Monday, 18 February 2008

The Peak

The second weekend in February saw ridiculous temperatures and fantastic amounts of sun! The plan was to travel to the ‘Peak’ and get on some Grit stone, something I had only experienced in Yorkshire, at Slipstones.
We motored down to Stanage, as Ian Jackson wanted to have a shot at ‘Black Hawk Bastion’ at Popular. So Franco and I went searching for nice routes that weren’t currently populated with climbers and we found a route called Hybrid. A nice route, however, we got a bit of a shock when the Para-gliders started whizzing past! Not something I’ve ever experienced on the Moors.
After this, we thought we’d try something harder, so we carried on along Popular until we found a route that really appealed to us both. ‘Keep Pedalling’. At E2, it was at our grade pinnacle, so we assessed the climb from below, it was a solo.

Climbing it was a good test of nerve and technique and it propelled us on to thinking perhaps E3 would fall to day. So we carried on to the Plantation, and there we tried Telli. However, failure was all that we managed on Telli so it’s a definite example of ‘next time’.
Franco then disappeard off further into the Plantation buttresses, and then returned with a huge smile on his face. He took me to this route and I checked the guidebook. E4 5c. Were not E4 climbers, but this was too good to turn down. So Franco soloed up and made the awkward and delicate moves to the bulge. Pulled around and it was over. My turn, the initial crack was good fun and the first few moves on the delicate slab were fun, however, the height was suddenly apparent and the slopers were quite un-nerving. I dithered but then made slightly different moves to Franco up the bulge.
After taking some pictures of a climber on Cavalry and the Para-gliders we returned to find Ian Jackson and Ian Moore and after Ian finished is ‘usual’ solos we left to find a bivi spot.

We biviied in the Burbage Car Park hardly ‘roughing it’ but a funny experience all the same. We chatted for a few hours, usually about the food Ian and Ian were tucking into (sausages and Pasta). The water that it had been cooked in had turned brown and was poured away behind Ian Jackson; this was hilarious so I took a picture.
We then heckled Franco, because he believes the “Southern” climate would allow him to sleep without a sleeping bag. (See picture), he was wrong. The lovely days meant for freezing nights.

The next day we went to Burbage North, we had a go soloing some routes and Franco lead a bold E2 eliminate, and Ian Jackson and Ian Moor lead some classic routes with ‘Big Ian’ leading ‘Long Tall Sally’. We then motored off to Lawrencefield, were Franco and Ian Jackson had a pop at ‘Suspence’. Succeeding they were very happy with themselves! Ian Moore and I went for more leisurely ascents of the very nice ‘Meringue’ and ‘Once Pegged Wall’

Ian Jackson then tried ‘Billy Whizz’ but found the upper crack was damp and greasy and he took a rather large slump, in his words something I would consider to be a 20-30ft fall! All in all good trip to ‘the Peak’

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