Hitting the Deck!

Since doing “Too Fast Too Furious” I have been focusing my efforts on Jeff Merciers’ route “DTS Spirit”. With the huge moves and sapping nature of this route I can only muster up a couple of shots on this line before I’m out of power for the day. 
So on Wednesday evening after trying “DTS Spirit” for most of the day, I decided to get on “TheTorch Lite” which is the D11 that Mike had been trying for the last session or two. 
I quickly tried the moves by head torch that night and got the route dialled in my head for the next visit.  I was unbelievably shocked by the route, as I’d heard that is was a super powerful and hard line going at the high grade of D12/+. This, I swiftly found out, was very wrong!
On Friday Mike and I headed back to Newtyle full of psyche and energy. I had just received my new Grivel Force axes the day before, and was buzzing to try them out. I did a bit of climbing to get warmed up then went for “The Torch Lite”. I was pleased to get the route on my first redpoint, and was again shocked at the fact that it went so easily.
Mike then went on to crush the route and get the second tick of the day in mega cruisey style with very little drama.
The first ascentionist finished the route at a random lower- off that they hung from two bolts before the end of the obvious bolted line. So Mike and I opted to carry on the true route to the pod and in-situ lower off which is three bolts further on. This is also where the crux of the route is situated, so it would be rude to miss this section out!  
Even with the new high crux section, no figure fours and added length, Mike and I agreed that “The Torch Lite” was a fairly steady D11 (at the most). I feel that any further ascents should finish at least at the lower off or if they are feeling fit, they could carry on to the chains of “Too Fast Too Furious” for the D11+ tick.
The second thing that shocked me on Friday was my new axes, I didn’t know that anything could feel that good when you where climbing! They seemed to perform really well on the uber steep ground but also on the less steep sections that I played on in and around the cave. I’m really looking forward to getting out in the mountains with them this winter and seeing how they perform. The multiple grips sections and handle options on the tools become very helpful when changing hands and choking up, but the angle seems to work well while switching back and forth. I’m sure I can put these to good use in the next few months.
I headed back to the cave today with James for a light session and a scoping recci. We met up with Neil Adams and James Higgins, who were on a sending mission, and what a mission it was! They both got their project “Fast and Furious” sent with good style and left the cave with big smiles and full of winter psyche! Totally awesome!
Fiona turned up later on for a quick training sesh and give the usual Murray banter!
James and I had a play on new stuff (for us), and hopefully there will be some new lines getting sent in the next couple of days. So watch this space.

PS. the blog title is in reference to today, when a hold blew as I was pulling slack to clip and I hit the ground from 7meters. Thankfully I ended up on my feet ( I don’t know how as I was clipping upside down) and I came off injury free but went into adrenaline overload!!!!

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