Sunday, 11 November 2007

Grit - Slipstones

What i thought was my first trip to the fabled Gritstone, turned out to be a great 2 days of climbing, however, it wasn't my first day on Grit'. Grit' i was told, was only to be found in the Peak District. Never the less, the climbing on Gritstone was brilliant, the friction for ones feet was supurb compared to Yorkshire Sandstone and the Routes allowed for plenty of Soloing to be done. Indeed, as the guidebook stated, it is a good place to push one's grade.

The first route i climbed was 'Ginger Badger' HVS 5b. Good climbing and a good introduction to the crag. As was 'Breakwind Arete', a route where i fully experienced the friction of Grit. My feet smearing either side of the Arete, something that would be damn near impossible on Sandstone!.
The next route i got out the rope, 'Escalator' at HVS 5b was a good grade, but the reach at the end scared me so the rope was used, infact i had to make a small 'pop' for the top and this adequately scared me enough, to allow Nick to lead me up some good HS's and even a spot of bouldering!!!

I then climbed one of the best routes i have ever done. 'Original Route' HVS 5a was just fantastic climbing, on good holds, quite pumpy and with a terrible fall, but the route was positive and thoughly enjoyable. As was Gollingith, E1 5b just to the right. Starts up a pumpy crack. This made the finish, over the overhanging wall of 'Original Route' quite interesting!

I returned a week later with my brother. I climbed a few more routes at the crag mainly around E1 but the day was less fulfilling as my first day on Grit'. However, Beldin Variation was worth the trip! A more taxing route than Beldin itself, the start is slightly desperate and then the sloping traverse was very new to me indeed! I rammed some cams in and began the traverse. I reached the finishing crack, pumped. However, i decided it nessisary to place anothe cam. With this in, i made the 'bold' top out move. Disaster, my last Cam walked and jammed the rope under the lip of the overhang! I was left to delicately and dangerously untie on the lip of the overhang, one handed using my Nut Key!
A hell of a scarer and a good lesson for fully extending Cams!