Peak District limestone is like Chess!

I know, a weird comparison but I'm starting to think that it's apt. I'd a day out in Chee Dale again, ended up getting on two routes, a 7c+ and an 8a. The former route was short, two bolts and a lower-off, and involved some desperate pulls on undercuts (but it made up for it by actually having a pocket - a pocket!!! - to pull from :) - my wrists are still throbbing from the experience.
The latter route was one that had 9 bolts........but finished 15 meters to the right of where you started. Yep, a traverse route. Basically, it involved lots of holds credit card sized and footholds that, well, I couldn't really see. But it was fun.

The chess analogy is the idea that in chess you have to be thinking several moves ahead (if you're really good at least, if you're like me, it's more a case of make a guess-timate of what you'd like to do and hope the other player has even less of a clue than you have! :) of how you're going to kill/beat the opponent. Peak District limestone, that around Sheffield, is like that: you start climbing, but you're already thinking ahead of the position you have to be in to reach the next hold. Sometimes you'll even sacrifice a brilliant position so that you're in a more optimum location or setup for the following moves. It's fascinating, frustrating, brilliant, challenging all rolled up into one! Today for example, I ignored the brilliant edge I could have stood on immediately so that I could perform two hand manouvers BEFORE I could then stand on the foothold with my other foot. Confused? So was/am I :) The joys of limestone with no holds, awesome :)

As you can guess, I'm back in work proper now. Climbing has taken up that setup of something that I cling to to keep me busy/occupied in the evenings. I can feel all my Ceuse-fitness ebbing away but it's coming into the winter anyway so it's almost bouldering time. Now all I need to do is replace my puny arms with hydraulic pistons and sandpaper-for-skin so that I can drag my way up some gritstone boulders ;)

Hope everyone is well!
Neal McQuaidclimbing2 Comments