Badgers Love Pie

Today has been a day of failure marring success. Myself and James headed out to Rhiw Goch again, for a glorious day to allow him to finish off Moria 7b and for us both to try Badgers In The Mist 7c.

A fairly early start gave us both plenty of time although after i rose, i felt a tweak in my back. When i called into Joe Brown’s to pick up a new brush, it was getting worse and by the time we were at the crag, my lower back was in agony.

Nevertheless, we were there, two old regular customers who happened to be in the shop (and thought i still worked there no less) in tow – it would be rude not to have a play. That and i thought dangling by my fingertips would help stretch out the obvious muscle issue.


So James continued his extensive warm up and i had a play on Gap of Rohan 6c, finding the top out particularly strenuous. Eventually we moved the pads and he sent Moria very quickly – as we both knew he would. Nothing left than to get on it.

Pads back, and within long, he’d sent Badgers as well. The green eyed monster playing it’s part, i watched him top out, seething slightly that it had gone so quickly. It’s that old paradox where you want your mates to get projects… but not until you’ve got them yourself! Still, i was pleased he was having a successful session.

Now my turn and after squirming on the pad with the pain in my back preventing me from getting comfy at all, i stepped up and gave it a good blast. With a power scream to be ashamed of, i latched the lip jug and fought though the painful topout. Despite the almost debilitating issues, my fourth 7c was in the bag.

James decreed the session as a good team send and he’s totally right and i’m glad to have had him with me. A 7b and a 7c in a session is nothing to sniff at and despite my blatant jealousy, i am genuinely pleased for him.

Not to be outdone though, on my way home, i opted to stop in the pass. The mission: two V9 in a day. The problem: Love Pie.

I was so bloody close last time, i would’ve sworn blind that i couldn’t be closer. As dark closed in on session two, i realised i was wrong. NOW i can’t be closer. There were two attempts that spring to mind: one where i missed the last hold and another where i tapped the floor with my foot subconsciously. The latter caused me to scream louder than the trad climbers on the other side of the valley.

To give some background, Love Pie is the one-move-wonder exit to Humble Pie Disorder 8a. The harder variant begins under the imposing roof at Pieshop and then rises up the wall to the side. The traverse looks plenty doable but for now, Love Pie is the first step.

Two sessions in and it’s agonisingly close. So much so that despite a hugely successful day, i returned home with a sense of sadness – and a plethora of pain in my lower back that warranted a nice warm bath.

Still, tomorrow is another day and will hopefully bring another problem wiped from The List. Or maybe even two…


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