Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Brad Pitt and Deliverance

Brad Pitt and Deliverance are arguably the best problems in the Peak District and they have achieved an iconic draw similar to Midnight Lightning in Yosemite.  One can hardly talk about Peak District bouldering without referring to these problems and when returning from a trip one is very likely to be asked if they sent.   Patrik, who has lived in Sheffield for a year, is so sick of North American friends asking if he's done these problems that he has considered printing a shirt that on the front says "No, I haven't done Brad Pitt" and on the back "but I have done Deliverance".

I'm no different than Patrik's other annoying friends as some 10 years ago I already decided that I had to climb on these two problems.  I was taken by glossy pictures from the mags and added them both to an ever growing lifetime tick-list.  Now in general I don't like having projects before arriving in an area but these problems are special and became priority.

For Brad Pitt I woke up at 0500 for the best chance of avoiding rain and taking advantage of having Lina there to take Hammie for the morning,  Deliverance was the only problem of the trip I tried more than one day as two short sessions and lots of frustration was needed for this one. Both these problems epitomize the Peak style of subtlety and body position as being strong will only get you so far and I imagine more than a few strong-boys have been humbled by these gems.  For me the problems were a learning experience and while just trying them made my day, getting sends of both was like a dream come true.

Brad Pitt follows a line of slopers and while it seems straight forward it was anything but.  Each moved had to be learned and required a degree of subtlety and precision I was not expecting. 

 Patience was key as it took many tries to figure out the first move off a tricky heel and in total nearly 3 hours before I understood the body position necessary to get me to the top.

More than a few times I stared down the finishing jug before everything came together and happy endorphins rushed through my body

Deliverance is beautifully situated and climbs right up the middle of a face, finishing with the notorious slab-dyno.  I was actually more excited for Deliverance than Brad Pitt as slab-dynos are not my strong suite but this one looked amazing.

Figuring out the beginning only took a couple tries but that last move was relentless.  There is a fine line between pushing too much off the bad foot and not enough.  Push too hard and the foot blows, not enough and you don't reach the jug.  Just after a good burn I'd think I'd figured it out but then the next few attempts would be hopeless.  I imagine one could get lucky and do the problem in a couple tries but by the time I actually grabbed the jug I'd figured out all the little subtleties and reckon a repeat wouldn't be too hard.  I guess the plus side of falling off a move 30 times is you learn how not to do it.

Before the dyno one tries to gauge how much force to put on that right foot.
And then one time it all comes together 

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