Thursday, 5 July 2007

First Ascents

Every now and again, when we were visiting crags we'd see rock, with no noutes on them. We'd often comment and say there should be routes on there but we never did anything. Eventually, the penny dropped. Why didn't we do the routes?
The first crag we put up new routes on was the Esklets. It was a local crag and there was a lot of undeveloped rock. We put up some decent lines, and then both me and fran returned at different times to continue with the work. I returned with my Brother to create 'Eskrement' at HVS 5b (named so, to keep an Esklets Tradition going). Franco, my climbing partnet, then returned by himself and polished off several other routes.

Our next First Ascent was, 'Ling Arete' at the Wainstones. This is a major crag in North Yorkshire, so we were amazed when we found that this line was unclimbed. We decided that it was going to have to be hard, otherwise it would have been done in the past. We set up the top rope, and proceeded to work the route. The Top rope, soon led to a Pinkpoint, then a Redpoint. The Grade was HVS 5a, which seemed quite low considering the amount of effort put in, however the line is very good, and it is quite a commiting route. Indeed, it is in the Current Local Guide and the Rockfax guide, so hopefully we will see some repeats of what is definitely our best FA.

We also found a Slate quarry near Patterdale in the Lake District. It is about 10 metres high and makes for a good days entertainment should you be unable to get out of Patterdale, as is what happened to us. We found a few routes the best being 'Stormbringer' which again was HVS 5a, but the direct start was E1 5b.

In January 2008, we started our project at Park Nab. A route we thought had been climbed before, it was the direct start to 'Mowgli'. The guidebook stated 6a/b. We decided it would be a good chance to 'break' into the 6grades. We set about the bouldery start and found it was resonably difficult and that it didn't ease. Franco, who really wanted the route then set up a TR and we worked it. We found it was quite a bold problem, which was sustained and required a careful approach pulling on very positive albeit Very small edges.
Franco completed the route and then so did I. A fantastic slab climb on a featureless piece of rock, we were so proud to have done such a route, and to then find that it hadn't been climbed before was the icing on the cake!

Hopefully some more FA's should follow, as we have found people are mostly encouraging when you do find FA's.