Thursday, January 20, 2011

Steve McClure. At Last We Can Go Out

When its bad its bad

But when its good its really good.

Neil Mawson committing for the final moves on Mint400

Sheffield weather! Cold, snowy, damp, humid, foggy or just torrential rain is pretty common around this time. But it can be awesome, maybe the variation is worth having, just to appreciate how good it is when it is good.

This last week has been a breath of fresh air, literally, after a soggy start to the year. Monday started OK, then Tuesday dawned clear, and it just got better. Stanage was great but windy and felt hardcore, and then on Thursday came one of those perfect days. Work had been kind and landed in all the right places, i.e on all the days it was raining.

A very strong team randomly found themselves at Froggat and Curbar. Andy Cave, James MaCaffie, Neil Mawson and more. E5’s and 6’s were being knocked off all over. Though these grades are kind of different now, an E6 solo above a bunch of pads really just being a high boulder problem.

15 years ago I’d climbed up and down to the last move of Opedius but bottled it. And from there looked over at Mint 400 and wondered at the commitment required to crimp down on the tiny edges way up there. Today, with about 4 pads and some free group psyche the pair were easy, dispatched first go.

After lots of stuff we ended up at ‘Benign Lives’ as the sun drifted below the horizon. Six pads as a cushion, but smearing on nothing felt way out there. We all tried, but none of us made it, slithering downwards towards a long drop onto our bouncy castle that hid the jumble of ankle breaking boulders. Johnny Dawes first soloed this (it has no gear) a long while back, no doubt above a 12 inch square of carpet for wiping his feet. Respect is absolutely due!

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