Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Three Yorkshire 8s in two days

On June 1st, Will Smith and I drove up to Yorkshire to spend a few days at Malham and Kilnsey. I was psyched to get on some of the classics. We arrived at Kilnsey with a bit of light left to climb. I did the warm up of the crag, Directissima, a polished 6c. Then I decided to have an onsight attempt on Comedy (7c), but came off at the crux after slapping to a chalked up ‘non-hold’ – close but no cigar. I managed it second go, just before the light went. Will had a play on Full Tilt (8b) as the dark came in.

The next day we went to Malham to get on Raindogs, which is a very classic power endurance 8a. It’s known for being very polished and having no hard moves, but no easy ones either. The conditions were a bit greasy. I tried this route briefly last year and came close, so I managed to remember the very cool sequence on good crimps quite quickly. My first redpoint attempt of the day saw me get to the 2nd last move. Next go, I thought… Maybe not. I had a few more frustratingly close goes, but then managed to do it.  This is definitely my favourite route, and the polish makes it better! Will came very close.

The same day we headed to a very cold Kilnsey, where I had a go on Urgent Action, a Euro-style 8a+ and one of the Yorkshire ‘Big Three’. It was so cold (it was Jubilee weekend weather) that I had to come down. I had another go later in the evening where I managed to work out all the moves. They’re all very long moves between jugs. After a sustained lower section you get to a good rest, which is followed by a short powerful section, and then the crux, a long deadpoint from a jug to a perfect hold. After a few more moves you get to probably the redpoint crux, a big go-again off an undercut, then a sketchy slab section to the chain.

The next morning I tried to get warm by climbing up to the second clip on the route a few times, and then I was ready for the first redpoint. First time, I fell just before the rest. I tweaked my sequence, had another redpoint and did it! Psyched! First British 8a+!

After a quick rest, I then decided to try The Thumb, an 8a which shares the second crux of Urgent Action. After working out all the moves I did it first redpoint. Two 8s in a day!

I then had a quick go at Mandela, 8a+, which takes a sick traversing line across the huge roof at Kilnsey. It was a bit scary but I’m psyched to go and finish it off soon

The next day, Will got Urgent Action, his first British 8a+; he made it look easy. I warmed up by redpointing, Pantomime, a 7b+ and then I had a flash attempt at The Bulge, 8a, managing to get to the crux. I then worked out all the moves and had a redpoint attempt where I came off a few moves from the belay. Close - another one to finish off next time!

I was really happy to do three 8s in two days and to work some other classics with Will. Now it’s time for a few days rest and I am off to an EYC in France this weekend!

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