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Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Swiss 3

Times are hard here in Swiss, nearly every day is good conditions, blue skies most days. Sprits remain high as the team embarks upon a ticking mission every day. Si and jackie arrived, they were so physched for world class bouldering after being starved of rock for months on end in Belfast. BRICK returned to NYC, Dave, Chad and Andre left the house and Sander arrived to join the crew. We have visited Brione a few times. Brione contains the best rock in the region and some of the nicest blocs too. My ticklist for Brione basically consisted of Molunk. I was also keen to try the 8a to the right of Ganymede. It turned out i couldn't do any of the moves so we headed up to the meadow to show Si Vecchia Lione, the premier Ticino 8b. I wanted to climb more so i tried one of the silly 7c+s in the area, after realising that they were very lame i thought i'd give the Vecch a blast. After all it is totally world class and i'm never normally put off trying a problem by the grade. It felt very hard at first but when i played around with body positions and the holds it started to click. The holds are surprisingly ample for the grade but the feet are poor and much subtle body postioning is required. I did the first move and basically the 3rd move. The 2nd move was a hard stab to a reasonable hold off poor feet. The crux of this problem revolves around a quartz pinch. I was buzzing, this was so much fun, the climbing was exquisite. I soon realised that with some work i could probably get to the pinch this trip and this would be a great achievement for me. I certainly think i will do this problem in my life, this will be a happy day.
Si working the crux:

The other thing on my mind has been the alphane moon. I have had 3 sessions on this now, i took Si and Ty and Sander to it and my assessment of the quality was confirmed. It is a very cool boulder problem. Ty flashed with ease and me and si did all the moves. Sander wrapped it up too. The crux is the second too last move a hard match off a terrible slopey crimp. Today i did the match 3 times but fell repeatedly on the last move because my foot slipped slightly off the foothold each time,frustrating. I will continue to try it till i do it, luckily it is dry in the rain too. I think it will be my hardest bloc to date, a spice 8a. Some pics:

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Swiss 2

Well we've had to endure some quite wet weather so far. But despite this spirits are high. On the wet days i have been exploring and looking for dry rock. I'm still on a reccy to find out what i want to climb on and what i think i can climb. Each day is useful in this respect. My ticklist changes day by day. Ty has been ticking along nicely waiting for the low temps for his harder projects. Its impressive watching him. He moves like a world beast, watching him do Conquistadors 8a+ with a disamaying sequence was very inspiring. What a man can do when he's so far beneath his limit. After a tip off from Chad and Dave i went to check out an 8a+ called The Alphane Moon at Chironico. Dave put it up back in the day and was reunited with it whilst trying a super meaty project to its left recently, This project is very disamaying. They told me The Alphane was like a limestone problem which increased my interest more. On a wet day i wandered up there solo and tried to figure it out. I did all the moves with a new sequence on the crux but couldn't move my feet. Determined not to give up i tried the original sequnce which involved a terrible slopey crimp. I failed to commit to this move cos of grease and a lack of a spotter but i think i can do it. It is the kind of problem that inspires me so i will be going back. One of the crimps is straight out of LPT - yeah! Today me and Brick headed up to Chironico, we went to check out Komilator again. I had tried this twice before in the wet, once the other day and once in january. The crux revloves around a tenuous heel, if it sticks the problem is on if not you have no chance. The other day this felt impossible. I thought about the anasazi heel and how it had sorted me out before. Often you need a baggy heel that will catch. It just so happened that Brick had such a boot, and i knew instantly that it would work. I filmed Brick as he crushed and then i got it worked. I knew i could do it that day, and then i did by the skin of my nutsack. A quick 8a in the bag, perfect. After i went to check out No mystery again, wasn't feeling inspired so we opened our account on Freak Brothers, the most aesthetic bloc in Chironico. Tonight si and Jackie and some dude called Sander arrive so the team physche should keep on rolling.

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Swiss Pics

Trying Down Under 7c+

Me on Molunk

Brad on limited edition

Sunday, 9 November 2008

Swiss 1

Well its been a strange start. I was sitting in my car in Dover waiting to board the ferry when i heard a tap on the window, it was 3 students. They explained to me about some Jailbreak challenge they were doing. They had to get as far away from there uni as they could. I was on my own so i agreed to let them come in my car, it was for charity after all! So i drove through the night to font, getting to cuvier at 5.30 am. Little did i now it was a popular site for gay dogging! I slept outside and they slept in my car, the next day i went climbing at 8.00 am with some bleausard dude, it was cool. Then feeling quite zombified i set off to Swiss, it was gonna be a long drive. I dropped the students off at Bellinzona train station and they went on there merry way. Quite a strange experience really. Then i headed to the house where i was greeted by Ty, Chad and Andre de Felice. They explained how it had been raining for days, not good, the forecast was bad too. The next day me and Chad went up to magic in the pissing rain, two 8as were dry so we tried them. This was not ideal, my plan was to build up slowly and get some ticks before trying really hard stuff. The next few times climbing were the same, hard stuff! Dave Graham and Brick turned up at the house too. One day we all went up to susten and i was reminded that it was shit. Was cold! Then it finally stopped raining, Keith turned up and the team was physched. We went to Brione and i did the best 7c i've ever done Moulnk, Ty and brad did the amazing limited edition 7c+. Finally things were drying so its back to the original plan. Anyway i'll try and get some pics to ya when i can.