Since undergoing a shoulder and leg operation in 2012, Lucy has gradually been returning to form in the last year or so. Lucy explained that Point Blank hadn’t been a route on her agenda initially, but due to grim non-summery conditions down in Pembroke, Stennis Ford seemed a good option.
She told UKC: "I had a go on it one evening when the range opened, it was a little greasy and the E7 part (From a Distance) felt hard but the conditions improved higher up the crag. After having a rest en-route due to a flash pump on the E7, I managed to climb the E8 section clean first go, which was a surprise and quite interesting. In retrospect, this would’ve been a great route to go for the onsight on, it’s not dangerous and if you were sport climbing fit, then an onsight would be on the cards."
After a rest day due to copious amounts of rain, Lucy headed back down into a surprisingly dry Stennis Ford. She abbed down the route, sorted the gear out and then top-roped it a second time and did it clean.
Lucy commented: "The conditions were much better, so I decided to try and headpoint it. I was really quite psyched because ‘From a Distance’ is such a fantastic line and to have an extra cheeky finish on it that gives Point Blank, really does provide a bit of a Pembroke classic."
However, the climb didn't quite go to plan after realising that a cam had been left behind inadvertently on the floor upon reaching the top of the E7:
"There was nothing for it, I had to hang one handed and lower down 60-70 ft of rope and then pull it all back up again. This was while trying not to get crazily pumped hanging on holds that weren’t as big as I wanted them to be!"
Lucy explained futher:
"This error made Point Blank feel quite a bit pumpier than it needed to, I was determined not to blow it though and at a point where I really didn’t want to take a lob my fingers were uncurling and I had to throw one on for a tiny edge. Somehow, I caught the hold and managed to do the same to the next one and then climbed upwards to easier terrain.
"It was a full on experience and looking back meant I got more out of it. I love a battle on a route and when you just wander up something, it can leave you feeling slightly empty. My power scream on that move will stay with me for quite a while!"
Having previously tried From a Distance, Lucy remarked on the abundance of fixed gear and long in-situ threads that she came across this time round:
"It was interesting getting back on From a Distance after a fair few years, there seemed to be quite a bit more fixed gear on it and the in-situ threads weren’t short, the same also goes for Ghost Train. I’m unsure as to how this affects the grade of those routes...also is Point Blank E8?...I’m in two minds about that one."
"The whole fixed gear thing is a tricky one, it’s an arbitrary thing as there seems to be no accepted ‘rules’ on how long an in-situ thread should be. But just as an observation, they seem to have lengthened somewhat in the intervening years!"