Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Two New Problems, Despite the Rain!

Well.... today has certainly been, interesting. Harry and I took an early morning train to visit my bouldering crag, which turned out to gopping wet! Despite this, we managed to send two problems:

Tastes like Victorino, V0 - The obvious crack in the middle of the main face.
F.A. Harry Andrews 27/01/2009


Failed State, V0+ A highball problem between the obvious crack and the arete on the right of the crag, easy moves lead to a pocket and the crux reach to the top. Ascended during the rain using a towel and a sock on each hand, this probably makes it easier if wet!
F.A. Jamie Maddison 27/01/2009

'Failed State' + 'Tastes like Victorino' Bouldering Problems from Jamie Maddison on Vimeo.

This was then a really crappy session at Boulders, sans my shoes as they had worn through. I got nothing done at all! And then to top it all off, I'm walking along the road and a f****ing car hits a pedestrian island, flips on its end and goes ploughing across the pavement I would have been standing on just a second later. Luckily nobody was injured.

But what a day, fucking hell!

Monday, 26 January 2009

The Lake District Trip!

Hello all! Am a little bit tipsy after the Cardiff Uni's lovely meeting in the pub this monday so will not endeavor to explain the awesomeness of the clubs most recent trip to the Lake District this weekend; this will be reported upon soon! Instead, please find attached a video about our slackline antics in the hut we stayed in! Awesome fun on awesome trip with an awesome group of climbers, I couldn't have wished for a better weekend away!

(again, please click on the Vimeo logo to view the video in High Definition) 

Thursday, 22 January 2009

Leaps and Bounds of Indoor Progress

Much apologies for not not posting much this week, its just incredibly hard to motivate ones self to write about indoor climbing! Nevertheless a few important developments have occurred over the past week that are definitely worth have a write about. Firstly, there was a charity event at Boulders on Tuesday. The aim; to climb the height of Snowdon in the fastest time possible. Our team consisted of 6 members, Olly, Ryan, Owen, harry, Mark and I. Overall we did 18 pitches each on toprope (except Olly who did 16) and in a record time of 25 minutes. This didn't stop the army twits from beating us (some cheating me thinks) however. Good fun!

I've been hitting the walls hard this previous week. On Wednesday, Mark and I had an uber tough session of lead climbing quickly progressing onto 7a, 7b, 7b+ and 7c+ overhangs. My proudest moment on this work out was onsighting a 6c+ lead! This was followed on Thursday by another hardcore work out, climbing 8 6cs one after another. The highlight of which was an onsight of a 6c arete; constantly tenuous with some very dodgy clipping positions and some contorted body features, it proved to be an awesome heart-in-mouth lead.

Thus it seems that all that training on the bouldering wall has finally paid off!
Now to transfer it to outdoors, when it finally stops raining,
if that ever happens!

Oh and I'm not impressed with this new series of Skins, it seems to have become some stupid slapstick comedy; disappointed!

Monday, 19 January 2009

One Afternoon as Student Climbers - Re-uploaded

I think this film will probably be quite familiar to a few people who follow my blog; I submitted it to the Marmot UKC Film competition a few months back. What really annoyed me at the time was the quality of the film once it was published to youtube; it looked like a camera phone blocky, pixelated and stupid. At the time I didn't know how to change such things, but now I do! Hence I have uploaded at full quality (you have to click Vimeo icon itself to see full quality) so that anyone who wishes, can actually see the film as it was intended to be shown! You have to love technology :)

One Afternoon as Student Climbers from Jamie Maddison on Vimeo.

Friday, 16 January 2009

Ikaria and the Summit Center

This is just a little update really, nothing major news-wise. Looking back through my past posts I found a comment from Angelos a member of Ikaria's newly formed mountain and hiking club wanting to know a bit more about the climbing I did in Ikaria, a tiny Greek island, during the summer 2008. Unfortunately I didn't really do that much, with only a bit of bouldering on one of the remoter beaches, so sadly wasn't of much help to them. It is weird to think that such a tiny island could its own hiking and mountaineering club; when I went it didn't even have a regular bus service! I thought it might be useful to put my routes up on UKClimbing, mainly to show the Ikaria club where these remote problems actually were. I hope they go there and develop the area as there were some beautiful super highball problems just waiting to be sent! 

