Friday, 29 February 2008

Don't blame it on the moonlight

An eerily quiet Orme session last night, but a good one. Good in the respect of the vibe, not so good in respect of RA. I think it might have had something to do with coiffing a hundred litres of strong coffee throughout the day (thought I was on the brink of palpitations at one point). The comedown seemed to hit me in the car on the way.

Pah! All this is a mere blanket of excuses. Although the cave by evening is a beautiful place (all her nooks and crannies are delightfully expressed), it doesn't seem to be a good plan for working a problem stuck in the middle of a roof where one doesn't have time to linger (well I don't anyway) looking for shadowed footholds . Others seem to be able to climb in a headlamp but it puts me off. Wearing the wrong t-shirt puts me off for fuck's sake! These excuses must cease and the rock must be crushed.

Tomorrow a vist to Sheffield. Whilst others are blasting each others testes with paint on a wet field in Nottingham, I'm going to find someone to visit.

Wednesday, 27 February 2008

The great quake of '08

After coming back from Todd's house around midnight last night, I decided to begin the previously mentioned shortlist in the 7&8's guide before going to bed. Suddenly, around 01:00, the living room began to shake immensely to which I naturally released my brown load. At first, I thought Andy had rolled 20 prostitutes out of bed upstairs but then realised even that wouldn't make this much noise and movement for that long. Sat up on UKB with a couple of other lonely hearts, I toyed with the idea of posting that there might have been an earthquake. I then considered this a ridiculous and unlikely notion, only to awake to find it was an earthquake after all!

As a lot of people have been commenting, it's amazing just how loud an earthquake is. Wow.

Tuesday, 26 February 2008


Had an interesting, albeit simple discussion with Crouch recently with regards to the UK weather patterns and the realisation of one's potential outdoors. These past few weeks have been kind to our fraternity and it made us wonder whether the community at large could not go on to achieve even greater things given a more stable weather system. An innane discussion on the whole, but there does seem to be an innundation of much sought after sends by various friends and associates at present.

The night out to Liverpool on Saturday for Mule's birthday was decent by and large; as suspected, the somewhat 'diverse' lineup did make things a bit weird and not altogether seamless. Despite this, it was good to meet some new faces and really enjoyed the many conversations. Poor 119 was rammed to capacity, though secretly I think her delicate and aged masonry appreciated a return to her glory days of post-war partying. One of the great things I realised about our house is that we seem to have forged an unspoken but mutual alliance with neighbours on both sides. It doesn't happen every weekend so when we have people en masse around, they let it slide and we'd happily do the same for them.

Despite not having any real sleep over the past 3 days, the company of Liverpool's answer to Mr Motivator carried me through a decent weights session yesterday. Realised I can actually bicep curl a decent amount now and that the last two month's weight training is really starting to pay off. Granted I'm not going to head out and buy a tight fitting, black FCUK t-shirt, get tanned up to the eyeballs and buy a Staffs Terrior, but I'd like to own some guns to be sincerely proud of.

Tomorrow night is a lantern session at the cave. Being my inaugural night-session there, I'm not completely confident I'll be able to see all the holds I need to. Should prove an interesting sampler anyhow.

Some good news through is that there is space in M. Jennings car on the forthcoming Font trip. It's been a while since last at Font and so been reading through the 7&8's guide as well as the current thread on UKB. Perhaps a little pointless as I never usually end up trying half the things I shortlist, but who knows, perhaps this time I might.

Saturday, 23 February 2008


Wow. Received a call from Mick yesterday enquiring whether I'd be interested in watching him die today and ultimately be powerless to stop it. I agreed on the premise that if he was going to commit suicide at the Breck, I'd do my darned hardest to thwart his attempts.
We departed around 10 this morning for Wallasey's most inspiring (read only inspiring) highball. The car was suitably rammed with as many mats as could physically fit and as much psyche as you can fit in a nu-school 2 litre VW Beetle of your fiance's.

After the usual warmup routine on the Who Wall, we were stood at the bottom contemplating the gist of it all. Usefully, we had no top-roping kit and if Mike was to justify the drive from Rotherham, the Haston Dyno would have to be done ground-up with no inspection as to whether the finishing slot which one dyno's to was in any fit state to be caught. In any case, I perhaps somewhat irresponsibly egged him on, reminding him of Adam Long's ground-up ascent of the Angels Share and how such highball ascents are the future.

