A week and a half have past since I arrived in Sheffield and weather has been not too bad, at least for an italian point of view, with quite warm temperatures but chilly wind at times, that made rock feel quite grippy.
This time I learnt the lesson and didn't try to go out on rock every day... better have some good skin if you want to try anything hard on gritstone... so I had plenty of time to wander around and take some pictures with my old rangefinder camera... here you can the results I just got back from the lab!
Obviously I did not just wander, and had my goals clearly focused in my mind. First of all was Careless Torque... the legendary 8a boulder problem at Stanage Plantation, set up by Ron Fawcett when I was just two... (1987!). Last year I tried many times, but could just not do the mantle crux at the start... this time, understood how to grab the aréte with my left hand, I've been able to do it five times in a row. Four times still dropping with my fingers touching the very last hold, and then finally finding myself at the top of this huge boulder on my 27th birthday! Best present ever.
Wheather has not always been good and windy, and many days it has just been mild and humid. What better of training on the wooden Beastmaker board at the Climbing Works and then go out to try some of the best classic Grit lines? I had quite some fun at Curbar and Froggatt doing, among other things Ulysses or Bust (E5 6b), The Great Slab (E3 5b), Brown's Eliminate (E2 5b) and on the famous "The End of Affair" E8 6c.
For the last route I had to come twice, and I'm glad I didn't try it straight on a flash go! First time I went there wind was blowing so hard that made me lose balance on the delicate moves up the arete, and I consequently felt reluctant to lead it... the second time no wind was blowing and everything was quite damp, but my mood was definitely better and I gathered the courage to lead myself up.
I'll leave you with this sunset picture taken with my 1958 camera at the base of the End of Affair... here is also the video, I tried to make it look as old as possible. Hope to have good news for an update soon!