Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Cider Soak

After approximately 25 sessions at Anstey’s Cove in the last 4 months, about 100 hours of climbing, resting or belaying, a variety of conditions from blazing sunshine to horizontal drizzle and one too many fumbled clips I redpointed Cider Soak 8a***

It’s been a regular fixture on my climbing week over the summer: turn up at Anstey’s, warm up on the traverse, put the clips in Cider Soak, work some moves, do some links or try a redpoint, fall off, eat dried apricots, try again... all in all a very enjoyable experience.

It doesn’t go down without a fight though: first redpoint attempt of the day and I clip the third clip with relative ease (the technical crux), don’t get too excited at the break (the psychological crux) and fight my way through the top sequence to the finishing jug (the physical crux). I pull up some slack to clip the final draw... and fumble the clip, my fingers start to peel off the jug and I grab the draw in desperation. Bugger. So close but yet so far.

Second go I don’t make it past the pocket, third go I smack my elbow into a bolt on the way up then fall off reaching for the break. I consider stripping the route and calling it a day... one more go.

This time I’m at the finishing jug before I know it and I clip the draw like a model climber on Gresham’s Masterclass DVDs. It’s the perfect end to a fantastic summer’s climbing in the South West with a great bunch of friends.

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