Myself and Matt Barratt formally of Skye Guides are off to Yosemite for some big wall action this September, we have spent the last year begging borrowing and steeling anything remotely big wall related. We have also been doing a fair bit of fitness training, that and staring at pictures, guide books and YouTube so as you can imagine we are feeling pretty prepped...... I spoke to a hardened big walling friend of mine the other day for some advice on the trip:
He said you’ll be fine just make sure you get lots of mileage in with your partner before hand, so you climb as a tight unit where one knows instinctively what the other is thinking and doing even when you’re out of sight of each other...
I said the last time I rock climbed with Matt was over a year ago we did a route together on Gower?? And the next time will be in Yosemite....
Looking a bit awkward he said Well that’s ok just sort you systems out get ninja good at setting up the poterledge, while hanging in you harness do till you get your times down, do it in the wind do it in the dark.... do it lots.
I said the poterledge is on Skye.... Im living in South Wales
He raised his eyebrows and said well that’s just a small part, its hauling that important; sort your hauling out practice from a ledge, hanging from your harness, practice packing the bag so you know where everything is with your eyes closed
I said the haul bags are waiting for us in Yosemite we had them delivered there
He straightened up, scratched his beard a bit. His eyes glazed over as if searching through all his big walling experience for another shiny pearl, he looked me strait in the eye and said you better be climbing like a spider monkey son or you’re going to be an article on UKC!
I said... Nothing
Despite this we have got some sponsorship for kit from www.shoothouse.co.uk to which we are eternally grateful, and I for one am feel rather optimistic. So please keep an eye on this blog as i hope to update it with stories and video for the big stone.
Please note: the “big wall” character in this story is entirely fictitious, his likeness was note based on a real life person, if you know someone like this good effort! However my part was based entirely on me and everything I said though probably poorly spelled was entirely true.
I hope you enjoy the blog, and that it maybe helps you in the future