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Team night out at the Quarry. 

It’s not often that all of us, the old crew gets together anymore.

We were lucky enough to make it happen tonight: PG, Del,  Diarmuid, Monika and I met up at the Quary for some easy routes.

PG started with Street Fighter (VS 4c),

Monika following Street Fighter.

I was next with nearby one move wonder – Ivy Chimney (S, 5a), before Diarmuid arrived and we all moved to the east valley.

Me past the Crux of Ivy Chimney

Diarmuid started  Mahjongg (VS 4c) while PG did another classic Vs – E route (4b, with staircase finish – Hvs 4c). In the mean time Del showed up.  It was good to see him back at the cragg,  since he is still recovering from his winter injuries.

The dream team enjoying the evening.

There was still time for one more round of climbs so we moved left.

PG did always dangerous Sham Gully, (VS 5b) – it has very dodgy unprotected start, decent spotting is always encouraged!

In the mean time Bushmills E1 5b was waiting for an accent.

Bushmills in all its glory.

No volunteers,  so jumped on it  and tryied my best not to embarrass myself at it. It took two attempts, but I did it clean.

Somehow sudeenly everyone was eager to second it, so I spent next 40mins at the top giving free belays. At least it was very sunny up there 🙂

PG coming up on the upper parts of Bushmils

It was  good evening in great company. Some of my best climbing memories come from Dalkey, partially because it is where I started, but mostly thanks to the people I climb with.

Next stop Fair Head (if the weather permits….)

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Operation resole!

I’ve decided to collect all the shoes I can and resole! I’ve done it before on my Miuras and I was very happy with the service. (I’m using http://friction.pl, a shop back in Poland).

It’s a much cheaper way of restoring old climbing shoes, than buying new pair every 6 months.  To split delivery I’ve got 3 pairs of Derek, 2 of Monika, 1 of Louis and 1 is mine.

Definitely going to need a bigger box now!

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Delivery is 20 euro for up to 10KG box, return will be free. Resole cost itself depends on the rubber type and degree of damage (all Derek’s shoes are worn all the way down to toe, might even be beyond repair at this point) is between 25 and 40 euro per pair. Considering new pair of La Sportiva Miuras is over 120euro, repair is the way to go!

All the BEFORE photos are HERE. Once I get the shoes back I’ll make a post with AFTER.

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First time

I’ve been leading trad for few seasons now but I actually never taken a lead fall on gear yet. Well, not up untill yesterday.

While I whipped it out on bolts many times before, both in the gym and outdoors I never got to ‘test’ my own gear placements in the way they are meant to ve. “It’s probably because you don’t push yourself hard enough” – I was told once by one of my climbing partners.  I like to think it just because I’m always extra careful. Unfortunately that said friend is probably right. I rarely go out of my comfort zone. I could count my above Hvs leads on fingers of one hand… 

This particular fall wasnt terribly bad, as a matter of fact it was as clean as they come. 

For this outing, despite all the wind and cold I managed to convince Pedro, Diarmuid and Paul to join me.  We split into 2 teams and decided to climb around Forrest ledge. 

One the way to the valley

Due to really bad weather (single digits temp and  cold wind) we practically had entire wall to ourselves. It was just  a matter of finding joy in all of it. 

 I won’t be getting into details of all the climbs we did as there wasn’t much going on really. We quickly got into the FL where Diarmuid lead a route called Ifreann Direct (Hvs 5b) in Glendalough is a special one. A perfect finger crack, thin at the bottom and widening as it progresses. Pedro was with him, while Paul and I went up to the left to look at the VSs up there. 

Diarmuid on Ifreann Direct HVS

 It was Paul’s lead now so he picked one of the VS lines(Aisling Arette) and off he went. 

Paul running it out with style

After we were done we went down to the route the boys just did and they took our spot. 

My lead. I only have 2 small cams and already cold fingers.  Oh well. What’s the worst that can happen? I’ll fall. I did. 

3 Lobes cam. Half way up Ifreann Direct. HVS 5b

The route started pretty well. There is a stuck permanent pro off the ground, I placed my smallest Grey Bd next and then I was able to alternate the only other 2 cams that fitted the crack. Despite the fact it was my first Hvs of the season I felt strong. This over confidence is what got me down. I was already passed  what I considered the Crux, relaxed too much and my feet blew. By the time I realized I was falling I was already stopped. The green BD cam supported my weight only being engaged by 3 of its lobes. That is reassuring. 

I quickly recovered and finished the climb. Paul followed with no problems whatsoever. He is 10 years my junior  and already much stronger and more experienced than I’ll ever be. Sometimes I wish I discovered climbing earlier in my life. 

As we were abseiling to the ground  the other group were fighting with stuck rope. It’s never fun. They won the fight without having to going back up and quickly joined us at the base. 

Despite pretty bad conditions it was a great day out (at least both Paul and I think so). I’ve learned  lot about myself, my weaknesses and strengths and the fact that pushing one’s limits, one step at a time can also be fun. 

Of course today is over 20C, full sun and perfect conditions, but I had no 1 to go out with. Oh well.