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Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Repetition and Relocation


Jordan Buys has repeated Exodus in great style, bravo Jordan. He has climbed the route ground-up (with several falls) which is a fine effort. Slightly guttingly he seems to have found the climbing significantly easier than I did. Initially he suggested that it felt like Fr7c (I thought getting on for 8a+), but I think I've managed to talk him up to 7c+. Honestly I still think that's a bit harsh, but I guess a concensus will emerge (assuming anyone else tries it...). So it seems appropriate to bump the grade down a notch to E7 rather than E8. Hey-ho... On the upside he confirmed that the line is quality climbing and should be on peoples hit-list.

What do I think about this downgrade, well... Obviously on one hand I'm a bit gutted that Jordan didn't find it uber-hard, but then as he's just crushed 9a that was never really going to happen was it? However I gave an honest attept at grading the route, and Jordan has given his honest opinion of the dificulty of the line. Those assesments are different, which is to be expected we are after all diffrent people. So who's right? Well neither of us, or maybe both of us. I'll concede the fact that I don't have much experience of limestone trad (certainly less than Jordan) or indeed much experience of physically hard but pretty safe trad (having more of a bold and stupid background) which could/would affect my ability to accurately grade the climb. On the flipside of that this route was wayyyyy below Jordans current limit, so maybe his perspective is a little out? On balance I'd accept Jordans suggested grade of E7 rather than E8, but I think he's a bit low with his suggested sport grade of 7c/c+. Anyway with a few more repeats there could be some concensus reached, I think it's excellent and Jordan seemed to rate it so get to it...

Final little thing about grading (sorry I know this is boring), I picked the grade that seemed accurate to me, and I will continue to do so with future new routes. In the fullness of time some of these will turn out to be right, and some will change. That's the nature of grading first ascents, and I'm happy for grade changes to be suggested and discussed quite openly. I would always try to justify my initial grading and my reasoning, this isn't an attempt to prove other opinions wrong just an explanation of my standpoint. All grading is a matter of opinion to an extent, and we all have different experiences of the same climb. However I think, and this relates to a recent-ish blog post from Tom Randall, that there are a number of historical routes that have developed some type of grade inertia which is throwing spanners in the UK grading system works. We shouldn't as individuals be afraid to offer up an honest opinion of the difficulty or grade of a route, and we equally shouldn't as a community shy away from adjusting route grades (even some of those established classics) to maintain a sensible system.

Anyway enough of this. I'm moving to the Isle of Man in the Summer and last week I had a trip over there for a few days to look at a house, sort some stuff out and get back to my usual style of climbing. Bold and stupid here we come...


Bold and stupid on grit is fun, because it's generally so very solid. You might be run out but the rock is the rock, and it stays that way. If you can do the climbing (and keep your head) you can do the climb. Rock on the Isle of Man is of a more "adventurous" nature, being at times solid whilst also having a less dependable streak.

The Chasms is the main venue on the island, however at this time of year it is subject to a bird ban. So I found myself spending a couple of days at a lesser crag called Aldrick where I got the second ascent of three of Doug's recent new routes, and managed to put up four new lines.


2 - maythefourth
1 - May The Fourth Be With You E4 5c
One of Doug's. A steep bouldery start then some steady slab/face climbing on generally good if slightly disposable holds. Small friends and a few wires provide protection.On-sighted.
2 - Sole Therapy E4 6a
 Another of Doug's. Technical steep slab start leads to a peg and the crux move, the top half is a very similar proposition to May The Fourth. On-sighted.

3 - shortsharp
3 - Short and Sharp E2 5c
Doug's. A fingery boulder problem start then some good friends and an easier upper wall. On-sighted.
4 - Briefly Bulging VS 4b
The first of my new lines (don't worry they get a bit more exciting than this...). A boulder problem start then an easier upper wall avoiding the loose looking blocks. Climbed on-sight.

