27 February 2010

University Work

I'm down in Preston at the moment, and have been since Thursday. However, the weather has not been too favourable during my stay, meaning that many of the rock gems that encircle Preston have been out of condition. This has not really been a problem; with one thing and another I've not really had the time to get out on the rock. I arrived on Thursday afternoon, and after an evening in the pub for Ribble Canoe Club's AGM, I didn't surface until 10am the following day. It was raining when I did surface so I headed over to Lytham to make use of the family sewing machine so that I could get some work done on an assignment, which is due in, in a couple of weeks.

I'm guessing your now wondering if I've transferred degrees from a BA (Hons) in Outdoor Leadership to a BA (Hons) in Fashion and Textiles. I have not. Don't worry, but as part of the elective module, Technology in Outdoor Education, we've got to design a new item, or improve an existing item, of outdoor adventure equipment. Hopefully you've deduced from the fact that I need a sewing machine for the assignment I am looking at improving a piece of clothing. To be precise it's a pair of trousers for climbing and today I was out testing the prototype at Craig y Longridge.

Orientating myself with the layout of the problems.

I've visited Craig y Longridge on one previous occasion and on that visit the crag was damp in places. On today's visit it was still damp, but there were enough lines to go at and what made the search for dry problems easier were the little numbers painted onto the rock, which corresponded to the numbers besides the problems in the guidebook. Maybe all bouldering venues should have such a system.

Psyching myself up to make the throw for the top-out on Like a Slug but Sucks (Font 6b).

The damp crag conditions were ideal for testing my prototype; it was very wet and muddy underfoot, which meant that I could see how effective the design concept was.

Getting some university work done in mid-session.

You might be able to work out what the design concept is from the above picture, but basically it combines two solutions for cleaning your climbing shoes - wiping them on a rag of towel; or your trousers - by attaching a patch of towel to the trousers so that you can clean your climbing shoes quickly and easily. The testing was conclusive; the idea has legs! I now just need to perfect the material to wipe your shoes on and make them a bit more aesthetically pleasing and I should be onto a winner.

I quickly dispatched two problems that I had worked during my previous visit and after one spectacular fall and some further testing of my prototype I set about one of Craig y Longridge's many power endurance traverses.

Trying to get some strength back on the Font 6a traverse, Gruts, with a cheeky toe hook.

I managed to get the whole problem wired and commit the moves to memory however I just didn't have enough puff to link it all together. I had to eventually walk away from the crag, with one simple move (matching the finish hold) left to get the tick.

Two moves from the finish of Gruts (Font 6a).

More pictures can be found here.

Good lines, stay safe and see you on the wet stuff...

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