Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Squamish in July

The last month has flown by. It was great having Abond and Ting over from Yangshuo. We hung out a lot enjoying the climbing and surrounds of Squamish. I joined them as they did their first wall and first mountain peak. Despite Abond hurting his finger pulley early on in the visit they had a great trip and Abond has all the moves on Dreamcatcher wired for the next visit. I've also had a fair few more days on The Cobra Crack despite some finger issues myself. 
The streets of Squamish. Abond, Ting and I.
The lower crux is coming together well and I am able to climb it from the ground reasonably solidly now. The second mono undercling crux has become very solid off the rope although I haven't executed it from the ground yet. I did however spend a lot of the last month stumped on the third exit crux. My problem was based on a big reach between two jams over the lip and very low feet underneath. I couldn't work out which hand was the best to go with as I could do the second crux with either hand ending in the good lip jam. Neither way was working, my joints got swollen and bruised and I definitely wondered if I was actually going to be able to do the section at all. 

The first crux. Sequence wired.

Failing during the old sequence of the second crux. Now I hold a jam underneath and go right hand to the lip jam.

The solution was to go sport climbing. I took a week off and played on some steep power endurance sport routes north of Squamish. This gave my fingers a break and helped with my route fitness. I returned to the Cobra yesterday with Ben and had my first lead (preplaced). I got all the way to the mono undercling move feeling a lot better than when I had previously toproped to that point. After lowering a couple of moves I climbed through the second crux and took at the third crux. A couple of trial and error shots and I found a way. Its powerful but doable. Right hand in the lip jam left in the really high jam, a bad foot jam in the crack underneath. The crux is the initial slap to the slopey arete with the right hand. It was the first time I had done this as a complete section and I even managed to climb the first half of it after climbing through the second crux. Psyched!
I am still a long way off but for the first time I can see it really is doable. Maybe after a couple of years rather than months. We shall see.
Route map of the business. The totem cam is the one I will be doing a very big runout off through the second and third cruxes.
Now the focus will be on linkage and repeating sections over and over again till they become easy. Good conditions will arrive in September so I need to be ready for them. More power, endurance, technique and mental focus.
Cross training for Cobra. Lifting Boulders.