After a number of abortive ascents at the crimp line from which one launches, Mick psyched himself up good style with the sequence dialled. Rather than windmilling over with the right hand as had been the case on the initial attempts, a small edge was spotted out left and a high slopey smear for the right foot. After one go of this method, we both knew it was on and it was just a matter of time.

As he set off, I couldn't help but think of the consequences of a barndoor swing rightwards away from the landing zone and onto a pile of tetanus-ridden detritus. Naturally, I didn't voice my concerns and instead concentrated on preventing my dear friend from perishing inasmuch as one could assist.

The deadpoint of the slot was one of the longest periods of time ever experienced by any man. Indellibly scorched into my brain was the facial expression Mick possessed as he looked down in anticipation of a bum landing. I was obviously powerless and hoped to fuck that housebrick didn't have any of the moss in it I'd seen from the top of the Who Wall in years past. Thankfully, Duncan had done a grand job of cleaning it and all that was required was a match and then an equally terrifying dismount.

With the object of today's session in the bag, we headed to Bluebell Wall for an hour before departing for coffee with the chadmesiter.

One of the most memorable days climbing thus far. Amazing.

Thursday, 21 February 2008

day or night....

"So when you call up that shrink in Beverley Hills........... you know the one..." shit I love Prince.

Anyway, headed to the Breck and then Frodsham for a lantern session with O, si and Crouch. I'm really, really feeling these lantern sessions right now and it's keeping everyone pysched moving on rock instead of a scummy indoor wall.
After a warmup, sent the classic Old Shep before getting stuck into a new project. This thing has me so so psyched. A pull on on the dirtiest hold you could possibly envisage for the right, similar on the left. Pull on, low positive edge for your right foot, left foot scums, moving it into a niche. Scum the right foot into a real vague fin. Bone the living fuck out of the right and try to move over the left foot. When at 1000% effort on the right crimp and in balance, lock it making a long move to the shittest imaginable hold - like really, really bad. Hit it (desperate) and attempt to match on an atom before trending out leftwards to finish on the granny traverse. No idea of a potential number because it will be a new personal standard in thin climbing. I can't quite believe i'm so psyched for this thing. Crouch was coming painfully close on sticking the Brundlefly dyno and I'm positive he'll get it next session for the second ascent. Presume he'll then be keen for the sitter.

O is looking real strong at the moment and is managing to surmount some niggling injuries. He's also the key instigator of the lantern sessions and for that, I'm eternally thankful. People who are going to the wall in favour of these sessions are missing out big time!

Have to pop into uni tomorrow to sort some administrative matters out before going for a run and cleaning the hosue for the onslaught of half of Denbigh. Dearly looking forward to the Dear.

Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Anti wall measures

Felt crap with this bastard virus the last few days but decided yesterday that I should head to Pex with the others to try and get some fresh air in the system. There's a supreme smugness that descends when you realise 100+ people are wasting 7 quid for a session down the wall when you're out in the best possible conditions under lamplight tearing rock to pieces.

There was a decent crowd down and conditions were immense. Started the usual warmup of working through the gears then moved on to try NW Overhang. Couldn't envisage doing it at first but got heavily psyched and after discovering the most micro of micro beta it went. Crouch sent it and then the sit down. Standup said to be 7b and the sitter mooted to be 7b+ but there's a conscensus reckoning it likely 7c. To the visiting climber it would be pretty miserable to say the least.

I love lantern sessions and it seems everyone is now keen for them which is good.

And so:

Today: Hearty food at the Crouch's
Thurs: Lie in and Frodsham lantern session
Fri: Try and get some kids club hours
Sat: Crush am, party pm.
Sun: A veritable write off.

Sunday, 17 February 2008

Wows all round!

Having been nailed to the chair doing uni work for the past month, I finally managed to get out yesterday with Donnelly, Doylo and Dan Honeyman (the big 3d's).

When not sat in the chair, I've been campussing at home and pressing the shit out of the weights. It's been an ideal time for a conditioning phase and it's done me the world of good. After the mandatory warmup in Split Infinity, we moved to the cave where Matt did his usual run through on Left Wall Traverse and I did some lock offs on RA pocket. Pill Box was on the agenda and Matt was also steamin keen to do Clutch. I had no intentions of trying Rock Attrocity as felt I was coming down from this inavoidable virus going round. Eventually, curiosity got the better of me and I found myself chalking up.

