06 February 2010


Since my last post, which was nearly a week ago, I feel like I have been winning in life. This is probably because I've ticked off a couple of assignments, which means the pressure of University has been relieved somewhat, and I've also got back into a routine when it comes to training for climbing, which feels really good and the current plan is not only enjoyable, but extremely beneficial to my climbing performance.

I had no real plans for this weekend, but I knew I wanted to get out on some real rock on one day and do some work towards another assignment, which I am really excited about (and I can imagine I'll blog about this at some point in the future), on the other day.

I studied the weather forecasts last night, and did the same this morning and decided that today was the day for climbing and with this I popped out to Carlisle to make a quick purchase of the Northumberland Bouldering Guide so that I could go and sample the delights of the sandstone found at Queen's Crag in the afternoon. This is a place I've wanted to visit since I saw this video almost nine months ago. Obviously this wasn't a like I wanted to try, but there looks to be a lot to go at when you flick through the pages of the guidebook.

Peel Crag rising out of the mist.

However the weather thwarted my plans. I left Carlisle around midday with blue skies and a warm sun overhead and headed east towards Northumberland. As I got closer to the border the visibility started to drop and the cloud started to close in, but I pressed on. I eventually pulled onto the private road, which leads to the crag, and on stopping and inspecting the dry stone wall, besides the van, I decided to pack it all in. The wall was soaking and I am guessing the crag was the same. I turned tale and started to head back east. I called in at Peel Crag and Crag Lough on the way to see them shrouded in mist, dripping with moisture and decided, at this point, that a visit to Armathwaite may just turn the productivity scale back in my favour.

Problem 10 (V4), Sandy Bay Area, Armathwaite, April '09.

Armathwaite didn't fail to deliver. It was very like St. Bees back in January; it felt like the summer and having stripped away the fleeces and hats I set to on the familiar problems of the Sandy Bay Area. I ticked the usual problems and then just enjoyed making moves on the steep sandstone, before getting seriously stuck into working the V6 problem, which goes straight up a prow and features in the new DVD from Posing Productions, The Asgard Project. Unfortunately I didn't top-out, like Leo does in the DVD, but I can see the moves and am sure I'll get there after a bit more training. When I first visited Armathwaite I couldn't even pull off the ground on that line, so there has definitely been some improvement. Anyhow I'll leave you with this video...

Since it was first uploaded to the net I think I've watched it at least once a day. Maybe it's because it was made and produced by four students studying for a degree in Adventure and Media at the University of Cumbria, maybe it's the music, or maybe its because it shows the Lake District at it's best. It makes me realise how privileged I am to be studying, working and playing in such an environment.

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

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