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Palm Springs photos: Big G



Sometimes it pays to be little fella or a short lass. I’ll let Big G (who, it should be noted, is the size of a giant redwood tree) explain:

Dear NWB readers,
Many years ago, when bouldering was the party-piece of the idling climber, when rocks were only grappled in passing, on the way to and from the crag, Palm Springs was conjured up by those creative souls wandering through the gnarled woods beneath the Clogwyn y Wenallt (gr 648526)

Why did they bother with this diminutive lump? Well, it provided exactly what climbing does not; a perfect, distinctive manoeuvre such as one could never contemplate on a route. It has to be next to the path for anyone to have a chance of doing the wretched thing!-if it was on a route your belayer would die of boredom or old age.
Never has a problem been so clear-cut and such a size dependent proposition. Small persons will grasp the lip, and in one smooth flowing movement; rock their weight over, allowing a final grunting-gurning process by which the palms of one hand and then the other, make contact and press for victory.
Tall people engage in the same initial moves, more often culminating in a kind of graceless elbowy system-collapse.
In either case it is best if someone stands on the adjacent path and calmly explains the situation to any passers-by.
The rock must be at exactly the right temperature for a successful ascent, resulting in a lot of aimless standing around in the trees. This again, is best explained to passers-by.
A heavy session on this rock will result in strange sensations the following day due to over-use of the upper arm and torso. Care should be taken when operating heavy machinery or in engaging in any kind of amorous activity.

Blessed are those who apply...for they will...er...not be able to do much the next day.

Love, Big G

Further reading:

Robins’ Fourth Law
This states that there is an optimum amount of breathing and breath-holding during a strenuous downward press, and that this can be influenced by the execution of a loud noise on point of maximum exertion. Rapid breathing followed by an audible “HOOONZ” will give best results when the breathing rate is twice the inclination of the surface in question.


‘The physics of just getting on with it’ [P Robins, Penguin, 2015]

Relevant links: