Taking over the board at the Foundry on Ladies Night

Monday nights are now the informal Ladies Night at the Foundry.  Last night, three ladies turned up and we decided to take over the board. This is usually a fairly male domain, and while I have no problem climbing with other blokes and mostly do climb with blokes, it’s also fun to climb with people of similar shape/size and level as me. Also – when they invent problems, it’s likely that I’ll actually be able to do more than individual moves which is nice for the ego. Training with other people also means that I can try problems that they devise which are more likely to work my weaknesses then the ones that I invent which usually play up to my strengths.

In the end we devised about 3 problems – 2 of which I did after a couple of goes and one which is actually quite hard (for me)! I’m not sure if it is visible in the photo (I’ve highlighted with circles), but it involves the starting with both hands on the wooden triangular hold in H-section, rolling over with the left hand to the large blue triangular hold in C-section, and then using a blue/white undercut with a right hand to roll over to a pinch before moving leftwards to get the two sides of the wooden triangle. The final move was pretty powerful, and I caught it occasionally. Right now, I’m using anything for feet, but slowly I’ll try to do it features only.
Making new problems on the board. Photo: CanadianKateAfter playing for about 1 1/2 hours, I was pretty tired and the OH was making noises about being hungry. I didn’t want to do too much because I have a habit of injuring myself when playing on the board. My core was definitely sore – suggesting that I had given it a workout, and my shoulders/fingers were starting to ache. Next session, I am going to try to develop a problem that works pinches and smaller holds. I am not very good at catching holds and keeping them held. Hopefully, working on these weaknesses on the board will improve this.

Some stats:

  • Warmed up in the main room on L1s
  • Worked 4 problems on the board
  • Topped 2 problems on the board
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Leading at the Foundry on Ladies Night

I wasn’t that psyched about training on Monday night. I was still sore and tired from the weekend. However, I had arranged to meet up with a friend to do some routes, and as I’m still trying to get two sessions in a week, I dragged my ass down to the Foundry already feeling battered.

Warming up was hard. My arms hurt. My shoulders hurt. I generally hurt. After doing two 5s to try to get some blood into my arms, we moved to 6as and did two in short succession. I then tried a 6a+/b which was straightforward  – other than the fact that I was being a muppet and not reading the sequence particularly well. By the end of the route I was very pumped in my right arm, and the knuckle of my right foot was pretty sore too. Not sure why that was.

After my friend repeated the route, I decided to try the 6b that went up the same line. I worked out the sequence from the floor and identified where the crux was (right near the top) and set off. I focused on my breathing and trying to keep nice and smooth. It seemed to work, because before I knew it, I was at the crux. After a short rest on the holds, I went for it and after a high step and move out to a flat hold, I could clip and then it was a case of holding two small holds and standing up to a nice big jug to clip the chains. I was so pleased! It was the first time that I had led a 6b in about 5 years I think and I couldn’t believe how easy it felt. Granted, I was pretty pumped by the top, but I felt like I had moved well and enjoyed the sequence when climbing.

My friend tried the route, and she fell going for the crux hold. I was a bit surprised because she looked so confident right up to the point where she wasn’t. I held her fall, she had a rest and then easily completed the route.

We tried a 6a+ that we had both tried last Wednesday. I didn’t really look at the sequence, and that came back to bite me in the ass. I easily climbed the bottom section, and the crux was a case of moving through some relatively small holds to a big hold up and leftwards. I didn’t think about my feet and ended up wrong handed and wrong footed. I really wanted to lead this route clean, but I was pumped out of my box. I tried to down climb and hang off too okay holds to recover and then go up again, but my fingers and forearms were not happy. I had a short rest on the rope and then completed the climb easily. Next time I’ll get it clean!

The final hard route of the day was a 6b+ that we tried on Friday. My friend has been working the sequence for a while and I thought it looked good – it is, but I’m not sure it’s 6b+ – there are some long moves, and not too good holds to clip off of. And its pretty sequency. I started leading it and got to the second clip and went ‘No’! I switched to the 6a and took the rope to the top. We both top-roped the 6b+ and I got so confused after the small roof. The holds were really far away and I was partly scared of falling (still scared, even on a top rope) and partly I was really, really tired. Eventually I worked out a sequence, and I kinda wish I had tried the route again to wire it in, but I reckon I would have hung off the rope.

In total we did 10 climbs each and mostly in the harder grades (well, relatively). I am well pleased with myself. Karl suggested that I should try a ‘no take’ session, where I don’t shout take once. I think I’ll need to work up to that! He also suggested practicing clip falling, where as soon as I clip a bolt, I let go. This sounds like an excellent idea, and hopefully I’ll be able to find a partner who will be happy for me to go up a 6a and fall off every clip.

Some stats:

  • Warmed and cooled down on 5+/6as (2 in the Furnace and 2 in the main room)
  • Led 2 6a
  • Led 1 6a+/b
  • Led 1 6b
  • Top-roped 1 6b+
  • Led one more, but can’t remember!

Foundry Climbing Centre Winter Bouldering League

It was supposed to be Ladies Night at the Foundry Climbing Centre on Monday night. Unfortunately, the two people who I had arranged to climb with couldn’t make it. This meant that I didn’t have anyone to rope climb with. It so happened that the Foundry Winter Bouldering League (#TFWBL) was on. I decided to ‘enter’ so I could at least do something after coming down.

It was fairly quiet when I started warming up, but by the time I was ready to do some actual pulling, the wall was rammed. I flashed all the L1s that were set and I really wanted to try some of the L2s. The only one that I tried I cruised until the final move, which ended with a very stretched top move. It’s in the same part of the wall that I’ve trouble with before when topping out. I wish the setters would figure out a way of making the moves interesting for taller people, but not absolutely terrifying for those vertically challenged. I did want to try the problem again but I was getting pretty cold, and it didn’t look like I would get a chance.

I went into the other room and played on the 45 degree board for a while. At least until my wrist and middle finger started to hurt. After climbing on Friday I noticed a small lump in my middle finger’s A2 pulley on my left hand. It didn’t hurt that much on Friday, but was still noticeable. After climbing on Monday it started to hurt a bit more. I decided to leave it and go home.

In sum, the session wasn’t that productive, but I did get to move and the new problems look pretty fun. I’m looking forward to playing on them on Friday.

Some stats:

  • Topped 6 L1s
  • Dropped last move on 1 L2
  • Played for a bit
  • Hurt my finger