Friday, September 29, 2006

Project Time



Angus cranks while Lambton rolls another...the Lost Valley, Glen Coe


After the wet spitballs off Hurricane Gordon, the weather is finally cooling down and projects tremble at the thought of crisp cold autumn conditions. If your tendons last out and you've ramped up the power, this is the best time of year for the Scottish boulderer, as long as a little luck plays out before the nights draw in.

Daev Macleod shows how it's done on Pongo Direct

Wearing the duvet again is a sign that things are focusing away from the rambling circuit-style bouldering of summer towards the microscopic attentions to projects: that pinky isn't on properly... drag of the toe makes a difference there... tagged the hold for the tenth time...heel-toe finally sticks and undercut is gained (SHOCK it was easier than you thought!)...your arse is too far out, suck it in boy...GET ANGRY at it...YET MORE finger-tape surgery... spend one whole morning trawling hardware shops for the perfect brushes and broom extenders...you know you're in project time now...

John watson on Tim Palmer's power problem 'Manic Stupor' at Glen Lednock

Friday, September 15, 2006

Classic Scottish Boulder Problems No.5

Autoroof (Sit-Start) V5 6c+

Glen Nevis in the autumn is a truly special place for any boulderer. The fine-quality schist and excellent situation of High Crag, as well as a perfect grassy alp for landings, make this a favourite haunt of the dedicated boulderer. Dave Cuthbertson originally saw the value of this overhang and created some hard traveres such as Beatle-Back and Tinderbox, which are worth the walk up. The bouldering projects and straight-ups are hard, most problems above V8, but of note for a single visit is the excellent technical problem that is Auto-Roof.

Why classic? Well: the situation, the moves, the quality of rock... there are plenty of problems in the glen worthy of any top-ten list, but for me it sums up the whole feel of Glen Nevis bouldering very well... isolation, sound rock, a drying wind...

The problem finds a way through an impending wall to a jump-off niche where the route continues but eases off. The standing start, off an embedded boulder to the left, is Font 5 and requires good pressing power to gain a blunt undercling, then a slap right for another good but blunt side-pull allows a jug to be gained in the niche. Straightforward enough, enjoyable steep pulling...but it becomes a classic problem when you sit-start low down and come in from the right, making the good high holds problematically out-of-reach... which is what needs solved. The sit-start comes quick enough with good body-positioning and hand cleverness... an awkward finger slot for the right hand allows a quick powerful pull to a left-hand sloper/crimp, then a reach to a protruding flat block. Now the fun begins... gain the imperfect undercut to the left, position the toes and crank up the power to slap with your right hand to the higher holds of the stand-up. If you manage this move, it's straightforward to the top.


... about to reach through to the high undercut on Auto-Roof, Glen Nevis Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Classic Scottish Boulder Problems No. 4
















Chris Fryer on The Peel Sessions - V4 6b Glen Clova

The Peel Sessions V4 6b Glen Clova

Though better known for the excellent trad cragging, no self-respecting trad merchant should pass this problem by if in the area. If you can flash it, you should be well good for E4 cruxes - it is the obvious leaning wall above the road on Glen Clova's biggest boulder. An excellent landing means you can start this at sit-level and fall off as many times as you wish at any point... a couple of brisk power moves get you off your bum, then a tricky press move to the left allows a good incut up right...now comes a decision, either wimp out right on nearby jugs, or commit to the big move to a poor left hand-hold just below the lip. If you manage to hold it, keep your technique steady and mantle over the top. Sorting your feet position for the crux lunge is crucial (try a heel-hook on the sloper if you're feeling weak). If you're strong, you might want to try cross-handed... it's hard either way. Posted by Picasa