Well monday turned out to be an interesting day.
I had the day free as I was working nights so decided to use the day to check out some new route ideas.
The first one that I wanted to check out was at Froggatt. A route that Jon Fullwood had mentioned to me, this was the wall and lip just to the left of ‘Tody’s wall’ straight up the slab in the middle and take the slightly overhanging lip direct. This would then finish up the E2 slab ‘Ratbag’ My only plan this day was to abseil down the route to see if it was possible.
Completely by coincidence my friend Joe Heeley (the man behind Monkey Time Films) my climbing partner happened to be driving past Froggatt car park as I was getting ready, pulled up and next thing I knew we where both walking in to play on the thing.
After cleaning the holds we started trying to work out how to climb the route and got shut down. The whole lip was just bad slopers that we could barely hold onto. We fell off time and time and time again.
Just as we were about to give up I gave it one last ditch attempt and somehow managed to come up with a rock over sequence that got me over the lip, though fell off a couple of times trying to stand up on the slab.
Needless to say I found a way so here is the video of my new route ‘Equanimity’ E6/7 6c:
I know I know, Equanimity is a weird word and it sound like I made it up. However I didn’t, I wanted a name that reflected my experience on the route.
Equanimity: is a state of psychological stability and composure which is undisturbed by experience of or exposure to emotions, pain, or other phenomena that may cause others to lose the balance of their mind.
This is what I would consider to be in the zone, a state of mind where I am calm in a dangerous situation and ironically this is exactly what didn’t happen, I started off calm but almost fell.
Watch my body fall back as I change my right arm to a palm down on the rock over.
This shoved me out of my bubble and I realised I was about to fall, my heart starts going, I start thinking about the clatter into the slab if I come off, then because of this I forget the sequence …. shit … oh yea left hand up, foot on … shit I’ve got disco leg.
I can’t place my foot on the tiny hold, I take 3 goes at placing it feeling the left foot slipping of the hold thats keeping me there, I’m so close to falling, stand up on smear with my leg shaking ‘oh please dont shake myself off’ a fall from here would likely be a ground fall … I haven’t fallen, good (I fell here twice in practice) next foot hold and slight lunge to a good hand hold.
Thank god 🙂 I’m safe ish.
Only the ‘easy’ bit left, the bold E2 slab ‘Ratbag’ It’s not too bad but requires some faith in friction. Usually I wouldn’t find this daunting but the lip had taken a lot out of me mentally and I took ages to psyche myself up to get started up the slab.
Once I refocused everything was ok but it’s not often that I panic on a route I know I can do. The first time in a long time.