At last I have managed to cleanly lead my 1st F6a outdoors, it's been a long time coming! Just a bit miffed at myself for forgetting my camera again!
Tuesday's usual session was cancelled, due to Jon's family commitments and me just starting school and having a big backlog of work to catch up on (long story!) so we arranged to climb yesterday instead. It had been showering on and off throughout the day, but by 2pm it was looking ok (ish) Fair bit of blue skies, still a good bit of dark and angry cloud about though which made the pair of us very indescisive about going to the quarry to climb or down to Avertical World in Dundee. Outdoors won in the end of course, hey how many times have I climbed in the rain or on damp/wet rock so far this year, a wee shower isn't going to put me off!
Ditched the F3+ warm up and jumped straight on an F4+. I always feel stiff and awkward on my 1st couple of climbs and usually start questioning why I'm even climbing in the 1st place, 'I'm crap, this is too hard, this is too scary' blah blah blah. Tried a new F5 right over on the left hand side of the wall, but I just couldn't commit to doing a very reachy (for me) move on not very positive holds, a long way above my 1st bolt. Backed off, Jon had a look without the rope on just to see what it was like and agreed that if I couldn't reach up to the better hold then it would be a lot scarier! Led the 5+ beside it instead which was a lot easier, but I still felt stiff. My back and pelvis really needs a good massage and manipulation now, it just isn't loosening off at all!
Jonathon jumped straight on to a 6a+ he hadn't done before, ended up missing a good hold and rested on the rope (he'll get that no probs next time) RB tried it on toprope but it proved far too reachy for her, frustrating as hell, but atleast she will grow! Jonathon also did his 1st 6b on lead and did it cleanly 1st go (with one toprope practise the last time we were out there) Pretty impressive seen as he only started climbing outdoors at the beginning of the summer! I tried it on toprope but the start was just far too thin for me. You have to use a wee slopery slit in the rock as a side pull for your left hand and a fingertip crimp for your right hand to hold yourself in balance. Now, if you are tall, it's a matter of just quickly getting your balance sussed and reaching up for the next hold which is a really good one. But.........if you are a short ass, then you have to actually use the crimp and side pull to move your feet higher before you can reach the better hold. Unfortunately, my skills just don't enable me to use fingertip crimps!!!!! And of course, RB struggled on the move also, with neither her or myself making any progress.
Dusk was setting in, it was getting late so we hurried round the corner for my attempt on the 6a I've been working on.
Got up to the crux, 'shit, do I use the crap hold and move my feet up before getting the good hold, or do I get the good hold then move my feet up!?' Feet feet feet!!!! Now the 2nd move of the crux. I've got the good hold, swap my hands on it so I now have 2 good holds, look down at my feet, move them up higher, then move the right one into a wee tiny groove just a bit lower then the toe tip pocket, left foot up really high, get my whole foot onto the ledge and roooooooooooooooockover, FUCKING YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WOOOOOOHOOOOOOOOOO! Now that felt damn damn good!!! I tell you, all the days I have where my head just won't work (which are many,) that I climb like a numpty and feel I should just give it up, it's moments like these that make it all worth the fear and effort :o)
Yes, I'm still buzzing and happy! Next goal, 6a onsight!