bullet and take it, is completely safe and actually rather fun.

With my confidence improved, I climbed one of the longer and more overhung routes up the prow. Stupidly, towards the top where it went into a roof section, I psyched myself by convincing myself that I was getting a cramp, that I was running out of shoulder strength, and that I wouldn't be able to make the last clip under the roof. Fortunately, Izzy wasn't willing to let me give up and pointed out that I was three moves away from the anchor and the last few holds were all giant jugs. And with that encouragement, I pulled back on and made the last moves with ease. Back down on the ground, I realised how absurd I'd been: my shoulder was fine, my forearms were barely warmed up, and I'd made the clips as smoothly as could be — proving that the problem was entirely in my head.

Izzy powered up a 6c next to the route I'd climbed and had a similar moment just before the top where she convinced herself that the last clip before the anchor was going to be hard. After dropping back and regrouping for a minute, she realised that the penultimate hold was extremely positive and just went for it. So good was the hold that she didn't bother going for the final jug but clipped straight from the big ridge.

At this point, we handed the borrowed rope back and went to work some of the slabs, including something graded 6c+/7a. The route, which featured some very hard, very carefully balanced moves up to slopers took a while to get right but when we found a beta that worked, we both stormed it. I'm not quite sure how to count the route, but I'm going to bag it as a 7a — goodness knows, I don't have many of them under my belt, so I need every last one! — although I'm pretty sure it wasn't that hard given that I managed to send it.

We finished the session with a spot of bouldering to cool down. Izzy, who is officially unstoppable, mopped up the easy problems, made a serious attempt at a 6C+ sloper problem on the roof, and finished by campusing a whole series of moves above the overhang. I did some of the easy boulders and finished with three circuits of the ten degree board. The last sequence was a real struggle, but I made it to the last hold without coming off which is all that matters...
sawyl: (A self portrait)
Early to the Quay to avoid the rush, where I discovered a new innovation: some giant beanbags in the middle of the floor. Definitely better than setting on the floor!

After a few circuits of easy boulder problems to warm-up, I hopped on the auto-belays and went for milage. After doing the routes in sequence, I switched to focus on my leading technique. Having watched one of Neil Gresham's masterclass films for a bit of inspiration, I think I've discovered the cause of my less-than-stellar forehand clipping technique.

Instead of allowing the rope to run over the tips of my fingers, I've been positioning it too far back in my hand, making it harder to snag the rope with the carabina. I've also noticed that I don't follow through correctly — more of a problem with a rope off-cut, where you don't have the weight of the rest of the rope working for you — because I've got a poor grip on the rope and can't complete the move to ensure it pops through the gate without risking putting my finger through as well.

With a bit of refinement, I found something that worked for me and spent the afternoon doing as many routes as possible, as many times as possible, clipping all the quickdraws on the way up. Not only has it improved my technique, but it's boosted my confident by reassuring me that, even when I'm really tired, I've almost always got enough left in the tank to clip the rope, even when I have to hang off a nasty sloper to do so...
sawyl: (A self portrait)
Another evening of climbing, this time leading from the sharp end of the rope. Although I wasn't spectacularly brave — I wimped out on-sighting a 6a+ — I happily crushed everything easier and stormed up a few routes I'd already top-roped. Next time, hopefully when it's not quite so busy, I'll take a few practice falls early on in the session to get my mind in to the right space to push the grades a bit harder...

ETA: after climbing, L persuaded me to warm down with pull-ups in the training room. Rather to my surprise I smashed my PB, managing a solid 12 consecutive pull-ups — my previous attempts have either not involved dropping all the way back down or putting my feet on the ground between reps. Looks like my current focus on strength and stamina might be starting to pay off.
sawyl: (A self portrait)
An evening of top rope with M, which we managed despite the crush caused by all the students. I didn't really excel at anything — I think I hadn't fully recovered from yesterday's bouldering — but I tried some fun things, including a couple of on-sights of some tricky slabs — the crux on one of them involved getting a hand-heel match and pistoling up on one leg — a burly move, but it got things done.

