Daring Deeds - real stories, expeditions, road trips and adventure
Crushing the Crag
By Flo Tilley | 07, Sep, 2012
So a year has passed since Team Crush’s last Kilnsey trip and Naomi, once again had taken the challenge of organising the rabble. After inviting themselves to stay at our Grandparent’s ‘Bothy’ – an out house my Granddad redid into a bunk room. Another year to send some hard routes!
Day one and Tash and I were out at the crag before the others had even arrived. We had warmed up on the Bulge-let; 6b+, finding that we needed a little more time to get used to the limestone. An hour later, after working out the rock on the few easier climbs, the rest of Team Crush appeared. They were just in time to witness my feeble attempts on Pantomime; 7b+; a powerful, steep and bouldery route, and if you know me, that’s not my style. Feeling now that the limestone was slowly beating me, I moved to Directissima; 6c and a top roped trad; 7a neighbouring.
Day 2 we were off straight to the crag, a whole 2 minute walk away. The day started off much better than yesterday, this time, flashing a 6b+!!! After our warm up, Tara, Tash and I, got on Ground Effect; 7b. After pulling past a bouldery hard start I worked it to the top, the crux, being half way up needing a deep Egyptian and determination. This climb would go! Feeling more Psyched, Tara and I decided to get on the classic Sticky Wicket; 7b, a vertical technical climb. Tara went first, she worked it to the top, found it good but she had felt that her fear of falling outside had prevented her from going for moves and for the flash. I got on, working it too and finding the same problem of falling, definitely a part of my mind I need to fix! Later we made our way over to Gracie and Tash, we found them giving Smooth Torquer; 7a+/b a go, another, short and powerful climb, with another tricky start but jugs straight after. Gracie told us that she had got it in two, falling off not at the cruxy start but a dynamic move just after. I had to give it a go! I watched Tash repeatedly try the bouldery start swinging off after dynoing for a hold. Before I got on, Ian Dunn came over and gave me the beta for the less powerful people. My attempts were similar to Tash’s, catching the hold then swinging off, I was tiring and my finger skin was fast departing but I had to do this move, I finally got it, sticking my feet, but then in my exhaustion forgot the next hold and came off. Now I had that move, I knew I could do it, tomorrow would get some sending! Gracie, psyched to get a send, got back on and beasted it!
Gracie Martin psyched for the send
The sun was shining and because we are Team Crush and we are crazy, we all decided to go swimming in the river; well most of us, Tash and Gracie whimped out and watched at the edge. It was FREEZING! I would have been out first if it were not for the motive of; it will make me climb well tomorrow...
After earning our let at my grandparents; doing the gardening and in mine and Tara’s case, scraping weeds out a drive way we were back on the crag. Today would be the day I get a route ticked. I warmed up on a 6b+ then got straight on Smooth Torquer, I was not planning on getting burned out for it this time! I watched Tara get the flash but it still took me a couple of goes to get the first moves again and I was starting to get worried that I would get too tired. So I rested for an hour or so while I watch Billy try an 8a and Tom Red Point it! I finally got back on Smooth Torquer and got the red point, my best outside route yet at Kilnsey! While Billy was resting I got a belay up WYSWYG; 7b, the first part of the 8a. I worked up it, I found many of the moves big but knew, maybe not to day but another, it would go.
Second to last day and it was not good. I woke up feeling awful, getting out of bed I knew I wasn’t right and after throwing up, blacking out and spending the morning sleeping on my Gran’s sofa, I knew I wouldn’t be climbing that day. I managed to get up to the crag however and sit with my sister, Naomi, (she also wasn’t climbing due to a shoulder injury) and watched the others get on hard routes.
The limestone crag of Kilnsey
The last day had arrived, still tired and kind of better, I made my way up to the crag with Team Crush. I knew I wouldn’t get on anything hard, so I tried the 7a top rope I tried the first day. Managing to get a couple of moves then coming off feeling exhausted and unable to pull, I decided it was a day and joined Naomi again. About 30 min before I had to leave to get the train, I had worked up some energy to get back on Ground Effect, I pulled past the moves I had struggled with but then fell off, forgetting the next beta. Being so late on the climb I couldn’t work it again and Gran was calling and the rest were packing up. The week was over, time to go home.
This year I didn’t get many ticks, (the illness didn’t help!) but I have a plan for next time, so no dawdling at the beginning, straight to the lines!
Finally good luck to Tara who is currently in Singapore for the Junior World cup! I’ve got high hopes for her, ticking 4 7b’s, flashing 3 out of the 4 and 6 moves off an 8a, she’s beasting! And thank you Granny and Grandad for letting us use your Bothy, hostessing and looking after Team Crush! And lastly thank you to Naomi, ‘team manager’ for organising, mothering and cooking!!!
Share your thoughts about this article.
cross country skiing
deep water soloing
duke of edinburgh
open water swimming