7 - marquis
1 - Three Times A Lady VS 4b
Existing route, didn't climb it.
2 - Marquis De Mouzilly E6 6a
Climb directly up the wall, starting one metre right of the crack. Friable rock leads to a decent wire at about 5 metres, then another couple of metres leads to an overlap and some less inspiring gear. Then cross the overlap and continue boldly up the wall on delicate holds. I ab'ed the line of this to clean it, then solo'ed it on my first attempt. It's pretty scary rock which requires a delicate touch.

8 - muttonchops
3 -Veneer HVS 5a
Existing route, didn't climb it (this is the same #3 as in the previous photo)
4 - Muttonchops Martin E7 6b
Up the middle of the greenery covered face, start a couple of metres left of the crack behind a tall tooth boulder. Climb directly up the face. No desperate moves, but consistent, sustained and very bold. Slightly questionable rock, take care. Again I ab'ed the line of this to clean it, then solo'ed it on my first attempt. It's also pretty scary rock which requires a delicate touch.

And Finally...
9 - hemlock
1 - Hemlock E8 6b
Climb the centre of the face of Eiger Buttress. Bold and serious climbing up a steepening slab of friable rock with no gear good enough to take body weight. Eeek! Low in the grade? This was terrifying! I tried, like an idiot, to on-sight the F.A. of this on my first day out. I got about halfway up, felt about E6 6a, removing loose rock aplenty with both hands and feet as I went! I got to a reasonable rest position and realised that the slab steepened up above and I had no gear worth hanging a coat on. The option was press on and get super-commited on steepening ground of poor rock, or call for a rope. Not that difficult a choice really. After a rope was dropped and I clipped in I continued up the face, I didn't fall off or weight the rope at any point. So should I have stayed on the sharp end? Not a chance, it was scary enough on a top-rope thank-you very much. I walked away thinking it was unjustifiable as a climb...
On the next day out I wanted to try a steep face round the corner but ti rapidly became apparent that the cleaning job would take me the rest of the day so I binned it off and instead dropped a rope down the line of Hemlock for a cheeky shunt. Again I didn't fall off and this time I didn't manage to remove as many holds. twice up it, no falls? Hmmm, I went off and had a ponder for an hour or so then popped back and solo'ed it...

...properly getting the fear. I didn't do much more climbing after this.

A nice couple of days on the more adventurous side of Manx climbing, I've scoped out plenty of things to check out and am actually SYKED for the move.

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Summer is here

Last night I managed to get my first post-childrens-bedtime evening session outside. A sure sign that the days are getting long and Summer is here...
Just to be boring, and as it is very much local, I headed back to Summit Quarry (again...) and did another new silly little filler in line which has quite pleasant technical climbing, it goes at about E5 6c and is called Sam I Am because the possibility of the line occured to mewhile I was bathing my son (Sam) just before I got out.
Anyway the crux is very much at slightly highball bouldering height, but probably worth taking up a rope and some friends for the high break. I climbed the line ground up, with a couple of jump offs at the crux before commiting to it.
There are still a couple more link-ups to go on this wall, a very tight eliminate line, and a boulder problem traverse and then it will be pretty much climbed out.

Sam I Am (E5 6c) from nik jennings on Vimeo.

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Summit Solo

Having been thwarted in my previous attempts to video some of the climbs at Summit Quarry due to a tripod with a very poor sence of balance I ventured up there again on Monday to do battle with dampness and humidity. I was hoping to do another couple of completely pointless link-ups, but conditions didn't inspire me, so instead I solo'ed a couple of the lines there that I had previously only got the sountrack of along with a nice view of the sky...

Jaggernath (E4 6b) and Pylon Direct (E6 6c) from nik jennings on Vimeo.

Friday, 17 May 2013

What's The Point?

Climbing, in common with most pastimes (unles your hobby is curing cancer or eradicating poverty), is largely pointless. And yesterday I explored the very nadir of that pointlessness by spending some time linking-up the start of one existing route (Pylon Direct - E6 6c) into the finish of another existing route (Responsible Parenting - E7 6c) in a tedious effort to get a new tick and clog up UKC database storage space with nonsense. And now here's your opportunity to waste some time watching a video of this farce...

