Monday, March 26, 2007


Two weeks ago I was sport climbing down at Portland with Macca and Hugh Merrick and, bearing in mind the difference between trad and sport, worked the moves on a 7a+ called Victims of Fashion. 7a+ is a bit of a funny grade for me, technically I've onsighted at this level in the past, but that was in Spain and everybody knows that Spanish grades are soft(!); the highest I've managed over in the UK is a redpoint of a 7a at Blacknor (also in Portland - Medusa Falls for those that know it). So anyway I worked Victims of Fashion two weeks ago and got completely knackered, I couldn't even link it on a top-rope let alone think about trying to redpoint it, so I put it in the bag for another day. That day arrived on Sunday, and I was pretty keen. I'd been doing a bit of finger strength work in the last fortnight and I was hoping that it would make the difference.

The key in this sort of situation is to remember that you're trying to redpoint a sport route. So after warming up on a couple of other routes (including an onsight of Out of Reach, Out of Mind) I didn't jump on my project and try and climb it one push straight away, I spent half an hour hanging around on it (thanks Al!), resting at each bolt, not using too much energy, working the moves over and over until I was satisfied. Then I came and rested for 20 minutes, went through the entire sequence of the route in my head, and set off for the lead. The result: 7a+ ticked on first redpoint, and a big smile on Alun's face.

In fact, I had so much energy left in the bank that I redpointed a 7a (Trance Dance) an hour later! Chuffed!

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