Rain halted our plans to “do some trad” this weekend, so we decided to head to Alien 2 for some bouldering. It’s been a while since I was last there. This might have something to do with a local mega venue opening up recently. However, Alien 2 does have a proper cave. The routes are well set too, and did I mention it has a cave?
Holy Rooves. To the bat cave
For some reason I’ve always been attracted to cave problems – even the ones I have zero chance of sending, like “Pressure”, that laugh at you for even trying it on with them. I think it’s the whole body tension needed that I like. It certainly works your core. Core strength is often the key to success in many problems, and something that has been attributed to Adam Ondra’s success. A few of us have a project route that requires a lot of core strength. I use my abs so much on this project that I have to heel hook the mattress and roll out of bed the next day. So, a bit of core action was the order of the day – especially as I have some unfinished business with “magic bus” (I only had 4 or 5 attempts on it, and I do wonder about the validity of the grade. This was the real reason for today’s trip, to get some upside down climbing in. It was also a chance to catch up with a former climbing partner and a former “bagging” partner.
As expected, there were some challenging problems and a moment’s high as I thought I had flashed a V5 on sight, only to be brought back down to earth with a thump as Louise pointed out “Nah, it’s that pink”. It seemed easy for the grade (was actually a V3), but I had briefly convinced myself that I must have improved considerably when in reality, I probably just need my eyes checked. Chris did manage to flash a V5 in the climbing equivalent of loose fitting wellies. It will be interesting to see how he gets on with a tight pair of DVT inducing- foot crippling miuras or the like. Is the loss of your toes worth the increased performance?
Anyway, much fun was had in the cave, and a definite improvement was noticed compared to my last visit, and I loved the intricate foot work required to crawl under the route. Jo even decided to try going feet free for several feet. It was one of those silly suggestions to give her when she is climbing too well, thinking “nah, she won’t be able to do this” – like one armed traversing. It’s funny how such challenges take over from doing routes.
Steve on the lip of “Pressure”