Pylon Parenting (E6 6c) from nik jennings on Vimeo.

Now go and do something useful...

Monday, 13 May 2013


This is long, I am sorry...

The Background
A couple of years ago myself and Andy Crome got embroiled in doing a direct start to Massala Martyr, what was an 8a+ at Kilnsey (possibly pushing 8b now due to hold breakage). We worked out the boulder problem start, which was excellent, and then Andy in typical fashion beat me to the chains and got the first ascent of Smarter Martyr (8b). At the time we had discussed other options in the area, Andy had his ideas for things to do, and I had mine.

My ideas numbered four:

1) I wanted to do Smarter Martyr, sadly I couldn't quite get it and the weather turned, Kilnsey season got away from me. Last year Kilnsey season hardly got up and running, so neither did I.

2) There was a route to the right called Warlord Direct (E6) which finishes up an E2 (Warlord) but which can also be finished at a thread which signals the end of the hard climbing, and lower from this point. I was starting to feel the urge to return to trad after a long boulder/sport focus and this seemed like the ground up option to go for, which I promptly did in a few goes last year.

3) Then above the thread, where Warlord scuttles off right to the safety and amenability of a groove/corner feature, there was a bulging leaning face. It's the continuation of the face that Massala Martyr/Smarter Martyr climbs, only it looks a bit blanker. A very obvious challenge. But, I wanted to do it trad. This would become Exodus (sorry if that's spoiled the surprise for anyone).

4) Finally there is an obvious direct finish to be done to Smarter Martyr, up yet another bulging face. This would straighten out the line completely and in combination with Exodus would leave a pair of high standard, high quality, logical lines right in the middle of Kilnsey. One sport, one trad, nice. This I have yet to do, please give me a chance to try...

Blue - Exodus (E8 6c)
Red - Warlord (aid start to rech thread)(E2 5c)
Dotted Red - Warlord Direct (E6 6c)
Purple - Smarter Martyr (Fr8b)
Dotted Purple - Massala Martyr (finish as for Smarter Martyr) (Fr8a+/b)

Day 1

I've got a very short smash and grab day at Kilnsey with Garry, we get there at 10:20 and need to be in the car heading home at 2:00. Garry isn't sure what he wants to do, I have an idea...

I clipstick up the adjacent sport route (Smarter Martyr, 8b) and then Garry lowers me down and I have a look at the face, first impressions aren't great, it looks very blank for a long way. After a bit of brushing and looking around though I manage to find a poor two finger left hand crimp in the blank section. A long move above this there is a horizontal line of reasonable to good pockets and a long move below this there is a large, slightly slopey right hand sidepull. Down and left of the sidepull is a pretty good flatty and below that is a good jug, and some gear (a threaded rock 4). And finally below that is the thread and jugs that indicate the end of the difficulties of the start (itself an E6 called Warlord Direct). After a quick clean of the holds I try the middle section on a top-rope and it's desperate. I can get to the sidepull off the flatty but it's awkward. Then it looks like a wild slap for the tiny two finger crimp, that's NOT going to happen. A bit of brushing random bits of rock reveals a poor left hand pinch, it's really poor but it might be enough to let me adjust my feet and get established for the throw to the two finger crimp (throw to a two finger half pad crimp, how is that ever going to work??). The pinch feels rubbish but it does let me adjust my feet into a semi-sensible position to set up for the hopeless throw...

 I pull up a bit "let’s imagine I caught the crimp..." I think to myself. I pull on and try the next move, it looked long hanging on the rope, but actually trying it the realisation dawns that it's ludicrous. Swing around a bit and...

Why HELLO what have we here? A side-pull, pretty good, first joint, off to the right and crucially a bit lower than the line of pockets. How very nice to meet you Mr Side-pull.