Now, recently I've been attempting to devise a means of rectifying my problem of sequence remembrance. The method I've come up with is a form of pictogram. I should take a photo of it at some point and post it up. Coupled with my daily bathing ritual of rehearsing the moves in a fully relaxed state, I can now confirm I have the sequence 500% dialled.

With this in mind, I pulled on and set off. Grab the pocket, arrange feet yada yada... Shit! This whole thing feels like a juggy warmup!! Shit I've hit the sloper in exactly the manner I've been mentally rehearsing it. Shit! There's no sag whatsoever on the flake, I could hang here all day! Ok, keep cool you still need to hit pocket and apply beautiful toe hook beta for the finishing match....

FUCK!!! My heel's on and there's so much gas left in the tank, how can this be! I felt shit before pulling on. In shock, I come off the problem wanting to conserve energy for an attempt where I've not got post-traumatic stress.

Sit down, sip some water and wonder where that all came from. Usually, I feel a bit of 'sag' in the arms desperately wanting me off. This time, nothing. Weights and campus have been the key.

Have one more full go and learn a bit of micro beta for the flake match, but it wasn't happening. Decided to leave the problem alone for when I feel fresh.

Matt had a decent day too getting back on Drink Driving and sticking the crux pinch move. Bearing in mind his high alcohol input the previous night, I think he should be psyched considering he's spent time out of action on holiday. Amusing to note how difficult Clutch is too! I told Matt the verdict proffered by many to which he said "it's piss!". One pull on and he was laughing as was I. To look at, it's jugs. Pull on and it's suddenly a contorted, steep nightmare!

I remember Keith telling me a while back that weights were the key to Si Moore's gains. With this borne in mind, I embarked upon said weight training phase and have now completely stunned myself. I think I surprised Matt too. He remarked that it should have been in the bag when I came off...

For me, that was the session-maker. Sure enough today I feel the onset of the cold but garlic will fight it off in no time as ever.

Fully, fully psyched and going to head back when cold is gone.

Oh and a text just through from Mick to say he's finally done Monoblock! Amazing news.

Thursday, 14 February 2008


Had today's tutorial. It went bad and I was made an unfair example of. I've realised that trying to get any constructive advice from most of the tutor's is nigh on impossible. I like Roy but he spouts more maxims than your average evangelical midwest pastor. Talking of which - there was a documentary on the youngest preachers in the world on C4 earlier. Scary, scary shit.

Plan for next few days:

Fri: Lecture and have to beast scale plans for review on Monday.
Sat: Crushing on Orme or going to Pass with Matt.
Sun: Working all day on plans run pm.

Next week need to absolutely hammer uni work so as the weekend can be successfully handed over to Audion. Denbigh invasion hold up!

Monday, 11 February 2008

Ghost town

Quick post before apres train dinner:

Hit the weights tonight and after feeling a bit like something was coming on, I got into it good style and Hawtin carried me through.

Captains of Crush went eerily well considering I've been feeling so lethargic all day. First go and almost clinked! Second and third sets the same but ultimately had to settle for efforts just shy of the clink. It'll happen inevitably so not too bothered.

Everyone's in south france for Micks stag do ripping the limestone of Rouhling's home turf to shreds. Meanwhile, the party goes on in Liverpool for me. Slowly getting somewhere with the windsurfing centre (even if my design isn't yet 'complex enough') Don't they want it simple??

Enough, dinner and the soy shake call.

Sunday, 10 February 2008

Mai in vita mia (?)

What's with the Italian? I think I've managed to coherently string a short sentence together? Well 2 reasons really. The first and most important being that I intend to spend a lot of time in Italy in years to come. It's something else to keep my mind active and I sort of miss learning languages. I look at the English Lorenzo speaks and feel bad. I should be making a similar effort with a country I could see myself going to live in.

