Sunday, 13 October 2013

About Fucking Time,Eh.

It's been the best part of a year since I did one of these things.Family matters notwithstanding,this is due to several things,not least of which is my worryingly successful bouldering over the last few months.All the hard work training actually seems to be paying off,projects have gone down and some tangible progress made.A direct result of this hitherto unseen phenomena has been a marked increase in my general happiness.And I can't write for jack shit when I'm cheerful and well disposed towards the world.

Monday, 26 November 2012

The Real Life?

I haven't posted anything in a good while,several months in fact.It's not that I've had nothing to say;I've got a right mouth on me and a brain full of opinions,which I usually inflict on anyone who'll listen.It's not that  I haven't been battering my body and my ego with training and climbing,cos I have.It's just that something kinda got in the way.A real kick up the arse called real life.                                    

Monday, 13 August 2012

The Rock Atrocity dichotomy

Dragon laces cinched tight,rubber squeaked clean.Two calloused paws shoved in the chalk bucket,rubbed together,excess blown off.Come on man,this time.Just like Jerry,back in the day.Match the flake and pull on,an easy first move to the pocket.Right foot outside edge on the spiky crimp,and a stiff pull into the next,worse right hand drilled slot.Dig in,bone it like a fishmonger,step left foot through,big move to the glued on flake.Squeeze it man,no kipping here,right foot high,really drill the fucker into that useless foothold.Out with the right hand to match that motherless shithouse of a hold.Got it.Fuck,fuck,fuck...what's the foot sequence?Don't think,just hold the cutloose and get that right foot on.Then go like hell for the pinch,but no,I'm fading,I'm fat, weak and useless,and swing off as my right hand vainly attempts to close on it.I slump onto my dusty pad,dejected but somehow perversely ebullient.Ten minutes rest,some water,a roll up and then perhaps one last go? Nah.Fuck it.Not today,man.Pill Box anyone?                             Sound familiar? Rock Atrocity,the glued up and drilled but brutally brilliant albatross round my neck had just struck again.I honestly had no idea it would take this long.My first session,I linked it in a couple of overlapping sections and was confident,nay,convinced it'd go next visit....but it would seem the goat-headed gods of The Orme had other plans for me.I'm now five sessions deep on the thing,some spent going maddeningly backwards,others offering that tiny glimmer of hopeful progress that keeps me coming back to that shiny shit filled cack pile that passes for a bouldering venue.The place draws me in,weekend after weekend,rain or shine.And I hate it.The moves are horrible,the holds awkwardly sized...I mean Christ alive,if you're gonna completely manufacture a problem,at least make it a good one.But see the thing is,it's a fantastic bloc.I love and loathe it in equal measure;I could quite happily never try the bastard again,but then could I live with that? The knowledge that I just gave up,fucked it off for something softer,easier,nicer even...      

Monday, 16 July 2012

Grades,boards and getting nowhere fast

Since my last post it's rained almost constantly,which does sweet fuck all for psyche levels,but on the up side,does force me to get inside and train.I love training,I like the grind and the graft of it.Since,for mind boggling reasons that I can't quite figure out.,I'm mostly a mid 7's punter outside,I spend a vast amount of time engaged in a seemingly futile and neverending Moebius loop of  wood and plastic based exercise.Don't get me wrong,I fucking hate climbing on plastic with a vehemence bordering on mania,but in these monsoon soaked conditions,what the fuck can you do? Just accept it,and get on with slipping off hold after hold of  scattergun graded volume heavy crap,it would seem... Or not,as the case may be...salvation has of late arrived in the form of renewed psyche for Wilko's board in the satanic depths of Nelson.It's a weird set-up,a 45 degree cellar board,that actually 53 degrees and in a loft.Can't really hold it against Wilko though,he's from bandit country and can barely speak coherent Queens English,so expecting any kind of accuracy re angles and location might be pushing it a bit.Regardless of this,the anklebiting mini-beast's board is actually fucking class.With the sterling assistance of  Mr Crusher Holds,Darwen's very own P-Robes,we added a plethora of new holds and set to repeating the old problems and setting new ones.I swear,pulling as hard as you can on wooden crimps on a steep board;it's like a fucking panacea for the soul.The grades make sense,too,in a kind of  harsh way (as in board 6C = real world 7A+ or so),which isn't something I can say for The Shelterstone at Trowbarrow.And thus onto the grades of the title.....  As anyone who knows me will no doubt testify,I'm basically an embittered old cunt with slight anger issues,and very little within the world of blocs provokes my ire more than grading,especially undergrading.After two recent Shelterstone sessions,I have to conclude that I've never climbed anywhere in this sceptered isle with such wildly undergraded problems.It's not just cos I'm shit,either.Other,superior climbers have voiced the same opinions.Pit Problem 7B? Shit right off. Jazz Phenomena 7A+??!! Get to fuck. Ned's problem 7B?? Are you smoking fucking crack? I don't care how many times you've done these blocs,how wired you have em...put that pipe down and give us a fucking break. Now before anyone squeals up with the usual "ooh but Lakesbloc is SUCH a great resource,and it's free,yadadada etc ad infinitum",I'm not complaining about that. Lakesbloc is fucking smart,and damn useful. But so are accurate grades.Knowing I'm strong on the board and the Crusher,it's galling to rock up and get summarily stoppered on blocs allegedly well within my range.It really does feel I'm getting nowhere,and at light speed. To vaguely justify these sourest of grapes,none other than the eternally youthful George Clooney of British climbing,Keith Sharples rolled up at Trowbarrow yesterday.After witnessing a strong,timber trained Lancastrian(naming no names,Darwen Sloth...)get spat off  The Groove,he enquired of the grade...6C+,he was told.Watching several of us gurning upside down on Ned's,he asked the grade of that.His laconically raised eyebrow spoke volumes.

