The Nuts and Bolts

The sport has kicked off surprisingly well, still running on arms of capacity. No training; just been climbing recently and had some pretty good days considering, probably to the major frustration of everyone who is putting many hours in. I guess putting hours in on the rock counts and it’s the best hours to be had!

Finally made the most of being close to the great British limestone and once I had jumped on the opportunity I was on a run, the weather and conditions were a Kilnsey climbers ecstasy and I was a weak addict, the two day plan quickly got put to one side and 3 new routes were realized over the next 6 days.

Soft Option (8a) a route I tried a couple of times at the burnt end of last season. A perfect diagonal shallow groove climbed technically and strenuously supported and preceded by big boulder moves. It took several attempts to get done- certainly a hard, soft option 8a!

I attempted to flash an extension to WizzyWig called complete control that gets 8a and for once IS a soft option if you are in the exclusively short club. Unfortunately I did not find the complete control necessary on the first go but was psyched to send it second go another hidden gem.

The day came when I had to go home and it was postponed, and postponed again and again and again. Day five saw my big British project ticked! On the second day I had put the draws up Ecstasy (8b) and it felt nails. Day 3 I got back on it again and every two moves had me off several times. The end of day 4 I got on it with little hope that I was going to ever do this route. I took full opportunity of the rest bellow where the real climbing kicks off, something I don’t think I had done before and for the first time in maybe 8 days of attempts over last year and this stuck the crux slap. From there you get another massive rest before another sustained 8 move boulder problem. A slightly inadequate foot sequence spat me off feeling fresh half way through the last leg. But now I knew it was in. Sure enough the first go the next day, with confidence, and ecstasy this bulging nemesis was mine. Feels 8b+ before you do it and then 8a+ but whatever the number wicked+ moves up an impressive bit of rock.

By Luke Tilley