Dave contacted Ali declaring he wanted ‘to grow some b***s when I’m above gear’. He also wanted help with technique. So it was with some intrigue that Ali took Dave by the horns to steer him in the right direction. After looking at gear to ensure Dave knew how to place it etc, it became obvious to Ali that here was a solid all rounder who had good climbing knowledge.
His first task was to lead a VS and weight every piece of gear. Initially he took his time placing the gear and then carefully weighted it, especially if it was a cam – he was highly suspicious of their reliabilty – how often had Ali heard this? But Dave was encouraged by this exercise, and after seconding him on a couple of routes Ali declared his gear was some of the best she’d ever seen and his footwork was neat and effective. Dave was pleased by this observation and felt confident when Ali suggested he led Red Rose Speedway, the classic HVS 5a. He led it with confidence and conviction, and although he had a sewing machine leg moment on the lower crux move, it was an impressive ascent. Dave was very pleased with his success and went away with more confidence and self belief and maybe bigger b***s too!!
‘Thanks Ali. A great day.’ Dave Tait