Devon Youth Open Bouldering Series and The Cider Soak (F8a)

Sunday 24th March and the final of the Devon Youth Open Bouldering Series 2012/13 was underway; I began as soon as possible but by doing so I was trying all of the problems first… It was good onsight practice to be fair. I quickly got stuck into the problems, onsighted the V9, got V10 second go due to getting the beta completely wrong managed to drop a V6 but still managed to take the win and get the top spot. The series has been running at Dartrock for around 3 months now and has been a great training tool for practicing onsighting over the winter and I look forward to another series at Dartrock starting in May.Friday came and I met Buster Martin at the train station ready for a weekend at Anstey’s, after a late night and fairly little sleep we woke up ready to get out there and send some Ferocity classics. Arriving there we did a F6a to warm up which wasn’t much as a warm up as I felt colder once I got back down! I belayed Buster while he started to put the draws in and figure out the moves on Tuppence (F8b), standing around for a couple of hours I was absolutely freeing and lost all motivation to try a single route but after a walk down to the Cocytus slabs and a run back up I felt much warmer and was psyched to try a route which I tried a long time ago- The Cider Soak (F8a); a classic Anstey’s 3 star route which is pumpy, powerful and steep. I went up the route to place the draws and did most of the moves first go, came back down and had a good rest while belaying Buster who reached a high point on Tuppence. Soon after I was back on TCS where I was going for my first redpoint attempt in around 6 months since I last pulled on (this is mainly due to it being soaking for the last 5 (-ish) months!) I moved through the crux at the third bolt, and then soon threw to the good rest jugs before the final upper wall (probably the crux for me). I hung around on the jugs but felt like I wasn’t getting much back and decided to go for the finish. Next thing I knew I was faced with the final move and hesitated and then locked off on the sloper and hit the finishing jug, shouted a little and clipped the chains on my first F8a not feeling too pumped or tired! Pleased that I had ticked this route I jumped on Tuppence and figured out most of the moves ready to put some links in on it sometime soon.

Photo by Tim Emmett

Photo by Tim Emmett

The next day we headed down earlier and at first it felt quite a lot warmer but as soon as we turned the corner to Ferocity Wall we felt the wind and the temperatures we were going to be experiencing for the rest of the day. Well this day didn’t go to well due to the painfully cold winds. I had a quick go on Pet Cemetery (F8a+) and I am looking forward to putting some attempts in on that when the weather is a little warmer!

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