Monday, November 1, 2010

Neil Mawson - Grit

Having sport climbed on the limestone for almost the entire year I opted for a change this weekend and went out on the grit. On Saturday we went to the Roaches with my aim to try and headpoint Paralogism E7 6c. The route is featured on Hard grit and climbs through one of the big roofs on the upper tier. After a couple of top ropes on it I'd linked the climbing and all the moves were starting to feel fine. Having not successfully headpointed anything on grit since my tumble off Meshuga I was having trouble committing to the lead. I watched Dave Pickford, up from Bristol for the weekend, headpoint it and then Ryan flashed it with our beta I was left thinking I'd better just get on with it then. Once I'd left the ground the whole thing felt fine and there was no question I'd fall off anywhere. It was just the thought of setting off that was scary, and not actually when I was climbing it. It was great to have headpointed a route again and I'm hoping to do a few more this winter.

Sunday was misty but strangely dry so the Plantation at Stanage was the venue with the aim of trying Unfamiliar E7/8 6c. After a few warm up problems Ryan and I joined Dan Varian, with a quite a few pads, who was attempting Unfamiliar ground up. The route takes the stunning arete of a free standing pinnacle among the boulders at the Plantation. It features insecure climbing up the arete to gear at about 7 meters then a tricky exit above. Having got half way up to the gear and struggling to use a pinch in the damp conditions I decided to leave it and try it again in better conditions. The conditions didn't seem to bother either Dan or Ryan as they both did it ground up! Later on I was please I managed to committed to the scary jump called Big Air, which I'd not done before.

It was great to spend the weekend on the Grit. Having spent most of the last two winters clipping bolts in Spain I'm hoping to spend a lot more time on the grit again this winter.

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