The flake is dead! Long live the flake!

Climbers queueing for Parthion Shot in 2008

Bouldering at Burbage last night, with good conditions and good company.  The climbs on Burbage South were bedabbed with chalk, The Knock, Masters Of The Universe, Simba’s Pride and the rest.  So speckled with white was Parthion Shot, it looked like a trade route.  Then we all realised that one of the marks wasn’t chalk, that British Climbing’s Most Famous Hold was damaged, possibly gone.  Closer examination revealed that a significant proportion of the hold that Nail Grimes so famously dubbed, “That ship-wreck of a flake” has gorn to meet its maker.  I felt quite sad as a result, a part of my climbing history having bitten the dust.  The time I spent with Tobias Wolf when he was trying to climb Parthion was memorable for many reasons, not least that I placed the runners for him on a couple of occasions.  Explaining this to one of my confederates last night, I was forced to address once again why I’d do such a crazy thing and, once again, I struggled to come up with a logical answer.  When on the second day all but one of the runners popped, Tobias decided that he would replace them himself.  I felt relieved.  At least now, if he killed himself, it wouldn’t be my fault……