A good time was had by all and hopefully, once half-term is out of the way and M's tutoring has settled down a bit, we'll be able to climb a bit more frequently.
sawyl: (A self portrait)
The focus on strength and stamina training over the last couple of weeks really came into its own today when I surprised myself by flashing almost all the new boulders below 7A.

I made hard work a 6A after mis-reading the instructions: I started with matched hands on a sloper, a heel hook in, cranked hard on it to go up for a pinch, and only then went for the positive side-pull which was one of the intended starting holds. Not that it mattered. I flashed the problem and it provided with two solid lessons: that I can get an awful lot of power behind a heel hook; and that I ought to check the starting instructions before pulling on to anything!

After a couple of hours, I still had enough left in the tank to finish with 10-12 routes on the auto-belays, down-climbing the easier stuff to get a bit of training in. I even found time to work on my current project, a tricky series of hard slopers, which, to my delight, had been upgraded from 6c to 7a...


Sep. 23rd, 2016 11:54 pm
sawyl: (A self portrait)
With the wind blowing strongly on our last day, we walked up to Poets to try some of the routes there. Eve and I, given the goal of putting in some mileage, started the day with Demeter which, at 4c, was a total cakewalk. The others tried harder routes — I think Izzy climbed Ganymede — but we quickly decided to move round to the main area.

As we were packing up, I got talking to Gav about his bag — a now-discontinued Quechua rucksack with all sorts of climbing-specific features. As he was going through it, giving us the grand tour, he spotted what looked like an extremely mouldy banana in a plastic bag and promptly freaked out. Closer examination proved that the object was not a banana but a severed goat's foot which Tom had found lying and around and had stashed in Gav's bag!

As we were leaving we a goat's skull and, unable to resist temptation, Izzy and I set about taking some photos. Firstly with the skull balanced on top of a nearby rickety gate:

And then with it hung off a piece of rebar attached to the gate. Unable to reach from the ground, it was clear that one of us had to pick the other up. As I was still wearing my harness, I got to be the one to pick Izzy up on my shoulders and while I may not be able to one-handed pull-ups, I was able to lift her up with no trouble at all. And once we had the skull positioned, the resulting photos more than justified our efforts:

At the main area we split up, with Tom, Hayley, Andrew and Izzy going round the corner to Couer D'Armeos work some harder stuff, while Eve, Gav and I stayed to rack up some mileage. Here's the main wall from the approach, with Gavin at the base of the crag giving an idea of the scale:

This shot of Eve on Sapfo might just be my favourite shot of the week — I especially like the depth of field and the way you can see the next four quickdraws:

We finished the day with Mustass, which featured a nice slabby start with tufas at the top. I climbed first and Gav, who was super-psyched, stormed up to stripped the route:

With the day complete and the week's climbing done, the three of us went down the hill for showers and a rest before meeting the others at the cocktail bar ahead of our final dinner at the Ageaen. Eve and I hit the bar, where we spent a while drinking tea, before deciding heading back to the hotel to change into long sleaves. On the way we met Gavin and we stood about debating the situation for a while. Just as we'd decided to go to the restaurant, the others arrived and we all walked down together, pausing briefly to allow them to buy tickets on the ferry to Kos for tomorrow.

Sat indoors, out of the wind but with big windows giving us a fantastic panoramic view of Telendos and the bay, we were amused to see Gaz Parry's group sitting not too far away — we think they might be stalking us, because they were also at Prego yeseterday. I had the same mixed Greek vegetarian dish as before while the others all had seafood, with everyone but Eve, who had red snapper, opting for a tuna stake.

Towards the end of dinner, Gav and Tom decided to do a bit of coaching. They decided to make a paper fortune teller — I'm sure I remember these being called chickens when I was at school &mdsah; to help them identify our weaknesses. With Andrew's help, we soon had a fortune teller made from a paper place mat which identified everyone's areas for improvement with uncanny accuracy. We concluded that the thing was clearly inhabited by a great spirit and should be destroyed at the first possible opportunity, least it fall into the wrong hands.

