I managed to tick off one of my winter goals yesterday. It was the one I thought was least likely to get done – onsighting a gritstone E5. When I started climbing this wasn’t something I imagined I would ever do, so it’s a pretty cool one to have ticked off my list.
I climbed a route at the Roaches called Track of the Cat, it reasonably soft for the grade, but it’s a spicy route to climb onsight because the last move, on tiny sloping footholds, is the crux, and if you don’t manage it you’ll fall most of the length of the route before you stop, because the gear is only just above half height (you can see the gear at the bottom of this photo). I was pretty confident that Andy could stop a fall from this move, it seems Andy was less confident, although he didn’t say so until afterwards!
I also succeeded in climbing Wings of Unreason first go, this was a route that’s been on my wishlist for years. It gets E4 in the guidebook, but it’s really irrelevant what the grade is, most E2 leaders of average height could probably do it if they suck up the fear. The difficulty with this route is that the last move is a jump, with gear at your feet.
So next objectives are to tick a proper E5, rather than a short bold one, and to get that E6 done. I’ve been bouldering a lot lately, so I’m feeling pretty strong and my technique is dialed, I just need to get on with it!