Whenever I have been down at LPT I have spent at least some time looking behind me at the distant and seemingly inaccessible Little Orme. Glistening in the distance like, well a diamond. It had been seemingly out of reach. That was until today, when time, tides and manpower came into alignment and a small team of hopefuls headed down into this other world of impossible looking steepness.
On the descent I had wanted an ice axe and crampons as trainers slipped on the wet clay soil. Like dancing on a banana skins at the top of a terminal drop; I was one all fours much to Nick’s amusement who was shouting for a camera to capture my bambina like struggle across the terrain he was walking over! I put it down to his Mammut approach shoes, versus a pair of cheap Addidas trail shoes.
Once on the fixed lines it is like a never-ending crab crawl across some impressive terrain. Some of this ‘Via Ferrata’ was fairly tricky, and some of the changeovers felt pretty burly with a large sack full of rope, and I felt like I had climbed a F6b by the end of it. Not good as that about my leading grade at the moment.
On the beach I collapse for ten minutes taking in the ‘impressive’ terrain, and wondering just how I was going to get off the ground. The F7a at the far left was damp, some Simon and I went for a F7b instead. To say it was steep was something of an understatement, as the ropes seemed to go across more than they went up.
First go I fluffed every clip, second go was better, but still fluffed the crux, third go I got to the crux, and realized that there was a problem with my sequence, in that on the link I couldn’t do the move the way I had practiced! I took some good air, managed to work it out, and I think the route will go. I just need to remember that 2nd redpoint is better for me, than the 3rd!
We escaped out along the beach, as I had the fear that if I tried the route one more time I might just be too exhausted to haul myself back up the F6b fixed lines.
The diamond is an awesome place, not a place for big softies like me, although I will be back ASAP. I also saw Tommy redpoint his project, F8a or 8a+. He looked steady on it, and despite some of the holds being not so much damp but wet, he cruised up it in very good style. I will get some photos up when I put them on the computor!
Anyway, made a change to try redpointing, as I am poor at this, but if I ever want to crank out a hard sport route them I am going to have to start loving the failure, and embracing the flail.