So brush that up and then try and do the move to catch it, I'M OFF. Oooof, still hard but feels like it might be more possible. But hang on, the left hand felt a bit weird when I came off. Inspect the two finger crimp and lo and behold it's now a bit smaller and a bit less positive whilst at the same time a bit more painful to hold. Humpfff...

Anyway got some sort of a sequence, despite having not done any of the moves. I start to lower down and as I’m passing the awkward move to the side-pull off the flatty I find a lower undercut pocket, a quick dabble and there’s a more flowing sequence in place.

For the rest of the session Garry works the lower section, and ultimately manages to top-rope it in a one-er. I get another couple of goes on the rope and spend most of the time looking for some more holds with no great joy, I continue to play on the moves but make no real headway. At the end of the day I walk away having brushed a few holds, held a couple of positions and failed to make a single move on the crux section…

Game on.

Day 2

I’ve been thinking, a lot, and it’s occurred to me that there is a possibility. You see the tiny two finger crux hold is very hard to catch dynamically. Let’s be honest, it feels completely impossible for me. My feet feel like they’re in the “right” sort of positions for the move, and I think I’ve got my hands as well placed as possible. But the bulging nature of the rock means that my left hand is holding me on, and as soon as I take it off I’m falling away to the right, so the move is always going to be dynamic using this sequence. I need to kill this barn-door effect so I can reach the hold static. But that seems insane, how can a move that feels like a long slap become a static reach? There’s just no way…


…would a heel work? The left foot is on a sort of knobble hold, maybe instead of putting my toe on it I could put my heel round it and use that to pull me across to the left and up to the hold.
This is what entirely consumed my thoughts in the time between day 1 and day 2. And come day 2 I was keen to put the theory into practice.

Again clip-stick up the adjacent route, lower down and place the piece of gear above the crux to hold me on the line, lower down and brush the crux holds. Try the heel, oh my days it works. The impossible slap is now a controlled static move (albeit pretty powerful). I slump on the rope, not really sure how to do the next move.

After a rest I pull on from the crux hold and try the side-pull slap, no dice. Hmmm, break out the toothbrush and get hunting… and the wall once again reveals the smallest of treasures. A little diamond of a hold, a tiny right hand nothingth of a hold. Awful, but crucially in the right place to be reachable off the knee scuff, unlike the side-pull. I pull on the two finger left hand hold and low right side-pull, pop in the knee scuff and after a couple of misfires manage to latch the poor right hand, just…

Then I’m off.

Finally I try pulling on to the two finger left hand and the poor right hand, plenty of rope tension and pop to the side-pull. A couple more false starts and then I hit it. Ok there was tension in the rope, but not that much, probably…

Lower down and rest.

Then I decide to get straight onto the sharp end. This was a very conscious decision. The route was far from worked out, or a sure thing. Whilst I had just about done the individual hand moves I hadn’t linked any of the crux moves, and I also hadn’t tried any of the in-between foot movements/adjustments. But if I wanted to do the route as a sure thing then I might as well bolt it and we can have another sport route to work to death*. I wanted to do this trad, and to my mind that meant I wanted to try and embrace the trad-ness as much as I could. Don’t for a moment think I’m trying to claim any sort of ground-upishness. That’s obviously not the case, but I wanted to try and make some sort of notional nod to that style of approach. When I got on the sharp end I still didn’t know if I could climb the route, I didn’t know if I could adjust my feet/body-position between hand moves, I didn’t know if I could do the moves without a bit of rope help. Pretty much the only thing I did know was that I was probably going to fall off.
A lot.

(*this is not a veiled criticism of sport climbing, I think sport climbing’s ace. Rather making the point that if something is done “trad” it is nice to do it in as “trad” a style as is possible)

Anyway first time up, I place the gear climb up to the move to the two finger left hand hold. Pop the heel on, pull, body tension, reach and… reach a bit more and… got it.

