Wednesday, 29 July 2015


Last Saturday was gloriously sunny and warm. After teaching the ridiculous kitten about grass in the garden, I headed out into the peak district with Mr Austin the Psyche Machine to try Aberration, at two-tier.

Batting the bauble, a long term climbing goal

Popping around

Ed was keen to steal all of my beta while I was hoping to steal his psyche. This worked well both ways. I confessed to Ed that he was one of the few people I had climbed with other than Alistair since breaking my leg and that I was scared. 

In actual fact, Ed seemed supremely confident that I would not be scared. Which in many ways, was actually really reassuring.

We arrived at the crag and elected not to wait for Squiff and Hannah (scumbag Lisa and Ed) as we were impatient. At this point I also realised that in being organised and remembering flip-flops for wading the river, I had in fact forgotten to wear real shoes. It turns out that using flip flops in sloping mud is actually an achievement in itself.

As we walked along the Monsal trail, it started to rain. However, we ignored it and it got bored and went away again. At the base of the crag, a fruitful bargain was made whereby a cup of coffee was exchanged for a banana (see what I did there?) before we warmed up bolt-to-bolt (because in spite of the fact that two-tier actually has warm-ups, warming up is something I frequently forget exists on british limestone).

Thanks Ed for the photos :)

As I'd already had a couple of sessions on the route, I pretty much knew what I was doing. I had a redpoint go just before the sun came around, but fell off on what is essentially the crux move. However, the next go didn't go quite so well. It had got considerably warmer and it felt like it was necessary to pull a lot harder: as a result I fell off going for the crux hold.

I came down and decided to sulk for a bit: I thought I'd do that, have a coffee, then have a training go. So, on my final go of the day I started up the route, complaining about how warm the rock was. But by the time I was about 8 moves in, it seemed to be cooling down slightly. Without really thinking about it I stuck the move and then romped onwards to the final sketchy move. Embedding my sweaty fingertips into the crimp (sorry, next person), I rocked over and prayed... and stayed on.

I think what I was proudest about was the fact that I'd felt so confident above the clips - the top is easy, but slippery in the sun - and I know that not long ago I would have been terrified. I'm super psyched to do some more climbing and training now and I hope the sun keeps warming my holds!

Nearly there :)

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