14 March 2012

Heading East

Phoebe climbing for the guidebook.

It's unusual for me to have a Wednesday off, but I did, and thank god I did. Firstly Starbucks were giving away free Latte's all morning so I was able to get one of those, but more importantly, the sun was shining. We therefore headed east into The County (Northumberland) for a spot of bouldering at Shaftoe.

About to be spat off Mini Power (Font 6c).

Shaftoe is an amazing bouldering venue with well over 300 problems graded from Font 3 through to Font 8b and is also perfect for my entourage and their accompanying vehicles. We headed over to the Pudding Stone and then worked our way south down to Arete Land, which isn't far at all, but still, there are twenty four problems in this section and I ticked just under 50% of them.

Starting out on Slapper (Font 7a).

I feel that I should have ticked more, but I seem to struggle on The County's sandstone and have to make a real effort just to get up the low graded problems. However, I did tick a Font 7a today, the first time I have done this in The County, and despite this, I still got spat off a couple of easier problems.

On reflection I think the height of the problems subconsciously discourages me in trying really hard; instead of using momentum to get me through moves I try them statically, and at times, this approach does not work. The County top-outs also put me off some of the higher problems, as one wrong slip means gravity will take effect, resulting in some degree of pain; it is inevitable that I would land on my back, which is something I do not cherish, especially as I tend to boulder with out any spotters.

Phoebe exploring her cave.

This may seem strange as I tend to visit crags these days with my two girls in tow. I suppose one of them is eleven months old (tomorrow) and the other is too busy entertaining the former. However, we struck lucky today. We found a friendly cave at Arete Land, where we could attach some of Phoebe's toys and what followed was something to behold; Phoebe clambered up, down and around the cave so she could get at her toys.

Topping out on Classic Arete (Font 6a).

Back to work tomorrow.

More pcitures can be found here.

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

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