Sunday, April 29, 2012

Energy Crisis

Before anyone gets too excited I didn't do Energy Crisis yesterday but I did expirence one!

Al low down on Park Lane/Doomsville.
After deciding Rhoscolyn would be too wet we all headed to the Upper Tier. Alex led Park Lane/Doomsville in one long pitch. I'd lead it 5 years previously on one of my first visits to Gogarth so wasn't fussed about leading it. Seconding I was impressed with my seventeen year old self, it would have been a big lead for me back then.

The Strand next. My lead. The Strand and I have a colourful history. I first tried it back in 2007 on the same day I did Park Lane/Doomsville. Pumped silly after that and an ascent of Central Park (a pumpy HVS) I got to a tricky move at two thirds height and ran out of juice.

My next attempt came in first year. I  got spat off after committing to a lay back sequence a mid height.

Understandably nervous I set off. Trying to get into the Burdakin mantra that it's just a bit of fun and nothing to serious. The climbing on the strand is never difficult, but it is steep and is sustained. Thankfully it is well protected by good cams and wires, but good rests a few and far between.

Tom Everett cruising past my high point on the Strand.
Slowly I climbed my way up. Placing gear, committing to sequences and trying not to get too pumped. It all seemed to be going to plan and I climbed past my previous high point eventually. By this point I was pretty pumped and I didn't have much left. I stood around for ages in this semi rest, pretty tired and pretty scared. I managed to fiddling in an okay Rock 1 above my head. I just couldn't fathom what to do next. I tried saying take but Al was having none of it so I continued upward in the knowledge I was near easy ground. I tried to talk myself into taking the fall by telling myself it would be fun, but my brain was having none of it. Two moves later my leaden arms managed to place a good nut. I grab this and screamed at Al to take in. All very undignified but a good learning expirence overall. Hopefully fourth time I won't have an Energy Crisis!

Al then cruised up the Strand on my gear, apparently it is a very good sport route, before wandering over to Energy Crisis. Al had been on this a couple of times before and been bamboozled by crux,  but had always down climbed to preserve his onsight. It took him a few good goes climbing up and back down the ground before he committed to the top. Good lead mate it was very impressive to watch.
Mason trying not to have an Energy Crisis.
Back at the bags we faffed around a bit trying to decide if to do another route. DMM Rob recommended Crowbar a one star E1 so headed for that with no expectations. We found an excellent corner climb, sustained, well protected and only a bit dusty: a poor man's Emulator. It's a pity it only get one star and isn't in the selected guides, it's well worth doing. Get on it!

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