A couple of weeks back I managed to fufill a long term desire of mine. This desire involves horrible pain and a high risk of injury. Why do it? I'm not sure but I did it anyway, I climbed "Monoculture". Located at the Battleship cliff on Portland, I have often walked underneath this climb and thought I would rather put my hand through a mince machine. Here's what Rockfax had to say about it "A classic test-piece. Technical and extremely fingery with some blind moves over the bulge. Watch those tendons".
As the book says; "watch those tendons" . Monoculture 7c+ (or 8a if you listen to me)
Now at the given grade of "only 7c+" this route should in theory be well within my capabilities, but as it turned out it was quite a battle. Often thwarted by a sopping wet crag, ice cold conditions and general badness on my part, it took a couple of sessions before it finaly came together for me.
I am also inclined to plump for an up-grade to 8a as I think that a crucial hold has broken off just before my ascent, whatever the grade this was certainly a hard route for me to haul my arse up. As you may of guesed from the name it involves quite a lot of mono's all one after the other and on a cold winters the chance of injury feels very high, in fact my good friend Andy Lamont who was trying it with me did just that, putting himself out of action for a couple weeks, I hope not for much longer though.
Anyway here are some photo's of a grand day out at the crag, sunny warm weather (is there any where else except Portland where you can climb comftably with your top off in February? It must suck to live up north :-)... ) good friends and a satisfying send on what turned out to be a pretty good route. (Thanks to Gav Symonds for the photos)
One of the many failed atempts.
A long move into the routes second mono (probably the crux).
Really pulling down on that mono.
Stay focused for the run out finish.
And relax at the chains.
Behind every good send there's a dedicated belayer to thank.