New crag points

The title of this post should be a clue that it’s going to be about climbing. Well at least a lot of it is as I don’t have a whole lot else to report. So without further ado…

The weekend after Independence day I was heading to Arkansas with Kim, Kyrie and Richard. Carol was a late addition after her original plan for the weekend got pushed back a few weeks. Friday evening saw three of us squashed in the back seat of Kim’s car on the way down to Jamestown. Carol and I hadn’t been to Jamestown before although the other three had been a few weeks previously. Jamestown is about a two hour further drive than most crags in Arkansas so we stopped about an hour and a half from the crag to camp.

After a slightly damp not sleeping outside – due to dew rather than rain – and a reasonably slow start we arrived at the crag about midday. Jamestown is a nice crag even if it is a bit out of the way. Carol decided that a 10b for the first route of the day was the way to go. I belayed her, Kim top-roped it and then I tried leading it. The first clip was at the edge of a reasonable size roof and it took me way too long to work up the confidence to clip it, slowly leaning out more with each try. Eventually I worked up enough confidence and got it only to take a few falls pulling around the roof. I finally finished the route and found out that Carol had done two routes while I’d been trying the 10b. Whoops. Oh well was pleased to work up the confidence to get the clip – I never like doing stuff where I may hit the ground – even if it did take too long.

Three more leads followed – including a rest on one due to being tired after the 10b – before we called it a day. We went and make camp, Richard made food for us all and everyone went to bed pretty early. Which all made for a much earlier start the next day. Earlier enough than Carol managed 6 routes and I 5 and a half – I couldn’t finish the last sustained overhanging route (thankfully permadrawed) before we left at 1 for the long drive home. All in all it was a very enjoyable weekend and I enjoyed climbing with Carol for the first time in a long time. Jamestown is a nice crag but given the extra travelling involved I’m not sure I’ll be back as there’s other places higher up my hit list at that sort of time travelling. The few pictures I managed to take when I wasn’t busy climbing are here.

The next Saturday saw me up at 3:30am and meeting Seth, Rob and Rosie – Russell’s sister who was visiting from Australia – at a park and ride at 5am. The reason for this madness was a climbing trip to Warsaw and an attempt to climb before the heat of the day. I led the route Mary Ashley broke her leg on… again, before top roping the 10c next to it. Feeling closer to be able to lead it and if the crux moves weren’t so close to a big ledge I’d definitely give it ago. Sillyness then ensued on the 5.9 start to a 5.10a as it has every time I’ve tried it – it’s definitely a traditional start – this despite being on a top rope. A quick jump up a 5.8 on top rope and we were done climbing for the day.

The day having get quite warm we all headed into the lake for some bathing and swimming. I swam the length of the crag and it was cool seeing the climbs from further away. Less cool was me forgetting to put on sun tan lotion as the day warmed up. I ended up with a rather red back that turned out to be quite saw for a good few days. I was very glad I wasn’t one of those people that burns easily as that definitely wouldn’t be much fun. After a stop for barbecue for dinner we head back to KC, home and an early night! Being a bit of a lazier day there’s a fair few more pictures of this trip here.

What else have I been up to? Well I’ve still been going to physical therapy and am confident it’s slowly helping. Have also just finished my photography class. Much of it I already knew but there was enough that I didn’t know that I think I’d have been in at the deep end too much f I’d done the intermediate rather than beginner course. It was also course as it forced me to use many of the features of the camera, which although I knew were there, I’d not used before. I’m still looking for my next job and recently e-mailed several people about positions they have available. Hopefully I’ll have more to report soon. Think that’s about so until next time…

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