The second (and most pressing reason) is that it pertains to a project that has been offered to me. It's at a newly developed limestone crag in the backwaters and it's hard. Really, it is too hard for me yet it isn't. I know it won't get done before the crag guardian may publish the sector but I need something of this difficulty to sustain an interest. It's in a roof and involves some semi-contorted press/dyno move to a shallow crimp at a considerable distance away. Yesterday I spent my time after climbing the obvious and amenable lines working this. We had a step ladder to try the move when you latch the crimp and I had a go. It's hard, seriously fucking hard. How do I know this? Mick wasn't pissing it. It's such a deceptive move - you rock up and think wow that line looks good let's get it sent. Sadly not.

To stick the first move (and I have been hitting it in a sort of controlled manner) will involve tension beyond my current form. It will also require an increase in left hand deadhang strength. Perfect. In between study, I have just the toolkit for working these attributes at home. I'm going to start this campaign tomorrow and reattempt the (stunning) line next time out. Maybe I can get some video I don't know....

It'd be easy to think that I'm not that good a climber and the line in all actuality won't be that hard. If it wasn;t for the fact I'm not in a position to publicise the area, maybe you could try it and see for yourself.

Wow, bring it on.

Asides: Obliterated powerball pb with 11,993 the other night. Finally sorted the technique (to some extent anyway). It seems to create bruising in the middle of my palm but it's worth it for the numbers.

CoC 1.5 is a done deal. Post next campus session it's closed. I know this from trying to close it earlier whilst still half asleep and managing to get within 2mm of sealing the deal. Not looking forward to number 2!!

Actually.... of course I am! Pass me that bastard CoC!

Tuesday, 5 February 2008

One thousand million brain cells

Went to Geddes on friday night just passed. Dan had secured guestlist tickets and as Jim had gone to his lady's gaff in Leeds, I got in for free which was nice. I really rate Leaf as a venue. Granted the sound could be better but the atmosphere compensates for this I feel. Either way, it sure wasn't enough of a factor to ruin the night. It would have been nice to see a few more people in attendance in the warehouse but it was still pretty busy. Hopefully Liverpool will get a decent run of DJ's playing here as I'm getting pretty pissed with mega city centre events and the inevitable high ticket prices.

Tonight, hit the dispensary with O et al. to finish cleaning up our detritus. Pretty sad seeing it shut down so early in its life but pretty good as the air was probably toxic in there. Psyched to find a venue with natural light and ventilation now. Rumours are abound that Holger has found a really good sized unit in Birkenhead for 30, yes 3.0 quid a month!! Looking forward to seeing this as Hol is not one for bullshit speak...

Campussed back at Owens, even partaking in one of his hyper campus sessions making lots of limestoneesque shuffles and big moves on thin rails.

Thursday may hit pex and warrington wall post crit.

Sunday, 3 February 2008

At last!

Music at last!

Audion's coming to town on the 23rd, I can't wait. Had to miss this last time round but definitely not doing so this time.

Bed beckons so brief weekly itinerary:

Monday: Cane uni work in studio 9am til late.
Tuesday: Uni as normal, get some studio hours in for thursday's interim crit. Depending on space, head over to the Cattell's gig.
Wednesday: Even if it's flooded, going to the cave for RA.
Thursday: Crit...
Friday: Try get some wall hours
Sat: Crush am, party pm.
Sun: Wall hours til mid pm, design til the late pm.

Rock Attrocity, you are getting ripped out of this world on wednesday. I'm going to campus the shit out of you until you break!

Friday, 1 February 2008

La Balance

Just finished todays uni work. After one boring lecture on the very very basic fundamentals of structural engineering, and one vaguely interesting one on thermal comfort, I spent all day in the studio working on the new project.

The brief? To design a windsurf and land yachting centre on the site at West Kirby (hometown heaven). Before any interesting conceptual shit goes down, I'm calculating the buidling's footprint; that's to say, the sum of all the neccessary individual entities dictated by the brief (showers, instruction room, storage etc.). Need to finish site analysis over the weekend as well as the site context plan. Also must start looking at precedents before Roy rips our bollocks off on Monday for not doing it.

Climbing? Well fuck me, when will it EVER EVER stop pissing down!!!?? Not sure if anyone has any plans to head out tomorrow, but I sense nobody whatsoever will be down for trying to find and climb on dry lime. In which case, I'm packing my shit up now and going to Geddes. Bad boy bradbury sent me a wholesome set by the man in question. Dan's steaming his tits off about the night and I've just absorbed general good vibes about it.