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Moon Blog / Contributor / david-mason

Showing 1 to 8 of 8 posts

WARNING: This is a long blog!

WARNING: This is a long blog! On Monday 4th March I climbed my most significant boulder problem to date. Superman at Crag X in the Peak District is a non-descript eliminate up a gently overhanging buttress of limestone. It could well be the hardest thing I have climbed but for me that is not the reason that it means so much…. Let’s rewind nearly seven years to the summer of 2006 and my first visit to Crag X. This small limestone buttress is hidden away in mossy woodland where the smell of wild garlic and the sound of cascading water transport you into a chapter from Tolkien. It really is the type of place that fairies could live! My first day climbing here was not especially successful; I think I managed a 7a. However, British summer time forces us to climb on bits of manky limestone and if I was to spend my summer falling off calcium carbonate I was at least going to do it somewhere that is a nice place to be. That first day I was shown the problems and told the rules aRead More...

Repetitive Training and the Olympics

A month since touching back down in the UK and I am pleased to say it has been productive! Colorado was a complete write off for me with temperatures soaring way above averages for that time of year and my complete lack of strength and fitness left me with an empty feeling in the pit of my stomach. I had felt good climbing wise before leaving for the States, I knew I wasn't the strongest I had ever been due to niggling finger injuries leaving me unable to train my crimp strength but I felt good on plastic....note to self this doesn't reflect on how you will perform on rock in 40 degree heat! Anyway negative rant over, I came home and decided to train; my fingers seemed to be feeling good enough to entertain this idea and the English weather played it's part by providing torrential rain or hot and humid conditions that made the thought of outdoor climbing a complete waste of time. Five weeks into training and it is finally clicking, I think! I finally feel like I am returning to sRead More...

A Colorado Story.....

After 23 hours with no sleep we finally arrived at our home for the summer. 110 Mohawk drive, Boulder, Colorado! Jackie, Chris and Kevin our hosts, a thank you to tem. Too tired to be excited we went straight to bed and into a deep slumber!  

The next day was van sorting day-insurance, emissions test and finally registration! All very boring! Another night early to bed but feeling less jet lagged. Tomorrow would be our first real test-driving to Rocky Mountain National Park on a Saturday and battling with the tourists (obviously as climbers we bypass the tourist status)! For our first day we were mainly checking out a few areas in the ‘ParRead More...

A Spring Summation

Summing up the last few months won’t take long really because not much has happened. The weather has been all over the place; hot humid days have mingled with rain, sleet and even snow and so I decided to take to the ‘great indoors’! My finger is eventually feeling better so it was time to recruit a little crimp strength. It is amazing how quickly this comes back if the strength has been there previously. A month or so after starting some dead hanging and campusing I feel back up to scratch, just in time for Colorado!  

  I have managed a few days on rock in these tumultuous times. A long awaited return to the Bowderstone was not quite as productive as I had Read More...

Spud Guns and Hat Wearing

Since watching that classic production Consumed I have always wanted to do Grand Potato, which in old money used to get E7 6b but now with a few pads is more like font 7a+. Last year it was popular with a number of ascents but I never managed to get to Baslow to try it. However as the grit season is drawing to an end and spring is upon us, a moist but cool Wednesday morning seemed like a perfect opportunity to get out and try our luck on the ‘big pomme de terre’. Katy, Ned, Rich and I hauled in some mats to make it as safe as possible. After all we can do this nowadays so why not (cue ethics police onslaught)?!! A brief sandy break traverse was ample warm up and Ned was off up the big potato quicker than you could say King Edward! A few goes later I managed to scramble (pun intended) my way up the arête to the ‘oeuf’ like slopers at the top. Katy was getting through the crux but was all beefed out from the gunny roof section at the bottom, next time! Rich was just there Read More...

Heaven in Your Hands

A very, very good gritstone boulder problem! I could leave it there but I will expand upon that sentence a little. This bloc is at a craglet by the name of Brandrith in North Yorkshire; it was climbed by Dave Sutcliffe a good few years ago now but seems to have seen relatively little attention. I had always wanted to get it done but kept for getting of its existence; you know how it is-climbs come and go in your mind depending on how many other bits of rock you are thinking about! Fast forward at least 5 years and my friend Andy reminded me of its existence. Not only did he remind me but he raved about how good it was! Andy only has eyes for good lines; no eliminates, shuffling or low balls here! After trying to fix up a time to mission up from Sheffield we eventually got ourselves in gear and descended upon Brandrith on Wednesday. Upon arrival it was warm and humid (the midges were out) and the local authorities were conducting controlled heather fires, creating clouds of smoke Read More...

God’s Own Rock is Sandstone!

After all if he was to make the perfect climbing conglomerate why would he put great big pebbles and small lines of crystals that supposedly make holds in the mix?! Torn skin anyone?! OOO yes please! Me first, me first! This year I have discovered the bouldering in Northumberland and I have to say I much prefer it to the grit. It’s as close to Fontainebleau as I can imagine and for me that makes it pretty damn good. Last weekend I managed to climb 4 days in a row, my tips was onion skin thin each night but with a generous application of Elizabeth Arden I was ready to go the following day. The other thing I love about Northumberland is the solitude, it appears to be much quieter at the crag, and life seems to slow down upon reaching the undulating farm land around Belford.

My climbing recently hasn’t been quite up to scratch but there were a few climbs I really wanted to get done or at least try. My psyche was high as we left a sunny Sheffield, it was a beautiful spring Read More...

Cod Finger, Cornelius and Campussing

Well the weather in England has started to warm up, spring definitely appears to be on the way! This renews my psyche for training as it looks like cold gritstone days are a thing of the past for this winter at least! Time to focus on getting strong for Colorado but also time to get rid of an A2 tweak I have on my right index finger. I did it just before Christmas but foolishly did no massaging or icing over the festive period! Since then every time I climb it has swelled up; it doesn’t hurt that much but I can’t try too hard on it either. Last week I decided it wasn’t going away and so something radical had to be done; cue no actual climbing for 6 weeks (apart from warming up and the occasional potter outside). The idea of this doesn’t faze me too much as the strongest I have ever been was after 6 weeks of just finger boarding, campusing and doing one armers. These sessions are much more controllable than actual climbing and by doing most of exercises in a drag grip positioRead More...

Showing 1 to 8 of 8 posts