Summit Centre
I had a really fun climbing session last night at the Summit Centre. Eager to pump our arms to the max, Mat and I jumped on the routes; they are so ridiculously high! One route had something like 12 quickdraws to place, I had forgotten how tall the place was! Overall I did about 8 or 9 leads never sinking below 6b. I think my two greatest achievements of the night was onsight top-roping a 6c+ on the far left overhang wall and then leading with one fall the 6b+ next to it. Considering I could barely do 5cs on the overhang walls a few months ago this represents a major jump in my ability on overhanging walls, hurray! Mat (or Bungle as he has now been affectionately named) had a less fun time, this was mainly due to his extreme colour blindness meaning apparently every colour on earth looks exactly the same and therefore justified a rainbow of every wall he tried! :) Funny guy, Funny guy. Harry and the freshers seemed to have a fun time too, leading a variety of different routes before going onto some silly arm-wrenching add-a-move game in the bouldering wall. All in all a good nights climbing lads!

Oh a Rob Barnett jammed the Union minibus onto a wall on the way there, silly boy! 

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

WICC Reopened (Summit Centre)

In the pursuit of cheap climbing, CUMC headed back to the Welsh Institute Climbing Centre, now called the Summit Centre and so I thought a review of the changes that have occurred there was in order. Basically nothing has happened whatsoever; its totally same old WICC. Apparently there has been loads of investment into the place; in all honesty I didn't really see any. The old reception has been completely torn down and is still a work zone, whilst the newish slab wall has been repainted with the summit centre logo. That was about the sum total of all the physical changes. The bouldering wall was OK, the edges of the mats have deteriorated somewhat but the routes provided an evenings enjoyment. I personally wasn't too fussed on the route setting in the bouldering room, but others seemed to quite like it (but maybe this was just due to the fact that they dislike the highball bouldering at Boulders). As for the wall itself, the main overhanging section is still out of action and will be for the next ten weeks :(. Even without it, the walls remain impressively high and I'm obviously not used to it, normally pumping out after the 5th clip. I lead two routes; the hardest one on the slab at (around 6a+) and a nice vertical face at around 6b. The route setting on both of these routes was actually quite good. My main grief with the wall however was the self-belay; they spent the time and the effort changing the machine itself but then haven't got round to changing the routes on that wall; these have been up since last Easter!

Overall the Summit Centre is improving, and for the price of entry and the cheap price of petrol at the moment, it is definitely worth a visit every now and then. If only for nostalgia's sake...

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Vertical Focus by Ryan Atkinson

An interesting digital story project produced by my friend and president of Glamorgan University's climbing club, Ryan Atkinson. I asked him if he would be willing to put it up on my blog as a sort of companion piece to my own digital story Climbing Was Easy
Overall, I have to say I rather enjoyed it, even if it was a little cheesey in places (mind you I can't talk with what I produced for my own digital story!). Very beautifully edited. Nice work Ryan!

Vertical Focus - Digital Storytelling Project from Ryan Atkinson on Vimeo.

Thursday, 8 January 2009

Back in Cardiff!

Woo I'm Back! Sorry I haven't had a computer for a while now so have been lagging a bit behind in my posting. In the time since I have last posted I have been to the Indoor Wall twice just to boulder. Apparently over Christmas instead of getting worse, fat and lazy, I've got a stronger and a better boulder. Bizarre!! in two session at the wall I managed to tick every red problem V0-V0+, every green problem V0-V2 all but one orange problem v2-v4, 4 blue problems v4-v6 and 4 yellow problems v6-v8. Now the grading assigned to these problems is completely nonsensical and no way represents the V grades they have been assigned. Nevertheless, it still represents a massive jump in my climbing ability, especially considering I managed to complete every problem (bar one) on the vertical wall and am getting significantly better on the overhanging walls.

2009 looks to be a good year! That is till I start trying proper routes again.

Monday, 5 January 2009

Radiant Abyss

Winds whip from every side,
I cannot see.
Cold bites my face, chilling my bones
Numbing my mind.

Brilliant and Perfect
 consumes my world
As if the night itself was inverted.

Peering into this heavenly Void
an Icy grip overcomes my Soul.
This death I do not wish for.

How brilliant the arrogance of Man! 
We the Mortality, we the Gods
Will never descend that radiant abyss
That I so fearfully look upon.

Thursday, 1 January 2009

Craig y Longridge -Success!

Just a quick one it being new years day and all, 2009 as well! Wow I feel so old.
Been to the crag today and finally some success with the following problems sent without much difficulty:

Jacob's Ladder v0 -5b (no way in hell! more likely v3 6a, I also began the Ascent of Man but was far too highball with no spotter to move the mats)

The Howling- V1 5c

Waiting in the Wings - V2 5c

Slug the Thug - V2 5c

Like a Slug But Sucks - V5 6b (I think this one was overgraded!) 

Finally some blasted success!