Working away, Brownstones and Wilton.

Working away...hotel room training

Working away last week was a bit manic. As I was mostly in North London, with no crags or climbing centres within twenty miles my only option was to make use of the hotel room. The desk in the room was one of those long desks with a telly at one end and a kettle at the other. As it was quite long, it was possible to traverse from one side to the other from sitting and build up quite a pump - good training for Elemental at Thorn! Other exercises included situps, crunches, twist crunches, side sit ups, push ups and dips. It's surprising what boredom can do for the imagination...

Brownstones and Wilton

After relative inactivity this week I decided a trip outside was in order. As time was limited I decided a local hit was the only viable option - we had food to prepare for Grandads 90th on Sunday so Brownstones seemed the best place to go. The Pond end although being waterlogged still is a lot drier than a few weeks ago when the water level had totally obliterated the path. However, it still isn't really climbable without tarpaulin (unless you enjoy getting your mat soaking).
I;ve got a lot on the list at Brownstones so I though I'd better get the focus and crack on with them. The first on the list is probably the most frustrating, Satisfying Sloper Problem, which for me is distinctly unsatisfying. The seepage which usually comes directly onto the holds wasn't too bad, so a quick wipe with the towel was all that was needed to dry off the holds. I surprised myself at first by finding the initial move quite easy and thought I'd have it nailed within a few goes. Unfortunately this wasn't to be the case as I kept flogging away and couldn't get any further. I am starting to detest this problem.

Anyway after the first failure I thought I'd take a look at the Unjust eliminates from GCWs guide here.
The only one that could be viable for me is the Unjust crimps problem (6a). This takes a line of quite smallish crimps first right, then left to the Unjust sloping hold. This started off quite well, matching the first hold, then moving onto the second small crimp - the crux seems to be getting the third crimp and in spite of trying going with the right hand again (too far really) and going with the left (hard move!) I couldn't figure it out. One to work on I reckon. After doing a few easy problems, and failing some more on SSP I decided to sack it.

Although it was technically in the opposite direction I decided to pop into Wilton for a few minutes to have a look at the Hacker start. I've not even tried this, and needed something to get my teeth into after consummate failure at Brownstones. I thought the ankle snapping boulder at the foot of this problem was bigger, but it wasn't as bad as I recalled.
Anyways, I got my shoes on and tried the start - I love problems with big holds to start, so this one felt great! The easiest method I could see to go to the slopey jug on the right was with my left hand, which feels cack-handed at first, but with the high left foot on the tiny crimp it actually felt a lot better than side pulling it with the right.
A sharp pull on the jug and I reached the semi-good hold and got high feet. After a couple of goes I was tickling the rubbish aretey hold thingy. I think then getting the feet up will be the crux, but as I was on me tod I didn't fancy it without a spotter as it starts to get a bit spicey with the block at the bottom. It doesn't feel impossible though, this one. Need to head back at some point...
After mucking around a bit on the Graveyard overhang I went home. Surprisingly, even though it was fairly mild and blue skies, Wilton was entirely empty.
I was dismayed to see that the Barn Owl that had recently taken up residence has come to a sticky end - there were parts of it strewn around the quarry floor - probably a fox I dare say.