Now what? I need to move my left heel to a toe so I can then move my right foot for the next move. But my left heel is pulling like hell; it feels like the only thing that’s keeping me on. I try to gently release the heel. As the tension comes out of my left leg, I can feel more and more weight going on to my left hand. But my left hand is rubbish, I can’t hold it, no way, I’m off.

The gear holds.

The rest of the day continues in a similar vein, but slowly I start to get closer to being able to move my feet. By the end of the day I’ve managed to adjust my feet, get the knee scuff and slapped ineffectively for the rubbish right hand intermediate hold. Progress of sorts.

Day 3

Garry does the first half of the route (itself an E6 - Warlord Direct) - MONSTER!

Clip-stick up the adjacent route, lower and brush. Straight on the sharp end, getting smoother, slicker, and more used to falling. New high-point.

Day 4

Clip-stick up the adjacent route, lower and brush. Straight on the sharp end, getting smoother, slicker, and more used to falling. New high-point.

Day 5

Try the route straight off the ground, feels grim.

Clip-stick up the adjacent route, lower and brush. Straight on the sharp end, getting smoother, slicker, and more used to falling. New high-point. And then a new low point, as the day progresses conditions at the crag grim out big time. Clag descends and I start falling off on the move to the two finger left hand hold, not dropped that for a while, time to go home…

Exodus (E8 6c) - the failures from nik jennings on Vimeo.

Day 6

OK so day 6 is straight after day 5, it's my 6th day on, my left forearm feels weird, it's been raining since yesterday afternoon, I have Sam (16 month old son) in tow, I'm totally gate-crashing another pairs climbing day and when I get to the crag there is misty clag everywhere and there appears to be a river running down the route. If ever there was a day when the stars aligned this wasn't it...

Closer inspection reveals that the river is actually running down the adjacent sport route and it looks as though the line I'm trying is still dry. Although the single bolt lower-off at the top is in the river, luckily you reach across to clip it from dry rock so that should be fine.

The usual, clip-stick up the river trying to keep my feet dry. Then lower down the line of the route brushing up the holds. I also have a quick check of the piece of gear at the very top of the route (it protects the last easy move) just to make sure I'll be bringing up the right rock. Get to the ground and pull the rope.

Have a rest while Rachel and Cal get on their respective routes and then it's on the sharp end. The start goes easily, I've done this so many times now it just flows. Get to the first gear and take a quick rest and shake, then on to the crux sequence:
LH - up to jug in break
RF - big flat hold
RH - flatty edge
LH - undercut pocket
LF - vertical smear
RH - Slopey side-pull
LF - step through to jug
RF - way out right
LH - poor pinch
RF - up and in to sideways smear
LF - heel hook
LH - reach to small two finger edge
LF - switch to toe
RF - in and up to small edge, scuff knee
LF - drop off press out left
RH - up to tiny scallop hold
RF - stand up higher
RH - slap to sidepull

Latch it, I've latched it, I've got the side pull. Now to bring my left foot across to the right of my right foot to a good foothold, where is it? The move is blind, but I know the foothold is there, it's a handhold, it's big, come on, where are you?! Over-gripping and over pulling on the right hand side-pull. To couteract this I'm having to bone the left hand hold as hard as possible. Getting rapidly juiced here. Where is the bloody foothold? Is that it? Am I on it? Don't know can't tell, pulling too hard with my hands, can't get any weight on my feet, stupid, stupid, aaargh. That might be something, go for it, try to move my right foot...


I'm off. Close though.

Another rest while Cal has another go on his route (he's looking good on it). Then, after butting in on Rachel and Cal's day of climbing I decide to max out my selfishness by asking if Rachel minds if I queue jump and have next go at climbing. She's too polite and says yes. People often say that one of the key elements of success is a degree of selfishness, I hope not, it's not very nice.

Anyway this is it, I need to go after this attempt whatever happens, it's still raining, I don't know when I'll be able to get back here, it will probably be wet anyway, do or die (how dramatic...). Just before I set off I have a brief word with myself "I'm going to get the left hand hold, and I'm going to crush it, full power, it doesn't matter how it feels or how I feel, conditions are irrelevant I'm giving it everything, I'm not falling off that hold, gravity is going to have to rip me off if it wants to beat me". It sounds cheesey, but it's what I thought, would it be enough?

