I did a project on the Orme today that i've been playing on all year. Up past Elephants Cave is an old eliminate wall known as the Sugar Lump. This place was quite popular with the North Wales bouldering mafia in the 90s and it even featured in the 97 Rockfax in the bouldering section. It is pretty terrible in modern terms but there is one line on the big block just beneath. I'd been up there a few times but it wasn't until Craig 'Ducko' Davies took me up there that i got keen for the line. The one downside was that the local rough eggs had lit a fire under it and made it black. I was not deterred however and started scrubbing it to bring it back to life. To start with the slopey grips were greasy but soon it was grease free and it was often windy up there so quite good for conditions. I got nowhere to start with, i had hoped it would be about 7c but it soon became apparent it was much harder. I could only do the last few moves and the start seemed particularly hard. I left it as route season came but still had the occasional session. A turning point occurred when i took Neil Dyer up there. Not only did he help me with some beta but he got excited about moving a massive block that was wedged into the apex. The block did detract from the problem somewhat and it was hard not to dab it. I went back up a few weeks later and i couldn't believe my eyes when i saw it had been moved! It could only be one man! I still don't know how he did it, he must have rigged up some chain blocks on a tree or something. I knew that Neil had no designs on the problem himself, he just liked the challenge and wanted to help a mate. What a guy! Pritch standing on the block:
Anyway the problem was now much improved and armed with two 5.10 kneepads the beta for the middle started to come together. I'd never been on a climb like it, it seemed that every session i went i found some new trick. Despite the end of the climb coming together the start still alluded me and i genuinely didn't know if i could do it. I'd actually done the hand moves but couldn't link the positions with my feet. It got wet after the Autumn deluge and my form went through the roof. I went back to it optimistic and i was now strong enough and although i felt great on the end i still couldn't do the bloody start. Last Saturday the breakthrough came and i got through the move. I climbed all the way to the end and fell off the last tricky move to a jug. Whoop, it was on and i was ecstatic that all my efforts were going to have the desired outcome. I went back on Monday really hopeful but my body seemed to have a dip and just felt knackered for no real reason. This happened a few weeks ago, everything just ached and i just didn't have enough zing in my arms for the end. I didn't feel much better today but thought i might have a chance if i got it in a few goes. I sat down at the start and a really good feeling came over me. I soon found myself staring at the jug pocket, it was one of those 50/50 moments. I'd been there many times before and managed to finish it. I was extremely satisfied, meaty new problems like this on the limestone are very rare indeed and it was nice to do something independent (none link up) in a different area. I normally prefer climbing with other people as it motivates me more but i had a great time up there on my own just beavering away on the problem. Despite the broken glass etc.. it is a good spot to climb. The problem took 14 sessions but only 3 of those were spent redpointing. It felt like hard 8a when i was working it but i think if you went there with the beta it would feel easier. I don't even think the start is that bad now, once i did it once i could do it every go. It's just one of the things you encounter on FA's. I think what makes it is that is starts on a really obvious jug and it finishes on a juggy ledge. I'm half tempted not to post the video as i know everyone will go an piss it with the beta i spent days and days working out but that's bad spirit so here it is:
Once again, cheers Ding Dong!