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Bitterness,epiphany and Balotelli

This'll come as zero surprise to those who know me,but I really don't like young people much.I was one once,but I'm convinced I was probably a prize cunt with dubious dress sense,not unlike the hordes of garish,tight trousered,screeching no-marks who infest the pub near my gaff every Thursday night,thus disturbing my much needed beauty sleep.They seem to find it entirely impossible to converse in anything but a full-volume,high pitched babble.This is more than likely something to do with alcohol,but this is no excuse;it's merely another mark against them.It's not bad enough that they wear farcical trousers and have stupid fucking hair and are noisy...they can't even hold their drink,a cardinal sin in this part of  Lancashire.  However,the thing that really irks me is young climbers.Again,I was one once,but this isn't gonna stop my tirade.As a bitter,but hard training bloke in his mid/late thirties,it sticks in my craw to see featherweight whippersnappers effortlessly floating up hard problems,with seemingly no graft other than going down the wall and not training in any kind of structured manner whatsoever.Fair play,they get the problems done,but where's my fucking payback? I deadhang with near religious fervour,run power endurance laps,campus,stretch,diet...the list's endless.But still,no dice on my projects.I can't even look back on my youth and think "Bless em,I was just like that...",because I wasn't.Back in the day,all climbing walls were horseshit and apart from anything else,as a young climber I was also shit.I'm still distinctly average now,despite all my effort.And to top it off,I'm also cynical and unpleasant,kinda like a bouldering Charlie Brooker.Except I don't get to dick Connie Huq.
    As you might've gathered,none of my projects have come to fruition,and for a week or so I started to seriously wonder if it was all worth it.The strain,injuries and worrying obsession with wooden rungs and stopwatches,the constant nearly-but-not quite of trying to push your grade.Fortunately,I had a couple of those training sessions that actually feel like some progress is being made...and the negative,bitter bollocks that often infests my mind got steamrollered aside.This is when you gotta dig in,fight like fuck to break out of the plateau and really start getting somewhere.At the end of the day,it's utterly futile I guess,since all I want to gain from this is to get better at climbing up little rocks.But that simply isn't the point,is it? It's bouldering,and for all it's ups,downs and brick walls,I fucking love it.I stand by my fervent dislike of young,light,talented climbers who hardly train,though.If you get the chance,take a mallet to their fucking fingers.

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Four days of progress,racist ducks and extreme weightlifting

It's been an odd sort of week.Following a dismal day at The Cave Of Justice and Pill Box the other Sunday,I was convinced to take some rest by two other members of the NW over-35's club.Not before time..I'd gone from 7B+ to punting around falling on my arse off Pill Box Original,all in the space of a week.Brilliant.Rest duly taken,along with some core work.Typically,one of my rest days was a nightmare day at work;four dirty big trees to prune away from an 11kv line near Rimington,home of Lancashire's only racist duck.He's called Bob,and his owner assures me he's a total bastard,and harbours a serious dislike of all black dogs.I'd seen the avian hatemonger on a previous tree job,and was glad I was 50 feet up a big old ash tree,where he couldn't get at me.I've got a fair tan,and I wouldn't put it past him to hold that against me.  Anyway...back to climbing.Partially rested,I hit Longridge for a recce of Robins' crimpy 7C,Colon Power.I got a bit distracted by watching Andy F's wack old man sequence on Grow Wings SS.He got up it though,but I think sneaking up stuff instead of powering is missing the point,largely because I can't fathom how his method works.Luckily I boshed it first go with my basic thug beta.Put that in yer pipe and smoke it,footwork.The old man's going ok to be fair,though;he cruised across Left Wall Traverse at The Cave the other Sunday.Ben "Snaps" Freeman rolled up too,and proceeded to casually waltz up everything he got on.Some serious ginger power there.He gave me the goods about Colon Power,and I'll be back for that one.

Saturday, 16 June 2012

First things first

I've been meaning to do this blog lark for a while now,but computers unnerve me.I can't really type,and I'm lazy. Luckily I have acquaintances who live firmly in the 21st century to help me with such things as setting up  computerised stuff.Thus,here we are...frankly it scares me that I live in a world where I can inflict my thoughts on the masses,should they choose to read this drivel,but fuck it. I subscribe firmly to the adage that everyone's entitled to my opinion,and that's where I hope this blog's gonna go. Bouldering,training,failure,boredom,the occasional hard send,existential woe,techno,house,booze and above all,living for the craic.Welcome aboard,kids.It's likely to get messy.