|Mark McGowan @markmcgowan01|
After the Lead season had finished I decided to try my hand at dry tooling. This is even harder as i cannot see where the end of the pick is, so you can imagine how slow and still i have to be while waiting for my caller to tell me where it is so that it can go into that moving bit of chain, whilst on an overhang. But as a result of entering the BTS i hope i have put myself in a good position to be picked for the first GB Para ice team.
|Dry tooling at Rope Race|
Then in early December i went to the French Pyrenees with Mark and Jamie Owen @Jayowzen, this was to be a week of sport climbing. I'm always a bit nervous about going to new crags. It's not the people i go with but the walk in. I've been to crags where it can take me an hour or more to get there. No fun at all for me or the person who is guiding me. No prooblems this time a straight forward walk down a track and 15min later we are there. I must admit sport climbing was not high on my list. It seems scary, in that i have to clip where the bolts are. I find trad climbing easier, and less scary, even if there is more than a few metres in between nut placements. I guess i feel more in control.The weather was ok, some days were wet but all days were cold. We even had snow. We started with a 5c as our warm up. This went well and after working this one we then went on to redpointing it (me and Jamie). We then moved over to a 6a, and we did the same with this one and after a day or so, and weather permitting, i managed to redpoint this as well. I was very pleased with this, as this is my hardest lead to date. We then moved over to a 6a+ but by now the weather had turned. I hope to go back and do some more.
So that brings us to the end of 2014. I would like to thank all the people who have helped me over the year, especially those who have called for me, driven me to where I needed to be, the members of the Solihull Mountaineering Club, @wildcountryuk, @CraphoppersUK and @BearGrylls for my clothes, to all my followers on Twitter and Facebook, also the people who visit my Google+ page, a big shout for Jake @climb_out_of_it, but my biggest thanks goes to my wife for having to put up with me rambling on about my climbing for hours on end, thanks Anne.
So what will 2015 bring-hopefully a financial sponsor, more International comps, complete some climb 365 challenges for climb out, and some more great outdoor climbing where i push my grades higher and I also hope to attend some several of the WideBoyZ crack school masterclasses.
Oh and lots of training with my Coach and Caller, Mark. Bring it on dude! :)