Wide Boyz Blog

Monday, 25 September 2017

Progress on The Crucifix?

In our last post we had a bit of a disaster down on the White Rim - the weather turned very definitely to the worst we've seen and pretty much anything that was smaller than a wide hand crack became very damp. Much that you'd think that this wouldn't be much of a problem, it's key that we don't climb on sandstone in wet or damp conditions (I guess we can ignore wide cracks?!) as the chances of breaking a crucial crimp or thin section of crack are high.
The Meat Factory - Crack hopes and dreams

Returning to The Crucifix this last trip was a key one for us. We've put a lot of strength work into the last months and seeing some progress would be ideal.... if not necessary for our sanity! Fortunately, the dry conditions this week were accompanied by lower temperatures as well and this really made a BIG difference. To say that we were fairly psyched on our tiny "baby steps" of progress is an understatement. Perhaps never before, have two climbers been so motivated by such meagre forward (sideways?!) movement.

1. The "Bolt Move" can be done with the middle finger mono. Previously we were certain that the index mono was the way forwards (it's absolutely desperate like this) but Pete's porky fingers seem to fit into this hold. It's still a very difficult move, but the V-grade on this one's come down a notch or two. Even better, is that it directly links into a move afterwards that we'd done on an early trip.

2. The "Crimp Rollover" is avoidable. Yes, we can leave it out! Previously, this was like doing the hardest move of Fat Lip (a Raventor V13) with no feet and on a worse hold. A cunning 180 degree spin and a reverse of hand sequence means it's no longer as bad as it seemed. Almost appears that with time it could turn into a move where you can even "shake a hand" for a second.

3. The "Insane Bolt Move" is the way forward. Yes, it's like turning the Cobra Crack mono into a roof move and making it way longer but if the skin doesn't explode on it, then there's a chance it could unlock the last secret to the crux. This is a big one though.... we really can't do this move yet. Not even close. It'll take work and a lot of belief. I'm not sure either of us will ever do a move harder (or more disgusting) than this one in our lives.
Desperate moves need desperate approaches - no, it didn't work! 

So, there you have it. We're feeling pretty darn positive! The hardest start move is easier, the middle move of the crux is avoidable and the last hard move requires more training. Sounds easy, but it's going to be hard work from here. We've measured up the crux 10 moves now and it's time to return to Sheffield for replica building. 2018 could be a pivotal year for this project. Go big in the cellar or go home time and time again, empty handed.
Yet another classic - Lamb of God 5.14

In other news, we established two other proper cool lines - Pete on "Lamb of God" 5.14 and Tom on "All Pump no Funk" 5.13 which provided nice distractions on the days of resting skin flappers. Both were absolute fighters and required some serious shaking out... we're both a bit unaccustomed to pulling on face holds this trip!! Whatever the style though, they're totally mega and it honestly is a huge privilege to have the chance to establish lines like these. One day a third person might actually want to get down to the White Rim and repeat these weird routes :-)

Whipper testing on "All Pump No Funk" - It's a joke... A joke!! 


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