Yesterday day was a funny old day. Over the last few days I have been making steady progress on Blomu in Cova Gran, Santa Linya. Slowly but surely I have been able to measure my progress by a one move higher each go. Blomu is a route with 3 belays, earlier in the year I on sighted the first section at 7b+ and completely failed to do the crimpy moves past the belay. At the top of the 7b+ is a good knee bar and a chance to refresh before the bulk of the route to the 8b belay. Climbing involving a crimpy boulder problem, a couple of small jumps, some good holds on which to rest and a powerful finish to clip the belay off a knee bar. Although there is a knee bar at the 8b belay it is by no means a place to recover, a chance to clip and chalk up and straight into a hard boulder problem, a powerful slap to a slopey hold followed by another sloper and then a hard move to shift the feet allowing another slightly better hold to taken. A big move rightwards then a hard move into an undercut (my highpoint the day before) allows a poor shake to be gained. Good hold with your left and crimp with your right. The last move is a 100% all out slap for a sloper just before the final belay.
The reason I say it was funny is because I wanted to complete Blomu before the New Year, with two 8c’s and a few 8b’s in the last month I think it is about time I climbed something a little more respectable. This combined with a lack of time in the day was starting to stress me out a little. With the slopers high on the route in the sun all day you can only really get good conditions in the shade, which means you only really get one good go right at the end of the day. I piled on the pressure, not sure about resting or climbing for a third day, a little niggle in a joint also confusing the issue. In the end I bit the bullet, opting for the usual bouldering warm up in the back of the cave. As I tied on I relaxed knowing what I had to do.
The power of the mind is immense, it constantly surprises me how strong it can be. I warmed and in the cold shade probably now 0 degrees, just before the redpoint I would donned my shorts took off my shirt and tied into my Sterling Nano, the feeling of freedom and lightness was fantastic. The mental battle was won.
Within seconds I managed to switch from totally stressed out to totally relaxed and in the zone. The various hard sections passed in a blur and as I shook out high up I felt myself practically completely recovering. A few more moves and the 8b belay clipped I switched into boulder mode powering past my high point to the poor shake out. I recovered a bit, focussing on how my left arm felt. All day I had been telling myself the next move was no harder than a V4, I kept saying I would never fall from a move like this on a boulder wall…..I didn’t.
Jug in hand I screamed in relief my first 8c+, the first one I have tried. Bring on 2012, but not just yet I still have another two days ;-)
Big up to Magnus Midtboe who today ticked his second 9a of the month. Fuck The System followed by Open Your Mind Direct……….strong man.
Hopefully I will have some pics up soon.