Through the start, easy, brief rest at the jug, not tired, left hand up to the break jug and some sneaky micro beta. I'd noticed on my last attempt that as I moved my left hand from out of the break jug that there was the faintest hint of moisture on my tips, something and nothing but could it make the difference on the tiny left hand hold? Maybe the back of the jug was slightly damp? So I'm not greedy, just get the edge of the jug, it's still good so no problem. Right hand up to flatty, adjust body position and the left hand out of jug and into undercut pocket. A glance at my tips as they move through the air, they still look freshly chalked, no excuses now. Right hand to side pull, sort feet, left hand to crap pinch. Right foot up, left heel on, left hand up to two finger hold. I'm crushing this, bear down, hard, sort feet, knee scuff, bear down harder, right hand up to tiny scallop hold, feels almost static, adjust body position, set up, pause, pull more on the left and slap with the right, hit the side-pull, max power on the left, over-grip like a loon on the right, hold it, hold it, step left foot through, find hold, yes, right foot out, look up at good left hand hold. It's just there, I can reach it, but...

...but I can't move, what's going on? No weight on my feet, pulling too hard with my arms, how many times have I told people not to do this, stupid, stupid, no weight on feet which means the static reach to the good left hold isn't happening, I've got to slap, this is crazy, IT'S EASY WHAT AM I DOING! Right arm getting powered out, go, now, throw...

I think I'm off for an instant and then my left hits the hold, it sticks, clip the gear. Breathe, where am I? Well my left is feeling tired, my right doesn't have a hold to hold on to, that gear suddenly looks very directional and not something I want to fall off onto. If it rips will I hit the ground? Maybe, breathe, think. There's a good right hand to the left of my left hand, chalk right, reach across, chalk left, feet getting very close to the river of water, bit annoying. Back onto left hand, right move up, this is easy, or it was when I wasn't looking at a potential ground fall. Feet up, right hand up, dig in left foot, feels slippery, move left hand up, don't slip don't slip don't slip, got it, right foot up, right hand up, left foot up, left hand up, massive jug, breathe, relax, gear, chill shake, two moves, top. WHOOP.

Exodus (E8 6c) from nik jennings on Vimeo.

Friday, 10 May 2013

Just A Snippet

My next blog post is going to be epic, so I thought I'd warm you up to the job with a brief waffle covering a few bits and pieces I've done over the last few weeks before getting stuck into "the main event".
Childcare, work and life, coupled with extreme car death have meant that free time and (in many ways more critically) transportation have been in short supply. So my climbing hits have on the whole been brief and local. I've even had the opportunity to re-enact my student climbing days by cycling to local crags.
Anyway on with the numbers and names, first up the fabulously obscure Warland Quarry. I've recently done two new lines here. Both fall into the same "short, gearless slab with unpleasant landing" category.
First up:
Twenty20 (E6 6b)
A slightly squeezed in line just right of the line of aid bolts. Starting at two obvious chipped holds climb directly up the steep slab. Low in the grade but the landing is a bit of a shocker!! With a team of spotters and a bunch of pads this could well be a highball??

And  then:
Face of Grace (E7 6c)
Climb the line of old aid bolts on the lower tier. A thin and technical steep slab solo (you could clip the bolts I suppose but they look rubbish and I think I might take then out). Only short (~6 metres) but the landing is a bit shocking. The climbing eases near the top and with a bunch of pads and spotters it might be a highball??

Here's a rubbish photo to show the lines:


And here's a video of Adam Hughes making the 2nd ascent of Twenty20:

Twenty20 (E6 6b) from nik jennings on Vimeo.

He also repeated Face of Grace, but I'd had to head home so didn't get to film the ascent.

