Friday, 1 March 2013

Pex Problem of the week # 2

The pathway to eliminate heaven.

Remember you will need to refer to pages 178 and 179 of the new Cheshire and Merseyside Sandstone guide for this adventure into the world of elimination to make sense!

Week 2 - Stretch V4.

I must admit I had not done this problem before starting the filming of this series. I had done all the individual moves in other eliminates, but not strung them together in this choreographed way. This problem is a Farley guidebook special, a shining example of what brilliance and balance can produce! Needless to say this feels hard for its grade and is a definite step up from Silly Boy.

A playground of possibilities?
Three elements will lead an aspiring ascentionist along the pathway to success on this problem:
1. Use the power of the three finger stack. Excluding the start hold, all holds on this problem were made for stacking, this problem embodies all that is good in a world defined by this strange art.
2. Clean the holds. It's amazing what a soft bristled brush can do to the frictional properties of these dish like holds! Removing the layer of chalk and grime that inevitably builds up on them over time can turn a marginal, frictionless mess into a skin rasping lockable hold.
3. Use those feet to gain height; your biceps won't help you here. Pisa wall is all about foot work. Dance your feet along its pockets and ledges and victory will be yours- pull too hard on those dishes and all that will be left on the wall will be your hard earned skin.

The problem starts sitting matched on hold 2. Move your weight to the left and reach up with your left hand to the first three finger stack in hold 11. Kick your right leg through to the left to create a funky flag and reach up over the top with the right to stack number two in hold 20. Now the magic starts; move your bodyweight way over to the left by dancing across the dimples lurking at the bottom of the wall. With your left foot high and right hand securely locked onto hold 20, reach up with the left to hold 27, keep reaching, reach some more and when you think you've extended to your limit reach that little bit extra into the hold. At this point you will wish that you had spent some time cleaning: the dish (27) which forces the third successive stack on this problem is good but feels terrible if overly chalky. Once latched use your feet to gain the necessary height and go for the break like you mean it!

Stretch embodies all of the subtle elements that make Pisa Bouldering such an addictive activity; its balancey, technical, reachy and involves stacks! This is a must do problem for the aspiring Pex hill Warrior!

Stretch V4 from Owen McShane on Vimeo.

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