07 April 2010

A spot of Sport...

I've engaged in most disciplines of climbing now - bouldering, indoor, trad. and winter - but I've never entertained the idea of heading outside to clip bolts, which is a fundamental aspect of sport climbing. It's a shame really because if this afternoon's showing was anything to go by I've been missing out.

Working the moves on a Chip off the Old Block (F6a+).

Since the Knoydart expedition and my previous post I've had a days work followed by two days off. Today was the last of these days off, before a four day stint up in the forest with Go Ape, so I made the most of the day. The weather forecast was hinting that the afternoon was going to be a good one and so I left Carlisle relatively late with the intention of calling in at University to get some work printed, before heading on down south to the delights of the bolted Yorkshire limestone of Giggleswick.

Seconding Cygneture Tune (F5+).

We based ourselves at the Sector Swans area of Giggleswick South, which seemed to have the biggest cluster of routes graded around 6a; I have climbed harder sport routes, but those have been inside. For my first sport climbing experience I thought I would set the barrier low with the idea that it can only get better. This turned out to be a good idea because I was shaky as hell on the first few routes, but after getting a redpoint in on a F6a+ I felt settled, and started to onsight a couple of F6a's.

Like I mentioned at the beginning, it's such a shame that it has taken me this long to turn to sport climbing, as I thoroughly enjoyed the sheer simpleness of it all: there is little route finding to be done and there is no thought needed as to how to protect the climb; instead it's all about the moves, which is climbing in its simplest form. I suppose it's a good job I enjoyed the afternoon; in little under five months I'll be in Kalymnos for two weeks hitting up their bolted climbs.

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

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