Orrin Coley nails his â€˜hardest yetâ€™ Forest Rock project to give Limit Breaker
- Thursday 13th August 2020 at 6.45pm
May 2nd; 2019
Orrin Coley has completed yet another hard project at Forest Rock to give Limit Breaker.
‘The hardest I’ve ever done’ was how Orrin described his latest offering in the Leicester cave on his IG write-up. ‘Each move is potentially the hardest individual move I’ve ever done’ he added.
Limit Breaker | 8B+ | First Ascent The hardest I've ever done. I've invested so much time and energy into this thing the last 4/5 months, it feels amazing for it to finally be done. Each move is potentially the hardest individual move I've ever done. The holds are so small and require such precision to get right. There was such a small margin for error for me to have a chance at sending. But 14 sessions later, the 4 move monster is now done. Not sure I'll top this anytime soon. ðŸ“¸ @iainclimbs @socialclimbing_leicester @evolv_worldwide @prana @metoliusclimbing @latticetraining @beyondhopeuk
Orrin, along with Polish Dave and Mike Adams, have been long-time devotees of Forest Rock and have done all the hard problems between them.
CLIMBER have been in touch with Orrin for the low-down…
Firstly can you just describe where Limit Breaker is in the cave relative to other problems?
Limit Breaker is a stand start pretty much exactly between One Clear Moment and Notes to Self. It goes direct up the wall on the blanket section of the cave.
And then talk us through moves.
So you start left hand dragging on a small, narrow two finger pocket with a decent thumb catch just above head height. Right hand starts on a good sidepull at around head height. I'm really spanned out on these holds. You step right foot onto a tiny edge, and left foot out onto a smear before powering your way up to a completely vertical right hand crimp, again I'm almost totally spanned out on this move. Next I step my left foot through onto a bit of a rough smear and right foot out to a vertical edge. I flip my left hand to an undercut just above the start hold then immediately push up again to another vertical crimp with my left hand. After kicking my left foot back in and onto a reasonable edge I bump my right foot up quite wide before bowling right hand over to the final undercut. I step right foot back on then match to finish.
The moves themselves are hard and quite wild, each move you do your body is trying to swing back the opposite way and just fly off the wall. Then the nature of the rock makes it even tougher, the slate is very smooth so you have to squeeze so hard to get any friction from them. The same goes for your feet, they're mostly pretty smooth so if you stop applying enough pressure, you just fire off. The fact that the hand holds are mostly about 3/4 the size of a fingertip doesn't help either...
You’ve been battling with it for a while – not least connies – no doubt just believing in the process and grinding it out. Can you run though how you progressed through your sessions?
Conditions haven't helped. Due to the weather it keeps seeping intermittently with an obvious bit running down the crux hole. And if it's not raining the temperature keeps fluctuating causing it to condense.
I've been driving out there at least twice a week every week since January in the hope it'd be dry, just to get the opportunity to even attempt one move.
The main thing for it was persistence; a year ago I didn't believe this climb would be possible. It just didn't look it. But I decided to actually put effort into trying it and eventually found myself able to hold the odd position or imagine a way to actually transition between the holds.
Within my first couple sessions I'd managed to do the first move maybe once or twice.
Within my 5th session I'd managed to stick the 2nd move a couple of times.
By my 8th session I'd finally managed to final move.
Then out of nowhere on my 9th session I actually fell off the final move from the start. It was the craziest bit of climbing I'd ever done. It seemed unfathomable to me at the time, I'd know idea where it came from. I'd never managed more than 1 move in a row by that point.
I spent a few sessions after that still trying to get more consistent with moves as I just couldn't repeat them confidently, it was always a max effort to manage any one of the moves. I even found I could no longer manage the final move the way I had been trying, it was too low percentage. I maybe did it every 1 in 20 tries. So I tried to figure out a better foot position which eventually made it ever slightly more controlled. I'd get it maybe 1 in 5 or 6 tries by that point.
Then the next session(14th by this point), I finished setting at Social Climbing for the day, drove over, repeated moves then went from the start. 20 seconds later it was all over. Done. It even felt easy at the time. In fact I repeated it an hour later as well while we where trying to get photos (sorry 2nd ascents now taken)
There’s obviously the potential for a sit start? Are you keen it give that a go or perhaps come back to that later?
I think there's a possibility of adding a sit start and definitely scope for doing link ups into it, they'd all be crazy hard. Unfathomable to me at the moment. But then again I've thought that in the past and always been proven wrong...
For now my focus lies outside of this cave, different moves different locations.
Ladybird Orgy, your monster link up at Forest was 34 moves long so a totally different style. Which are you most pleased with and why and which do you think is most likely to interest others? M
It's hard to compare to Ladybird Orgy; that is a crazy power endurance ordeal. Limit Breaker is a couple big moves and you’re done.
I think I'm more pleased with this though. It pushed me harder than anything else ever has. Ladybird Orgy was a huge goal for me at the time, and still a big highlight even now. But I always knew I'd manage it. It was always a matter of time. I spent so long believing this was impossible to do that right now I almost feel like I've just walked on water.
I'd suspect Limit Breaker would be of more interest to others purely on the fact its easy to try and fairly simple. Ladybird Orgy is a lot more complex, you need a tonne of pads (or the confidence you won't fall in certain sections), crazy endurance and the most consistently wet holds to be dry for a change. It's no easy feat to have all those things combine on the same day. Ironically though I do know of a few people attempting to try it...