19 May 2014

A World of Contrast

Bouldering is full of contrast in so many ways. It has the Good the Bad and the Ugly. You get a guide out and choose your colour of preference. You like the look of the venue, but will it deliver? You never know until you climb it; that's the way it is. What I'm saying is, some of the neglected venues have a lot to offer; though not so attractive a setting. You've maybe looked it up on the web, seen a picture or video and think it all looks piss easy - how wrong you can be! You decide to give it go, try what you thought was easy. Then you pull on and fall off, try harder - it spits you off once more. You spend hours, days, maybe weeks. This might be some bizarre eliminate or a crack that looked easy, yet can be so fulfilling.

Today we spent nine and a half hours climbing in such a place, a forgotten quarry behind the Odeon cinema in the very centre of Mansfield. We witnessed fly tipping, heard screeches of rubber as doughnuts were being practiced in the car park behind the cinema, mixed with the sound of Jungle Techno Hard House and the rumble of the dolby sound system from the cinema. A bizarre soundtrack with which to climb, but atmospheric all the same.

In contrast to the negatives, it was an oasis in an urban jungle. The pleasant walk-in passed an idyllic stream laden with trout, locals fishing and having picnics, leading to a hidden quarry in a pocket of wilderness.

Some classic lines in a very contrasting environment.
As one youthful 'I was here' fades, The unfortunate addition of ever complex graffiti marks the passing of time. Where are they now?

11 May 2014

Local Rock

It's always tricky planning your weekend fix when the typical weather wheel of fortune has set in over the UK, sun, rain, hail, high winds, the frustration as the first shower hits your head just as you've spent an hour working out the moves, then each drop that falls whittles away at your optimism, wet pad, soggy shoes, your frustrations spiralling into soaking pad on head, muddy shoes, towel drying holds with a drenched jacket covering the top hold.

Time for a KFC break, This was a one of the main benefits of being on local rock in the centre of Mansfield.

For me now, the Esoteric East venues are becoming a priceless resource to dodge the British weather, I cannot believe we have not yet been shut down on any weekend, it's going to be worth the effort getting it into print.

Anyway, this was just round one, the shower past, sun drenched the crag. back for more, walking back in, clothes soaked, wet pads, showers looming, time to embrace the frustration again.
 A drenched Mike gave us the quote of the day "This reminds me of climbing days when I was in my twenties" Success was his, adding a thin 7c+ to the wall.
Failure on a sweet sloping crackling, hit the top twice, never blamed the rain, honest. 

5 May 2014

The Space Between

Some statistics say men think about sex every 7 seconds, others say 34 times a day, a worthy pastime with a satisfying climax.

It makes you wonder how many times a day a climber thinks about a problem/project compared to this?

Being an addict myself, nearly every waking hour and synaptic fibre that still works in my head is dedicated to finding a piece of rock and working a problem hoping to find that perfect moment in the process. I suppose this is a comparative climax. with similar moans and groans before the end result.

How do the two compare?

What are the benefits?
1. Rock will never complain about your poor performance.
2. The rock will never turn you down.
3. Rock will stand waiting for you through rain, sleet or snow.

Not so good
1. The rock will cheat on you, letting anyone on top, even if your there.
2. Rock is very frigid, quiet never uttering a word despite your best efforts.
3. Rock has a heart of stone, never returns any affection and always forgets your birthday.

Anyway best stop thinking and get climbing.
 Projects on the brain
 James living life on the lip
 Squeeze that arete
Chilling out up high on the Moors