This Sunday Send is more of a Sunday Sends. When we met up with Jonny Kydd at Dinas Rock to check out an 8a he had his eye on, we didn't realise he would climb that as well as a 7a, two 7b+'s and two 7c's. And a 5+. Here's Jonny's account of the day...
"Arriving at Dinas Rock I was met with an amazingly clear blue sky, despite the rest of the country being covered in fog. After the short walk in to the Kennelgarth wall I started warming up with a couple of laps on Byte Size (5+) and then moved on to Shamu (7b+), a longer and harder traverse, to get a bit of a pump going. I had previously climbed the start section (as the Kennelgarth wall is full of linkups!) so thought it was best to try the end before pulling on at the start and getting pumped without a clue what I had to do. This was a good idea, as after figuring out the end moves I topped it on my first go from the start.
"Next up was something with a few harder moves, and a lot less pumpy! I decided to try Made By Magic (7c), this problem traverses from the left on good enough holds before pulling hard on a few crimps to reach the jug at the top. I had previously done the crux moves before for a different problem but was still aware that that there was no guarantee that I would be able to get myself up it. I almost stuck the crux on my first attempt and was surprised as I had previously struggled a lot with this move; two more attempts and the deed was done.
"I now felt as if I had fully warmed up and was ready to go and attempt Jed Black (8a), the main project for the day. This problem is situated at the Main Crag and consists of two hard start moves before getting into sustained compression moves on a very overhung wall, finishing off up a crimpy flat section with poor footholds before reaching the finishing jug. I had previously tried the problem in the summer without success so I decided to try the stand start, Jet Blue (7c), which to my shock went first go as I had previously struggled to link the top section with the compression section. This now meant that it was time to do the sit start.
"In the first few attempts I had managed to get into the compression section but could not make the transition into the final section, so decided to have a bit of flapjack and give it another burn in 5 minutes. This worked a treat and on the next attempt I found myself at the top and had completed my second 8a, happy days! I still felt as though I had a bit more energy left to burn so decided to try Awesome Shed Direct (7b+), this was a good decision as I managed to get to the top, finishing off a great day."
For Jonny's film work, and more of his impressive bouldering, check out his YouTube channel. Total crusher!
How the other half does it...
Video footage courtesy of Jason Kester. Check out his YouTube channel for more of his and Helen's Fontainebleau bouldering ascents.
As a follow up from our last Sunday Send, here is Helen's other half, Jason Kester, throwing some shapes at Roche aux Sabots. It took Jason two sessions to get Beau Travail which he chose to climb with the static start for 7b+, as opposed to the jump start which gets 7a+. He had tried jumping before finding the wide toe, finding this to be a more enjoyable movement, and worked it a bit on that first session. A revisit to the bloc resulted in a quick send; in Jason's words: "played, felt good, crushed!"
Jason lives in Arbonne-la-Forêt and works some kind of technical computing wizardry when he's not exploring, climbing or biking with the family. He has a tendency to head for hard prows, arêtes, and anything involving a large span and/or compression movement, although he can be quite proficient on the occasion he does climb anything else (as long as it features a hard prow, arête, large span or compression move..!). One further attribute, invaluable in Font: Jason is a class A spotter. It was fantastic to go bouldering with him and Helen both, and we look forward to the next time.
Alternative boulder pad use #17: Magic Carpet
Video footage courtesy of Helen Dudley via Jason Kester on YouTube
After a little bit of a gap in posts, we figured an extra-awesome send would be needed; step in Helen Dudley's ascent of Le Diéséliste, a strenuous 7a traverse at Beauvais Nainville in Fontainebleau, France. The traverse itself is delicate and demands precise, solid footwork, in particular for the key match on a demon crimp, then burls out at the end via a slopey compression, also demanding cunning footwork. In short, it puts you a good way through the A-Z of technique...especially 'F', for footwork.
Le Diéséliste was the first 7a boulder that Helen tried in Font, and to her own admission, didn't really like it... Despite saying that each revisit to the problem felt like the first time, she looked immediately confident and fluid working through the moves, a testament to her strength and skill as a climber. She had been slightly resentfully nurturing this project for about three years but had only made it up to Beauvais to session it once every six months or so. Sadly, we only saw her working it - after we had all moved on, she snuck back for the successful top out.
Helen lives and hangs out in the forest with Jason and their two young kids, Seb and Theo, stealing moments to add to their pretty impressive tick lists, or just to climb for fun. Check in next week for Jason in action, or head to their YouTube channel for more Fontainebleau bouldering.
Theo providing a competent spot as Helen prepares to match on Le Diéséliste
Lovely shots of Pat (left) and Matt Stokes (right) climbing on British granite boulders. Both photographs provided, courtesy of Pat.
We bring you a double header for this week, a couple of very arty pictures of some classic southwest bouldering. On the left is the superb and well-beloved line 'Classic Arete', one among many of large, coarse granite boulders sitting atop the hill of Carn Brea. A deadly place for those of soft skin but rewarding if you're keen on lots of large movements to negative impressions, having the power sapped away. Basically bear-style climbing... Grrr! However if this doesn't appeal, there's a handful of more delicate problems to really sink your toes into, such as 'Classic Arete'. If you prefer keeping your fingers and shoes intact (pansy), it also offers a full panorama of the surrounding area and is rather idyllic at sundown.
Our second climber is Matt Stokes, who is relatively new to climbing but topped out this 5b highball after 'giving himself a stern talking to'. Maximum credit due. It's at Helman Tor, another Cornish climbing spot to feature rough granite, a beautiful view and gorgeous countryside.
Hey! If you like our fledgling idea, please help it to evolve. Send us details of a route that you or someone you know has done that is really special, or interesting, or even just kinda funny. We would like at least one photo, and as much information as you are happy to provide...although we will work with what we get. Hope to hear from y'all!
As various updates on Nalle Hukkataival and Sasha DiGiulian pop up on our newsfeed, it is awesome to see how hard they are climbing, but left us feeling that in such an inclusive sport as climbing, it would be nice to see everyone's accomplishments rather than predominantly the famous and elite. So we came up with this page, the Sunday Send, which might not be restricted to Sundays and certainly isn't restricted to 8a and above. Though it isn't excluded either, if you got it, we'll happily flaunt it... The format isn't quite decided but we really want to give it a shot. Please send us details and photographs of your latest climbing adventure, whether it resulted in an ascent or just a funny fail and we will do our best to show it off. And if you happen to have your own blog, website or page then let us plug it!
Just to kick it off, this one's short but sweet - Baby Grubbins, daughter of DeadPoint's Pat, making her Daddy proud on plastic. One to watch for future years...
Little Grubbins making the big moves on the steep wall look like child's play.
We want to hear and share what you've been climbing every week - establishing new projects, trials, failures and, of course, ascents.