Monday, 29 June 2015

Insatiable (7b+) Cheddar Gorge

Me and Chris were supposed to head to Bosigran this weekend, However due to the weather and change of plans, we ended up staying home, so headed to Cheddar for an afternoon instead, just to get our fix. We jumped on Raw Deal (7a) which I have previously tried before but failed to link the moves after the crux due to being too pumped! Yeah it's only a few metres high but my endurance is crap. Any way, I managed to get it and clipped the lower off! feeling pretty pleased, I wanted more. There were 2 couples climbing beside us, pretty good climbers as they were doing 8a's, so I got chatting to them and they had suggested Insatiable (7b+) to the left of Raw Deal. I did mention about my struggle up a 7a, but their words of confidence persuaded me to at least try it, at least I could say that I had.

I took a minute to have a look at the route from several different positions. I knew I wasn't going to do it onsight, but I wanted to get as much info on the route as I could before jumping on it and hang around trying to figure out what to do next! The starting moves are pretty technical with poor feet, small crimps and a 2 finger crimp as a crucial hold before reaching up to a side pull. From here on, it's BIG moves to some mediocre holds. For the tall like myself, these moves aren't too hard, just a bit of dynamic movement and a full reach. For the more vertically challenged, these moves can prove a damn sight harder. There's not a lot of time to really hang around here and each move flows into the next with some speedy and dynamic reaches to the next hold and bolt. There's not much in the way for feet, but there is just about enough to 'get by'. The trick is to climb with speed and fluidity in the lower section, to ward of the pump, until you reach a large hold just before the 3rd bolt where you can take a slight rest and shake out, ready for the next lot of big moves.

Poor feet is the consistent theme to this route, and this doesn't help with the next move off the big hold to a blind pocket far out left. From here, it's a case of rocking up left and gaining a side pull above, a crappy crimp out right and another side pull to the final 2 long reaches to the top where you can clip the lower off and revel in the glory of climbing 7b+...

Although, this isn't the case for me...yet. I managed the 3rd bolt, out of 4 and the lower off. I could do the individual moves, but just couldn't link them all after the 3rd bolt. The route itself only consists of roughly 14 moves (if you don't count matching hands and getting established on the rock) but even this was enough to get me pumped by the time I hit the mid section. However, it is long, hard moves one after another, and as mentioned, my endurance isn't the best!

So this is my summer project. I know what I have to train to improve and give myself a fighting chance to get this route clean: Power Endurance. I'm hoping that within 2-3 months of training, I'll be in a better position to attempt Insatiable again. Wish me luck!

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