First off, we get the mood going with a bit of anything but the Cranberries
If one so wishes, one CAN listen to the song which must not be played, but then one will be a degenerate of the highest order.
The day began like any other, with a horrible forecast for the Mournes, and a denialism complex that set in at some early point in life (perhaps brought on by the multiple drops I endured as a baby). With potential rain rolling in at about 2pm, the grand old sir Prebble of Derryvolglishire (knighted for his acts of debauchery involving the innocence of other club members, THOUGH HE WOULD WISH WE FORGET THEM) and myself had only a minute window to climb the given route. Coming fresh from a leaving party the night before, I was fresh from a caffeine and sugar crash to rival the rapture itself, I had received a blessed 3 hours of sleep before boarding the psych train to the Mourne cottage. The now well known walk went by surprisingly quickly, and soon the pain in my legs outshone the hate for life and existence I carry in my heart, but the psych was strong still! There it stood, the delightfully blank slab, a quick abseil in and the final push was on.
Quickly we fell into our old ways, questioning the very essence of friction which we were to somehow manipulate/imagine in order to surmount the crux moves on the route. In the case of Zombie, these are in the first 4m of the route, with big moves from good holds, to abysmal sloppers (or possibly more accurate as word spellcheck suggests, slappers) which lead to the good holds to rock over on to the slab. After a suitable amount of practice on top-rope, to get the old movements down for the last time, the thing was set, the thing was good, and the rope was pulled through for the lead attempts.
First into the breach was Prebs. I watched in amazement as he waddled up to the start (a result of large growths between his legs which had recently appeared) and clipped the first gear nest at head height. After a final check he pulled on, and executed the beastly crux moves with ease and was on the slab. Now, in hindsight what happened next was silly. The planned maneuver was for me to unclip the first gear pieces, to reduce drag for the slab above, however I silently noted that this left Prebs a third of the way up an E6 with no gear, but in hindsight-hindsight this is a normal occurrence and so completely fine. Building a nest of gear, the most superb of which included a brown tricam, Prebble stood on the ledge with only the easy but delicate slab between him and some fruit pastels. Onward he soldiered, cruising up the slab with only the slightest of slips to send me into a seizure from watching, but fall he did not, and after clipping the anchor he left me quite a performance to follow.
The mantle passed to me, I prepared myself and set off, with slightly more flexible and less strength based beta(as I don’t possess enough to perform the normal moves), I too made it on to the slab. After reaching this spot, for the first time I noticed that a fall from the crux would leave on trusting gear while dangling over not the first ~3m of the route, but slightly left of the start, where the ground gives way to another 3m, leaving a total of 6m to drop if gear is not sound. But this was behind me, a non-issue, and so this time BEFORE unclipping the start gear, I constructed my nest and prepared myself. Upwards I glided, not really paying a huge amount of attention, rather focus was on a thought I had while doing the first move of the ledge “well you can’t reverse that move”. I remember being rather annoyed at thinking this, and mentally chastised myself. I mean it’s an E6, there is hardly the opportunity to back-off if you loose the mettle half way, it’s sort of all for one, and none for fall. Suddenly I was on the last moves of the slab, and clipping the anchor never felt so good.
After much celebration….by Prebbe (and some staring into space by myself), we headed to Newcastle for obligatory coffee and Chinese take-away, though waylayed by the idea of hanging out of the car window to get more filler footage of the road for a video. After marveling at the parades the local orange men had organised upon hearing of our achievement, we ate our prize and ended a good day in the mournes without major event having occurred at all.