Apr. 13th, 2017

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.

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sawyl

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