The Almost Problem

This post was originally written some time ago but for some reason was not published. So it’s being published now, retrospectively, as often happens with trip reports. 

What do you do when you can’t find anyone to climb with but still want the company? You go somewhere you wouldn’t have taken anyone anyway.

Today was unexpectedly stunning; it was supposed to be dry granted, but i wasn’t anticipating it being as good as it has been for the past week again. The gloriouscity was just too good to pass up and after fruitless texts, washing up done and Cerys Matthews fabulous radio show over, I figured I’d go and have a good go at Prowess again.

Yesterday was a deluge: relentless rain that soaked tess on her lunchtime walk so much so everything in the landy was still wet from condensation today. As such, logic told me to head somewhere open and had someone replied, i’d have probably gone to Sheep Pen or the Caseg boulders, to try The Pinch V7 or The Gimp V8. Nevertheless, it was so sunny and pleasant from the moment i woke that i was pretty sure i’d be okay.

Turns out i was spot on – my forest boulders drying surprisingly quickly. I’d been similarly shocked previously on the Mymbyr Boulder; another i need to return to and finish off. I drove as close as i could, the forest tracks proving very useful, and dragged my three best pads up the hillside. As a warm up, i moved the growing cairn to a more suitable location, repeated King Arthur’s Allowance ad Fluffion before adding another new line, OGYDd 6c+. Then, at a rather relaxed pace, i started on Prowess again.

By the time i’d finished, the palms of my hands were hurting as the tendons strained, and i could no longer grab the holds with any conviction. Considering the exposed nature of prows and the two adjacent blocks making it a small corridor, i was forced to make a tactical retreat. It was frustrating, knowing that i was once again so close but every hard session confirms my suspicion that this is indeed a hard line.

I’d be a very bold man indeed to give it V10, especially as i’ve not climbed one before. It’s bold enough to give it V9, as i find it as taxing as both Rock Attrocity and Bus Stop and it may still get V8+ (or 7b+). It is impossible to know, to be certain, and i’m desperate for someone else to come try it. It just means i have to finish it first. At those grades, that won’t be any time soon; more so with a week of bad weather coming. At least i know when it dries next, i won’t have to wait much longer. I hope.


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