|"Don't fall off" Checking out Blocktop|
|The White Rim view from Blocktop|
After some tower climbing with Crusher we were ready to head back down to the White Rim, with Peewee, to battle against some more roof cracks. However that wasn’t possible until we’d retrieved our lost tent, which had blown away half a mile down the road from our campsite. With a little gaffer tape, it was as good as new.
|Brit/Canadian (French?) team|
The main objective for me and Tom down on The Rim was to make the 2nd ascent of ‘Army of Darkness’ 5.13d. The last time we went down to the White Rim we spent half a day just working out all the moves, but this time we were ready for some linkage.
Because ‘Army’ required some thin tape jobs, Peewee sat us down for a lesson in his extraordinary Canadian tape technique. The resulting thin hands masterpiece, with super glue and finger straps, would be enough for people to pay good money to see. The precision and technique used just to tape up was quite something - but don’t worry Peewee, the secret’s safe with me. After the schooling we gave it ago, but Tom’s started peeling round the edges before he even made it to the first jam and my wrist loop went baggy and ripped on the first sinker hand jam. After some readjustments they stayed on a little better. Ahhhh...nothing better than a Brit tape job.
|Tom repairing his dodgy tape job|
Tom was first up on ‘Army’ and cruised in fine style to top out on his first redpoint attempt of the route, for the second ascent. He said he forgot a load of the sequences and “fudged it,” which in retrospect I would agree with on the start section which he absolutely puntered his foot sequence. Overall though, it looked smooth as a criminal from the belay pit. I was up next and made it on my first redpoint aswell for the 3rd ascent.
|Pete resting in the double kneebar on 'Army of Darkness'|
(c) Alex Ekins
I reckon ‘Army of Darkness’ was one of the best repeats we have done this trip. The quality of the moves were excellent and required a good variety of crack skills from fingers, hands, wide pony and smoke in the eyes. Despite the success in ticking, the route wasn’t without a few minor mishaps, (I blame Peewee there, because nothing ever goes wrong when me and Tom climb together...) with Tom decking out whilst working the route and both Tom and Peewee each got on Angry Pirate in the eye - classic!