Monday, 22 September 2014

Two classic boulder problems from Kyloe woods - video

We spent a couple of days in the County this weekend - time to recuperate. The sea air, fish and chips, Bamburgh castle, beautiful countryside… it all makes for a rather relaxing place to stay for a couple of days.

Of course, I can't go to Northumberland without a little climbing as well, and so I indulged. As with everywhere in the country, Saturday was a bit of a write off. It rained until around 2pm and then the sun came out and the humidity really set in. Trying to walk around was like wading through treacle.

Sunday was much improved, so we set off to Kyloe in the Woods bright and early. I had wanted to return to Kyloe for a couple of classics for a long time. They are two of the County's best boulder problems - Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (7A+) and The Yorkshireman (7B+).

Working the moves on Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Of course, the Kyloe woods crag has some of the best problems of every grade range in the country, in my view, which made warming up great fun. Before I got onto the two aforementioned problems, I needed to get the tendons and muscles warm. Bad Company (6A), Badfinger (6A) and the sit start (6B) all did nicely. Brilliant boulder problems and really worth the visit if you're operating in the 6s. 

Anyway, onto the main meal for me, and I had hoped to knock Hitchhiker's on the head pretty sharpish. The boulder problem is over in two moves, really, and those two moves are a subtle combination of power and balance. This made it a little trickier than I was expecting, and therefore it took me a little longer too. What a brilliant couple of moves though and a thoroughly enjoyable climb - easy to see why it's a classic.

Then it was onto The Yorkshireman, which also proved troublesome in it's own way. For a while I was trying beta that wasn't working for me, and then eventually I realised if I turned my left hand in the crack I could reach the crimp above with my right. I then had to hang this crimp so I could match… and it's a touch sharp. I crushed a nerve ending in my right hand middle finger, but eventually I reached the top.

I then set to work on the sit start, after a short break, but we didn't take any food with us and I was starting to tire. Definitely one to return to when my legs aren't wobbling like Elvis Presley's. 

There's some footage below of both problems. Apologies for the letterbox filming. I'd recommend watching it on YouTube rather than here - click the little logo.