Gritstone by Ned Feehally
I was knackered but the weather was beautiful – we only get about 10 days like that a year so I though it would be rude not to head out. I wanted to do help the young, an 8a up at the Stanage plantation. Its a fine feature, sticking out of the ground, swelling as it rises. The stand start felt ok so immediately I set about the low moves. It involves guppy’s and leg clamping as well as milking some terrible slopers – not your average power problem but this is why it is so good. Anyone can jump between crimps… Anyway after half an hour barking up the wrong tree my trusty spotter suggested something completely different. It seemed ridiculous but I thought it was worth a go. I pulled on and did the hard section first go. Great, now just sit down and link it?... No way, it took a number of false starts before I finally huffed and puffed my way to the top, falling off every move but somehow holding on.
Next up was the joker (8a). I have tried this a bit before but never really had any convincing goes on it. This time the conditions couldn’t have been better. An icy cold wind was whipping across the crimps leaving them feeling grippy and secure. I had a couple of non committed throws at the top and got no where near, until an adjustment was suggested to the sequence. This helped loads and I grabbed a handful of the jug, only to let go through fear of dropping the swing and landing somewhere in Hathersage.
Next go I gritted my teeth and held it. Nice. 2 off my list on the first day of the season.
Why not try the ace – this 8b climbs into the joker from a low start. Although it only adds 2 moves it adds a lot to the difficulty as you are never quite right on the crux holds for the last move. After a few goes I had a sequence sussed that worked well – I could climb into the match and started top throw for the top. My best go ended with me tickling the jug. Progress...