Then I was back to Summit Quarry. Andy Tappa had tried Pylon Direct when I did the first ascent of Responsible Parenting and he was keen for a rematch. So me and Sam trudged up there with him and he did this:

Pylon Direct (E6 6c) from nik jennings on Vimeo.

That was a fair old bit of airtime, but he luckily walked away with a slightly sore ankle, one to come back to...
Whilst there I thought I'd try something. There was space for a new line, it's a bit of a filler-in completists tick but hey-ho...
Lines In The Sand (E6 6c)
Start as for Jaggernath but pretty much straight away head rightwards and upwards via a technical sequence to join Pylon Direct at the positive crack sidepull holds. Finish as for Pylon Direct.

And here's a little topo:
Summit Topo
Yellow - Jaggernath (E4 6b)
Purple - Lines In The Sand (E6 6c)
Blue - Pylon Direct (E6 6c)
Red - Responsible Parenting (E7 6c)

Anyway consider that a warm-up, long blog post coming up soon, you have been warned...

Thursday, 18 April 2013

A Catch Up

Almost nine months since my last blog post, I think I might have to work on my new media networking skills...
Anyway since my last missive I have visited Gogarth and the Llanberis slate quarries for the first time, and re-visited both. They are both venues that had been a pair of glaring holes in my climbing C.V. now I just need to do some routes in the pass...
...and in the Lakes...
...and Pembroke...
...oh and Scotland...
...the South West...
In fact pretty much anywhere that's not grit.

So here's a new grit route I did a few weeks ago...
Responsible Parenting from nik jennings on Vimeo.

I first spotted this line last November when I first visited Summit Quarry. I didn't try the line, but I did spend quite a long time looking at the holds from various angles and trying to work out a sequence. I also knew I'd need to get a lot stronger on mono's. So after three months of thinking about the sequence, training mono's, being ill (a couple of times) and a quick 8b ascent in Spain i was feeling pretty much ready for an attempt. I headed up to Summit with a plan. I wanted to on-sight (hopefully cruise) Jaggernath, an E4 to the left. Then try and ground up the project line. And finally try and ground up a route that goes between the project and Jaggernath called Pylon Direct.
Anyway back to Summit and there is a serious amount of mist everywhere, some people would call it drizzle or even rain but I'm sticking with mist (in droplet form perhaps...). After grumbling about the weather I roped up and on-sighted Jaggernath (awww to hell with modesty, I cruised it to be honest) but then I realised that conditions were not conducive to pushing the boat out on a couple of potentially hard routes so I binned it and went for cake.
The next opportunity to get up there was the next week, which was fairly mint conditions, if a little snowy (and cold). Andy led Jaggernath and then I warmed up with a quick couple of toppies on it. Then I moved on to the project line with a view to ground upping it and...
...shicka-ding I on-sighted it. Straight up with a few power screams and a little "oh bugger" moment. Shocked isn't the word. I started to think it was easy then luckily Andy tried the first couple of moves and made not much headway, phew! I think E7 6c, but with a bunch of pads it would become a highball. It's pretty hard climbing though I reckon. So an on-sight which took three months, it's the first time I've ever tried to specifically train for something which is only a guesstimate of what I need to train and it worked out pretty well. Well pleased.
Just to complete the story I then onsighted* Pylon Direct which is probably E6 6c and is really good. And again a bunch of mats would highball-ise it.

* it was on-sight but it shares a handhold with Responsible Parenting. A hold you get with your left on RP you get with your right, in a completely different orientation on Pylon Direct. So maybe the purists would like to have a lengthy debate about the on-sightedness of it all...

Anyway I was very chuffed with this F.A., I'm not sure how many grit E7 F.A.'s have been truly on-sight, or even flashed/abbed but I'm guessing not that many.
I tried to get video of Pylon Direct but only got 40 seconds of me taking off my coat and such like before the battery died (of cold??) and the camera nose-dived into the snow.

Finally massive thanks to Rachel and Andy for willingly trudging up there in freezing conditions and cheering me on.