With an abysmal forecast for the weekend and temperatures on the up there was only one option for outdoor climbing this week: an early morning session. My alarm went off at 6.45, but unlike when it goes off an hour or two later for me to head into uni, this time there was no snooze button. I had unfinished business with Ebola, and short and basic 7C at Anston Stones. In theory this problem should suit me - big moves between good holds on slightly overhanging ground, just my sort of thing. For some reason, however, it doesn't. I find it nails. If you gave it hard 7C+ I wouldn't feel guilty taking the tick. The problem revolves around a hard move off a 2 or 3 finger pockets to a sharp edge and holding a tricky swing, and it's a move that never feels easy for me, even in isolation.
After a slightly slower than expected journey (since I'd forgotten about morning traffic), I arrived at the crag to thankfully find reasonably cool rock and quickly got warmed up before it got too hot. Trying out the moves again I felt good, and with a slight tweak in grip position on the pocket giving me a much needed boost on the crux move I managed to dispatch the problem unexpectedly quickly.
Next up was Quarantine, a crimpy traverse of the buttress given 8A. Given that my finger has only just recovered from its pulley injury I was just intending to try a few of the moves to work back into crimping again (I'd worked out a sequence during a session on it in winter and tried briefly again on the weekend). The sequences went easier than expected and - as ever - psyche soon forced prudence out of my mind leaving me chalking up for a go at the link. Fortunately I got away with it and the finger held firm, allowing me to scuttle my way across to the finishing holds.
All that was left to do was to down a celebratory protein shake before rushing back to uni to get some work done, followed by the obligatory evening training session on the new Foundry campus board.
I've made a little video of these problems, hope you like it:
A Good Morning at Anston Stones from Alex Barrows on Vimeo.