Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Review > Crater > Milroy Pinches

Crater Handholds
After the Sequence Virus review of pinches that I never used as pinches it was nice to have a set of holds that are named pinches, look like your classic pinch and climb.. well lets face it... like pinches.
On opening the box a number of things struck me about the holds we were sent.. (there is another set undergoing vigorous ass_to_ground testing right now) these things being:
  • Wow, look at the color. I've not seen a hold that shade of green, and this is a good thing as it means they stand out on a cluttered wall
  • Ooo the texture feels a little weird, grippy but as the holds were new grippy but slippery at the same time
  • Flipping the holds over (as you do) I checked out the backs. Now we all know holds get chucked onto a belt sander to flatten them out, so they'll sit nice and flush on the wall. Well I have never seen the back of a hold that is so flat and SO uniform. I dropped James a mail asking if they've hired a 400lb gorilla to lean on the holds so they get nice and flat.. the reply that came back was this "We actually have developed a unique process for the sanding aspect. This system guarantees an exactly flat base which is perfectly perpendicular to the bolt stem and perfectly parallel to the washer"... or as I like to put it a 400lb gorilla!
Now saying that the color was going to help pick out the holds on a cluttered wall is one thing, as I'd just stripped our wall in an impact wrench frenzy, we had no problems and besides I wanted nothing to get in the way of what is now known as "Sunday Pinch Madness"

I set a simple double hand pull from the floor.. to a pinch, then to another pinch then finishing with a match on (yes you've got it) the final pinch. As the holds hadn't been chalked the climbing was for want of a better word "hard", the texture thou grippy had a slickness to it, and my skin was feeling some pain. The more chalk we got onto the holds the nicer they got to climb on, but they did get caked quite quickly...

It was a little bit strange, as we found ourselves flying off backwards a lot. Now this is nothing usual, but as the route was nothing more than V2 or maybe V2+ then it should have been easy.
More chalk, more pulling and a little bit of brushing later I learn a new lesson, I've managed to get to the final hold, but cannot match it... then I realize what I've done, I've enforced a match for the finish BUT I have the final hold the wrong way (not that there's a right way!)

I'd somehow figured that this:

The largest pinch of the set would be nice to grab and then match... WRONG! Look at the side angle on it... it's brutal! (but oh so sweet at the same time)

Anyway... the holds have been moved about and have been repositioned all over the place. Chris is loving them and the more they get climbed the better they feel, I think that having these holds in a commercial wall would be a great idea, as the texture would get a little more evened out with the traffic. Although we've used them primarily as pinches, we also set them rotated horizontally rather than vertically and they make some absolutely wicked flat slopes!! We're currently using them in a mixed Crater route paired with their Sandstone Slopers and although we've not quite managed to get to the end we're loving it :)

Crater was a new climbing experience for me, I'm sure that I've climbed on the holds before but haven't noticed. The holds are pretty nice, have a weird texture that i'm finding a little hard to get on with, but as we've said the more traffic they get the better they feel. On a vertical wall these holds are great, you've can force some nice body positions and as we follow with our feet it can make some very very interesting sequences. I'm really really impressed by the quality of the holds, they're light, they have a really nice "emerald" green color and my god the backs are so flat its not even funny.
I've been looking at the Crater site more and more and am making a mental list of the other holds they have, but after these pinches I'm probably going to try to get the other sets in the same line. I know that I say that variety is the spice of life and all that, but when it comes to a classic pinch then that goes out of the window for me.... buy em, try em, they're a little expensive $11.99 per hold and they're not massive, but you're paying for a gorilla to sand them so that's got to be worth something right??CHRIS' LAST WORD
What's that song by that British band that Noodles loves so much.. ah yes "Give Give Give Me More More More" by The Wonderstuff. I think that these are amazing holds, I just wish that we had more of them, Noodles is right about the texture thou... there's something strange, but is by no means a bad thing. I'm probably going to get some sandpaper out as I think there are a few rough spots, nothing serious just little prickly areas that need a little TLC. I've been moving these holds all over the place, set a route, move it, set some more and move it again. I'm really liking them. If I was wearing a hat I'd tip it to the guys over at Crater.. and I've been looking at their website as well.. have you seen this??

It's called the "Chunnel" and Nuds tells me its what the Englanders on the other side of the water call the tunnel between the UK and France... look at this beast! Look at all the iddy biddy dimples in the surface... "Dear Santa, for Christmas can you go past Crater and get me a Chunnel... and a barbie doll. I've been a good boy this year, I've climbed hard and I stretch everyday. And can you give the boys and girls over at Crater lots more polyurethane so they can continue making kick ass climbing holds! Love Chris xxx"


Anonymous said...

who comes up with this rating system? it simply does not reflect your write up. you say great things about crater, but give them terrible number ratings. if you want to be taken seriously, you need to have some consistency here.

ntmb said...

You're quite correct, Chris has just phoned me and told me I put up the first score rather than the score we talked about, i'm trying to sort this out now


ntmb said...

Done and done i'd not taken Chris' score into account. Thanks for pointing this out