050206-07 Portland

Overview - Portland after a Rammstein concert is an interesting idea, and a long way... A neck that slowly hurt more as the days went on, the first time on bolts outdoors, and some gorgeous weather that really shouldn't have happened in February. We started on Sunday at The Cuttings, then moved on to Cheyne Weares and Blacknor South for the Sunday. Cheyne Wears is about as perfect for my style as one can get, I think...

The Sod (1* 5+):

Led - I had said I'd climb in my Rammstein clothing, and so I did... Leather trousers, and lots of bridging. Hmmm. Still, it was a good warm-up (and warm I was from all that leather!), and a reasonable climb, though it seemed rather long...

Cuttings Bouldering:

Two V5 problems that were supposed to be the warm-up. Slight over-eager, me-thinks!
Phats and Bigs
White Baron

Hillman the Hunter (6b+):

Led - Backed off the crux move - an enormous rock-over over the lower buldge - and felt very bad for doing so. Got the "FFS get on with it" from Alun, and made it without too much wibbling to the top. Fairly nice moves; though I would clip the brick-wall bolt from under the overhang.

Mindmeld (7a+):

Top roped - Alun lead it, taking possibly one of the biggest falls I've held, but also probably the safest, and come off at least once per bolt. Ian was playing with the crux to get to the big hold on the arete (yes, that is the crux, no matter what anyone else says), and I made the mistake of trying it his way. Fell off, then followed Alun's example - reach for the bugger - and made the rest fairly easily. Nice route!

Starbucks (6a):

Led - A coffee to start the second day... After having only made it cleanly up a single 5+ the previous day, an easy start and working my way up was the order of the day. This made a nice easy start, with clips just out of reach of large ledges, solid moves, and nothing much to worry about. Stay slightly left of where you might think...

Future Imperfect (1* 6a+):

Led - More ledge-y climbing with a good number of bolts, and no particularly hard moves up until the final sequence. Takes a second when you're there to start thinking again, but look around and there are enough holds there for two English 5b moves...

Wedding Daze (1* 6b):

Led - Same as the previous one, really. A slightly greater distance between bolts, and a few more interesting moves to get to the top, but the top is a show-stopper. 5c/6a english, and up to that point has been slightly more pumpy than the previous route, so the top feels a fair bit harder; once you've got it, however, it's a good'en.

Cheyne Bouldering:

First time on flow-stone. I was really eager to do some tufa climbing. After this, my enthusiasm was very much quenched.
Problem 16 (V0-): Good intro to flowstone; no friction, pinch and side-pull holds. Horrible.
Problem 12 (V2): Feels a mite harder, but only requires three moves.
Problem 18 (V4): Made it by traversing into the flake from the right. Only just noticed it's a sit-start!

Lifeline (1* 6a+):

Bottled - Discussion seems to think it's very stiff at 6a+ - I agree, the lower section is fairly pumpy, but passed the final bolt, the top wall is horrible... It might have just been the end of the day, but I felt fairly dead at the end of this one (finished up left).