December 31, 2008 George Foster

The Grit – Part Drei

I’ve decided to carry on this ‘Dosage’ of blog posts as i seem to be getting about on the grit quite a lot of late. As you can guess i’m just back from another trip up Sheffield way. I met the usual crowd of Gilliam, Robbo and the Ullrich at Sheffield train station and managed to collapse my body enough to squeeze into the car. With 4 ropes, four rucksacks, camera equipment, tripod and boulder mat it ended up being rather cosy!

Anyway we were all proper into the perfect conditions (even at midnight) so when we got to Burbage South we stuck some top-ropes on the best looking routes and got some gritage going. Great success!!! We got some kip under a route called The Knock which was….umm….pretty much the coldest i’ve been and not died! Needless to say we didn’t need much encouragement to get up in the morning!! We all had routes we wanted to do over the couple of days we were there so we jogged over to Nosferatu early doors and the Ullrich sent that bitch onsight. Beat that. No-one could obviously so we had fun top-roping it for a bit then headed back for Robbo and Gilliam to work on The Knock. I fell off the top of it last time i was on it so whilst the chance to top rope it was tempting i’m gonna hold out for the ground-up (thanks Al Lee for the inspiration….cos obviously no-one had heard of on-sighting before that film came out!) They both crushed the life out of it but for some reason fannyed out of the solo. Lakes climbers – hard?? Fresh from Nosferatu the Ullrich wanted to get on something more at his limit so he stuck a rope on Simba’s Pride. A frickin’ stunning overhung arete that many will remember from that crazy Aussie fella soloing on Committed Vol.1 (other DVDs are available). After a couple of goes he had it pretty much crushed.

In between burns he tried Life Assurance but sensibly backed off on the onsight. I went up for a flash attempt cos it didn’t look too bad from the ground. Bad idea and i was soon reversing back down to the ground after posing for pics on the finishing holds of course…..just in case any passing Red Bull or Berghaus rep wanted to invite me to their sponsorship party. It’s scary mary! Robbo and Gilliam flexed their ape indexes and got a sending train going on a ground-up of Boggart Left-hand. Bo’shank! My train was delayed until the following morning but i soon found myself squirming up the finishing chimney at 8am….which is horrible.

Anyone who knows me will know my fingers are shite. Too thin and too long, not like spindly dodgy old man style long and tin but not exactly optimum for climbing. As a result of this deficiency, which i can only blame on my parents, i get injured quite a bit. In fact i’ve had a torn tendon in my left ring finger since March 2005. Hooray. Anyway boo-hoo whatever. The problem this time was with my tips. For some reason….probably cos i crank like a motherhubbard and am so damn cool….my tips just couldn’t stand up to even 2 days worth of grittage and they split like a tree branch, making climbing pretty painful – the memories of the pain make me cry even now! Alas i wanted to headpoint Nosferatu but cos i’m a little baby girl i couldn’t overcome the trauma of it all. George von Ullrich of Leichtenstein has sandpaper hands and had no such problems, so after a quick onsight of Pebble Mill he set about borrowing mats off people to solo Simba’s Pride. Having been successful in this he promptly gave it some pasty and put the uber sketchy finishing dyno to bed. Easy as chips really (big phat shout out to ma main man Ben ‘B-Funk’ Robinson for the picatureee below).

Hopefully this grit trend of getting out little and often will continue for a bit longer as i now have lots to get back to. Hooray for projects! I’m back into headpointing now for a bit too. Double hooray! Yes please.

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