No Badgers, But We Have Got Gimps and Easy Bus Stops

Well it was a day of mixed fortunes yesterday. In short, in the morning, i awoke thinking i’d now managed four 7c climbs. By the evening, it turns out it’s only two.

As with everything in life, there’s good news and bad news so let’s start with the good. Possibly the best bit was to be back out with an old friend i haven’t seen for a long time, Tim Peck. A former colleague at Joe’s, Tim is a great guy, another dedicated boulderer but someone i haven’t seen much since the end of the Indy Aggregate last winter. After a look at The List, we opted for the Caseg Boulders for a blast on The Gimp V8 and Don’t Think, Feel at a grade i’ve forgotten.

Still in pain from the day before, i was a bit sceptical but didn’t want to pass up the opportunity to catch up and climb with Tim so figured i’d go and see what happened. Turns out it was a good shout! My token-gesture warm up complete, i watched Tim and his friend (whose name shamefully escapes me) dabble with The Gimp.

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Eventually, step up, chalk up and bam! A session flash. (A session flash? Yes, i know – it’s normally the type of term i would raise my nose and sneer at but it’s a phrase i thought of just after and i wanted to throw it out there, see if it stuck). It even felt fairly easy, although that may have been because my skin was pretty fresh. The shouting from below to direct my foot to a hidden foothold certainly helped.

We moved round to the other side of the boulder to Don’t Think, Feel. While i got shut down, Tim made good progress in doing all the moves. His friend on the other hand, found new sneaky beta involving a nifty knee bar and i was able to repay the favour of shouting encouragement in order for him to get another good tick.

However, while climbs were falling, we were chatting and i asked for some good 7b+ suggestions for North Wales. One that came up is Bus Stop, a climb that was a classic 7c. Confused, i questioned it and was informed it had been downgraded when a hold broke making the start substantially easier. I couldn’t really argue either – i’d done it after the hold broke.

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Much like the previous day, the downgrading of Bus Stop overshadowed my good tick – but at least i had got a V9 and a V8 in two days.

Or so i thought. I got home, turned on the laptop and had a notification on Facebook. I wish i hadn’t looked but the fact would still be there – Badgers In The Mist IS a sitting start and we’d missed the first move. What’s more, by sitting starting, the whole problem is completely different, hugging the arete rather than staying on the face.

I deleted it from my ticklist and sat there forlorn. It’s the nature of the beast, sadly – the specificity of bouldering being hard to negotiate sometimes. Still, if it’s not done, it’s back on the list and i almost have more determination to go and finish it properly now. After all, it’s pissed me off.

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