First 7c

This wasn’t something I thought would be happening his year, especially when I was in and out of hospital for operations and check ups following a serious, climbing-induced head injury. Actually, until a couple of years ago I thought 7c sport climbing would be way beyond me. It turns out it’s not and, in fact, I’ve got a lot stronger, fitter and lighter over the course of the summer and it’s well within reach.

I did a route called The Obscene Toilet, so called because it links two existing routes, Obscene Gesture (named after the crux move) and The Toilet (no, not sure there). I only really got involved with this project by accident, having shown up at the Tor one day after being rained off everywhere else, and this was the only route dry and not occupied. I was quite surprised to get the moves on the first day, so thought it worth a return visit. In total it’s taken me 5 short sessions (short out of necessity, it’s too powerful for me to spend more than a couple of hours working on) and I got it done on Saturday. I felt it should have taken me a bit less time, but I found I was really nervous on the crux sequence, partly “over-arousal” and partly scared of taking the fall – the bolt is below your feet on the hardest move, so you fall a reasonable distance. Luckily I watched someone else on that sequence on Saturday, and they used one extra movement for it. I tried it that way and got the route done on the second attempt.
Chris Lockyer has some great photos of the route on his blog. It’s not the best route in the world, but it was worth the effort. 🙂

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