Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Princess Leia

  Fancying a bit of time on my own I decided on a return to Clemitts this afternoon.  I had only one thing on my mind - Princess Leia.  I've tried and failed on it a few times in the past but feeling more motivated than usual I headed down towards Fryupdale. Below the woods Princess Leia is on the first boulder you encounter, it takes the steep slab just right of the arete (nearest boulder in picture).  A great line on a great little bit of rock.
     The sun was beating down on me when I arrived.  I had assumed it would be a bit more shady being west facing but I was a bit early for that.  Despite this I got straight on the problem.  It took me three or four goes to find the correct beginning sequence but my hands just kept slipping off a non-too-positive undercut which was integral to me gaining height.  Not really interested in anything else I chose to find some shade and hang around for a few hours until it had cooled down.

     When the sun had finally gone over the hill and I had stopped sweating I had another go.  Two good undercuts enable you to get your feet up onto the slab and into a stable position where the poorer undercut allows a step a little higher.  The footholds are mostly smears but the rock is grippier than you'd expect.

     So, up to a variety of poor slopers and then the first and only decent(ish) hold, a small right hand crimp.  I fell off here, through lack of effort more than anything, falling backwards and hitting my bum on a sharp little rock.  After a few minutes jumping around and cursing I put some Jimi Hendrix on my music player and got back on it, doing the first bit easily up to the good hold.  So close to the top but with feet skidding about on the rock below it took all my willpower not to reach for the left arete, to palm down with my left hand instead and make a quick reach for the top.  Success!  And yet another hard (for me) problem to add to my list.  Not quite content I repeated Seal Of Approval, the same grade as Princess Leia, after only a few tries.
     Despite only doing two problems it's been a good day.  In the past I believe I've been failing on things because I've convinced myself they are too hard for me before I have even got on them.  My recent gains have come from a more positive outlook rather than any improvement in ability or strength.  It's going to cool down at the weekend, where to go?

A guide to Clemitts boulders (£1.50) is available here
A free guide to Clemitts the crag is available here

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