After supper we adjourned to the cocktail bar were we again met up with Gaz, now without his group, and we settled down for some proper coaching and some homework. Tom, a primary school teacher by profession, made up a grid and got us to write down the things we thought we'd done well at this week, our areas for improvement, and our goals for the future. Once we'd done this, they turned the piece of paper over and compared what they'd said with what we'd said and assigned us some things to concentrate on to help us improve.
sawyl: (A self portrait)
After a slightly slow start this morning — some people were clearly still recoverying from the excesses of yesterday's cocktails! — we scootered out to the crag, skipping the usual supermarket stop on the way.

Once up there, Izzy and I were planning to warm up on Mikrotera Kalamarakia but ended doing Haryvdi because it was free. Unfortunately, it turned out to be a total nightmare. Izzy took two goes to get up to the second clip after having serious worries about just how polished the bottom part of the route was. I seconded and confirmed her opinion: the bottom was like glass and without good feet, the second clip felt very exposed.

After the horrors of that, I belayed her on Haryvdi and went off to lead Nausicaa Nausicaa. The long slab route was really charming and enjoyable with good feet and some non-obvious hands. Partway up I encountered someone climbing Mon Amour who seemed to be in a bad position: off her route, without an obvious bolt to clip to, and with a big fall looming if she feel off. It turned out that the person who put the draws in the route had skipped a bolt and she'd got lost as a result, so I clipped her into one of my bolts until she lowered to a safe point, unclipped her, and carried on with my route.

Eve on Nausicaa Nausicaa:

The main aim for the day was to allow Hayley to take a crack at The Beast, which she'd stormed on top rope last year. She warmed up with Imia:

And because the route shares an anchor with The Beast, she was able to put quickdraws in the harder route on her way down. With everything set, she then began her assault on the 7b:

After Hayley redpointed it, Andrew decided to give it a go too:

While this was going on, I seconded a short, very boulder 6b+ with some serious coaching from Tom. The route featured a couple of crossover moves in the middle, which involved shifting from one layback position to another, with a powerful move through a big tufa formation in the middle. It took me a few goes to get, but once I'd cracked the crux, I stormed the last section. Later in the day I was gratified to see a couple of Australians climbing it and making a horrible mess of it — certainly my Newberry-assisted beta was far more elegant — and basically thrashing their way up.

Once I'd finished the 6b+, I gave Imia a crack, making it a fair way up the route before running out of beans. I ended the afternoon with Odisseo, which I quite enjoyed, even though I didn't quite top it but instead interrupted Gav's conversation with Hayley about falling by chucking myself off.

We finished the day in Marci Marc cave, with Izzy almost topping Lucky Luca. She panicked when her feet were in the wrong position on the very last move and failed to clip the anchor, but the other moves looked super smooth. Andrew powered up Amphora, finishing it with an amazingly slick bit of clipping: he popped a quickdraw off his harness, clipped it to the anchor, clipped the rope, clipped the rope into the anchor, unclipped the rope from the QD, unclipped the draw and had it back on his gear loop in one completely seemless movement; it was pure poetry in motion.

After finishing up, we went back down for showers before heading to Prego for dinner. I went for a really good pappardella alla norma made with local Kalymnian goat cheese. I'm pretty sure that Andrew went for pasta and I have a feeling Izzy went for some sort of seafood, but I can't really remember what the others went for.
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Out for my usual early morning walk, I got as far as Myrties before I decided to return to the hotel. Inevitably this was the point at which the heavens decided to open and I found myself pretty soaked by the time I got home. Fortunately, the temperature was already in the high twenties and I was dry before I knew it.

After breakfast, we hopped on the scooters and made our way to Grande Grotta.

Neither Izzy nor I enjoyed our warm up on happy girlfriend — a slab route with some easy tufa climbing that neither of us particularly enjoyed. I tried to lead monahiki elia, had an attack of nerves, came down to allow Izzy to lead it, and then powered up it on top rope.

Hayley stormed up taz, climbing head to head with someone else working their way up monahiki elia:

Moving round the corner to Afternoon, we did l'amico ralph, blu, kalo taxidi and l'uomo che non credeva. Here's Gav on the 6b:

Hayley and Andrew finished the day with clare, a tough 6c, and called it a day — although I think Izzy may have been jonesing for one last climb.

