Daring Deeds - real stories, expeditions, road trips and adventure
So I went over and led the thing, no big fuss. I moved efficiently despite being a tad nervous. I took my time, no need to rush, I savoured the gorgeoursly textured sandstone all the way to the top. In headpointing, the questing uncertainity of an onsight is not there, so the experience of my first E7 felt a lot more of a controlled than I thought. But the most important thing is that Yukan II is a great route, a great feature to climb, and I'm glad it wasn't a big mental deal. The day was just a bunch of friends psyched to visit the crag for the first time and really enjoying the climbing. It's what climbing is all about for me.
Another day dawned at Nesscliffe, and after battling the rain again, me and Stephen drove south. I was heading to Shipwreck cove, he was going to Pembroke, so we thought we can squeeze an evening session at Witches point. We arrived to a glorious sunset. I almost onsighted Staple Diet 7b+ putting the clips in, falling just before the chains. Stephen flash it and I sent it next go. I felt good and fit despite the 4hr drive and not having had a rest for a while. I knew then that I had a really good chance to do my project at Shipwreck.
Stephen going for the flash on Yukan II E7.
I woke up to the cows banging their heads against the van at 9am. I was hoping for a lie-in as the tide was late, but the cows had other plans. Soon enough the coffee pots were on the conveyor belt in the van and suitably caffeinated we went for a bit of a quest. We found the amazingly futuristic cave, but I can't disclose any more details as the people that discover it want to keep it quiet. I can only say that it will probably be the best sport climbing venue in the South.
We finally made it to the cove, just to see a feck load of people at the crag. But I needn't to worry, there was some sort of gathering and no one was on my project, Vennerne. The jury is still out whether is 7c+ or 8a, but to me it's harder than the six other 8a's I've done, maybe it just doesn't suit me. But it's such an awesome route that I always look forward to get on it. So I got on it, warmed up to it by putting the draws. It was an instant feeling, the conditions were amazing, I moved well, my head was there in the right place. It was the first time I could do the crux moves... I felt a surge of psyche... I can do this today. I belayed Dave on his project and he dutifully dispatch it. I tied in and went for it. I felt pumped on the first section, but I knew this was going to be my best go, my body feeling the punishing schedule of last month. I milked the rest at halfway, brought my heart rate right down. And then went for it on full attack mode, and it paid off. I gave it all the barrels, I had came down pleased to have closed the year-long account. I suitably packed beers, a sign I knew this could be the day, and dedicated the rest of the day at getting slightly tipsy.
More photos and the full report over on my blog.
Share your thoughts about this article.