Monday, 13 September 2010

Logie Head - 12 Sept

I met up with Andy at Logie Head at 10.30 am on Sunday morning for our first climb together in ages.  It had rained on the way there but on a westerly, so the crag was still dry and I was actually climbing in a T-shirt it was so warm!
The tide was out when we arrived so we didn't want to hang about for too long in the non tidal area, but I wanted to warm up on something before heading across.  I decided to go up the line of the HS and if I didn't feel like it, then I could scoot across to the easier line on the left.  I'd forgotten how fiddly some of the cracks can be at Logie for placing gear and it seemed to take me ages to get good placements, so much so that I really felt the lead on my arms.  Thankfully the holds are big so I didn't get too pumped!  The HS is pretty soft and I managed it okay before we scooted across to the tidal area.
The tide was coming in and we had to traverse across, timing it right so as not to get our feet wet!  There is a VS there called Moray Eel that I hadn't done before but on looking at it, I thought it looked quite hard and Andy said it involved jamming.  That immediately put me off so I let him lead it, not bothered at all about the onsight, just happy to be out climbing.  I was glad I didn't lead it in the end as it's horrible!  It felt really hard at VS, probably the hardest VS I've ever been on.  Horrible insecure jams that my hands didn't seem to fit into and on top of that it was really reachy.  There is no way in hell that I could have led that so I'm glad I didn't even try.  I'd already led the other VS there and I wanted to warm up mentally a bit more before leading a proper VS, so I just got Andy to lead that one too.  It's funny, because he reckons that Fallen Star is harder than Moray Eel and he certainly made ME look really easy!  But I find Fallen Star quite nice and easy enough, nice incut holds and no jamming!
We scooted back to the non tidal area after that and I led Fisherman's Tail.  I love this HS, it's really nice climbing and it's far better than the other HS, so I can't understand why it doesn't get a star but I think Andy had said he never used to like it.  Andy then led Sunnyside Up at HVS.  I couldn't remember whether I'd climbed this before but it turns out that I'd seconded it a few years ago and had to rest on the rope.  Managed it cleanly this time but it felt right at my limit, very sustained climbing.  I decided to lead Poacher next and it took me a while to actually get off the ground on it!  I got a bit of gear really low down, for confidence but I wanted a higher bit and I just couldn't suss out how to get up there.  There is a side pull to the right and an undercling to the left, then a thin diagonal crack on the left, running rightwards.  I was up and down like a yoyo trying different combinations until I finally got my hand higher in the left/right crack, got my feet higher and was then able to reach up very easily to the top of the crack on the right and a big jug.  I then got more gear in and was committed.  The next move up was easy but left me on rounded holds, so I moved up again to more incut holds, though smaller.  I was getting so pumped placing gear, much more so than last time I led it.  But I was quite surprised by how long I managed to hang around for and place all the 8 bits of gear that I did!  8 bits of gear on a 10metre route, no wonder I was pumped!
After a break for something to eat, Andy then led Dave's Dilemma with a bit of a struggle, think it's the only E1 he's led this year.  I found it utterly desperate and had to aid up the damn thing with a very tight rope!  The very start is a wee scramble but that takes you up to a horribly polished crack.  The crack is very small, the crux hold faces the wrong way, so you can lunge over for a hold on the left instead.  But then the crack above becomes even more polished and not helped by the greasy rock and I just couldn't hold on without the help of the rope.  Once past the crux moves, the rest of the route was easier enough, but I found the climbing dull.
I'd been looking at Spread the Donkey to lead at VS 4c, but after getting so pumped on Poacher and seeing how thin the other VS looked in the middle, I just didn't think I'd have the stamina to hold on and place gear.  It's really frustrating, because I find the moves very easy, I just get pumped so quickly because my arms are so tight due to my neck.  And it doesn't help that I'm not getting out climbing enough either and am finding my gear placements slower to make.
I gave over my lead to Andy as my arms were knackered and he led On the Beach at HVS 5a.  This was a struggle!  It looked easy enough with big holds everywhere, but my arms were so tired and my fingers so weak that I found it quite brutal!  Managed it cleanly though, just!  Andy led Spread the Donkey next so I could see what it was like.  I just don't think I could have done it just now, but maybe it would have felt easier if I'd been fresher.  9 routes in one day is the most climbing I've done all year!  And the hardest climbing I've done all year.  I need more of it!

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