We went to Prego, the restaurant directly below the hotel, for supper. The food was very good and the portions large enough that Tom was able to forego his usual post-supper gyros. I had the vegan special, falafel with hummus and pita bread, while Izzy had seafood pasta, Hayley had a seafood platter, Andrew had chicken pasta, and Tom had a giant plate of cutlets.
sawyl: (A self portrait)
Up to Iliada first thing to climb some of the routes before they caught the sun.

I managed to take my first fall high on one of the routes. I fell quite a distance — Gav though I was reaching for the next clip, so he had plenty of slack out — but there was no damage and it massively boosted my leading confidence. I climbed a nice tufa route to finish before we followed the shade round the corner to Odyssey, stopping at X to allow the others to have a go at dolonas, a roof route in the cave.

Tom made pretty easy work of it...

...while Andrew made a pretty good attempt to lead it, even if he didn't quite manage to stick the dyno on this attempt...

...Izzy seconded the route, getting close to the final clip...

...while Tom, belaying her, hung around in space...

At Odyssey, I did a couple of easy slabs, Andrew and Hayley went round off to on-sight some hard stuff, while Izzy and Gav went round to work lucky luca in Marci Marc cave. I made my way through the crux on penelope only to come off on the next move. After finishing the route, Eve hopped on and seconded the first part before asking Tom for beta on the second part as he stripped the route.

Retreating from the sun once again, we all moved round to the cave were we found Izzy still working lucky luca. Having finally tired herself out, she came down and Andrew gave it a try, flashing it on his last climb of the day! Tom ran up amphora, Hayley gave it a try, and we called it a day and returned to town just as the first signs of a change in the weather — clouds over the island of Telendos — started to make themselves known.

Off to the taverna for supper, where I had vegetarian mousaka — very nice indeed — Izzy had the meat version, Gav had chicken kiev and, I think, Eve had roast chicken.
sawyl: (A self portrait)
Got up early to discover I'd been eaten alive by mosquitos during the night. Fortunately the bites are ugly rather than itchy so I think I'll probably survive unscatched. Went for a walk through Masouri while Andrew, my roommate, got himself up, and met the others for breakfast in the restaurant below the hotel.

As we were fuelling for day at the crag, Tom dropped by to tell us that the plan was to spend the day at Ivory Tower. We walked up to one of the ubiquitous scooter hire shops and turned right to walk up the approach path. The view from the base of the crag was pretty amazing, with clear views of Emporios and Kalavros close by and Leros in the distance.

On arrival, we got ourselves established, consulted the guidebook, and waited while Tom and Gav picked some easy routes to get us going.

We warmed up on some easy slabs, did a slightly more tricky 6a-6b+ routes. Eve made pretty light work of bloc volant:

Andrew, who reckoned himself a 6c climber outdoors, easily on-sighted sunrise (part 1) graded 7a and came within one move of on-sighting the craic at a heroic 7b+. Here he is, taking full advantage of a particularly good rest:

We had to keep a careful eye on the local goat population. Given half a chance, they will eat anything edible left unattended and they're canny enough to wait until you're belaying before diving into your rucksack in search of a snack.

After a solid first day of climbing, we hit the beach where we met up with Ben West, Cailean Harker and others, relaxing after their first day of climbing. After Izzy, Tom and I went for a swim, someone came up with the suggestion that we use our rest day to swim to Telendos. The distance looks pretty trivial — probably no more than a kilometre — but which may be a bit risky given the levels of boat traffic in the area and which probably isn't an ideal rest day activity!

We went for supper at the Aegean Restaurant at the southern end of town. We were joined by Cal and Jake, but Eve was missing after going down with heat stroke. The food was very good. The vegetarian option was a mixed plate of various different Greek veg dishes, all of which were extremely nice.

Over supper Tom and Gav went through their assessment of our climbing, based on today's observations — despite having known them and been taught by them for years, this was the first chance they'd had to see some of us climb outdoors. They came up with some recommendations, based partly on the routes that people were interested, and suggested mixing specific hard routes with work to maximise milage on the rock for those of us who needed it.


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