From highballs to lowballs
Mike Adams recently put up a new problem at Anston Stones. Vanilla Sky (http://vimeo.com/23700953) is small (like Tom Cruise) and ugly (unlike Penelope Cruz) but also pretty hard. I spent a day at Anston with Mike tidying up some stuff I’d not done as he wanted to get a consensus on the grades. Obviously I was as helpful as ever providing input like “erm I dunno” and “yeh, maybe”.
First up was quarantine, a staminaband-esque crimpy traverse, similar in difficulty and length but with the crux at the start rather than the end. After a few goes I was at the easier finishing section, pumped out of my mind and suddenly realized that if I didn’t do it that go I would have to climb through the start again. Being lazy, I quested on to the end.
Next was Dark Reservation (8a+?) which extends the original roof of Dark Art, adding a pumpy finish. I’ve got Dark Art pretty wired in the past so after figuring out the sequence for the end I got it linked.
Finally we got to vanilla sky. Mike ran me through the moves and after a few goes I had stuck the crux but peeled off the top through surprise. Punter. After a few more goes and some tactical stripping off I had it done. It’s not the best quality problem but it’s great to have something hard to go at in the summer heat when most other stuff is unclimbable. Mike gave this 8a+/8b. For him the first move was very hard as his sausage fingers wouldn’t fit behind the flake. The flake felt ok for my small stubby fingers but the crux move is the same regardless. 8a+ feels about right…
Contributed by: Ned Feehally