Wednesday, 11 June 2008


Now im driving, getting from A to B is alot easier and Franco and i have been to quite a few crags where perfect conditions a must and recently, the conditions have been perfect!
We returned to Raven's Scar, this time WITH a rope! so we were all geared up to tackle the classic E2 ticks of Satchmo and Fever Pitch. I had wanted to do Stardust and Screwed as well, but this didn't happen.
Satchmo fell after abit of hard work, the initial crack is quite thin and hardwork, but then a path leads to a good rest below the leftward slanting layback crack into a small groove. I stepped up and put a good nut in an old peg scar and then proceeded to layback uptowards the groove. I had a few anxious moments, as the upper crack was a tad greasy but it all went to plan and i topped out without incident - a fine route and an obvious strong line. Get on it!
We then walked over to Fever Pitch, apparently bold Franco led it first and got a good rack of friends in, this allowed the climbing to be enjoyed as the pitch was well protected. A great climb with longish reaches between good holds and a short but positive pocket pulling section in the middle. The top out sequence was awkward but this was a good finish to a superb climb.
Me on Fever Pitch - E2
After our sucesses here, we had most of the evening left so we decided to drive to High Crag and Tarn Hole for a look. Unfortunately the walk in was MUCH longer than expected and High Crag was midgy heaven, we were defeated so we went home as it was now getting late. Certainly a pair of crags to come back to though, especially for 'Warrior -E2' which is the large groove behind Franco in the picture.
Tuesday night was the Brimham meet with the CMC, however getting to Brimham after college just seemed abit silly really, plus i had to take my mum to Northallerton train station. So we elected to meet up at Scugdale. Luke Hunt, Lewis, Franco and I set about soloing the lovely buttresses of Scugdale 'popular' (Scot's). We got Lewis up some lines and then Luke climbed the classic 'Eve, Right Hand' which Franco and I prompty soloed as well.
After a warm down here, on routes such as Pluto Variant - we journied to Barker's as Luke and I WANTED the fantastic 'New Dimensions'! Franco soloed it first while i took a video of him then i tried it, but with little confidence in my ascent i didnt request a video....i was gutted when i topped out!
Luke then climbed the line and we rejoined below 'Sculptured Wall'. Luke climbed the route with ease and then Franco tried it but didn't complete it as he was feeling abit 'weird'. I climbed the line with a few anxious moments but ultimately, the route was straightforward and stepping right onto the front of the buttress was 'nicely exposed'.
We did some warm down routes and i tried in vein to stop Lewis backing off routes he couldn't get first time! I failed, but next time i will get him up 'The Cleft'!
It was now very late 10.30ish so we dashed back to the car and drove back to Castleton where i dropped everyone off. I then had a mini epic as when Franco tried to close the car boot. The latch didnt work. He tried and failed so i just drove down and tried to fix it myself....i failed. Unfortunately failure wasn't an option as the battery would have died with the car internal lights on, so i set to work dismantelling the locking mechanism. I succeeded and i was very happy, i updated my logbook and then went to bed at nearly 1am, very knackered.

Sunday, 8 June 2008

First Lakes trip of '08 and the wonders of 'Automobiles'

After all Franco's climbing recently, i was prepared to travel to the lakes regardless of weather just so i was away from the Moors and the thought of College, which was in a couple of days. I travelled over with Neil Cookson to pick Franco up from Penrith train station then we shot over to the CMC climbing hut and then walked to Eagle Crag (Grisedale) to climb 'Kestrel Wall' which was the plan for Neil for his Birthday and the reason we were in the Lakes.

Neil on the Classic, 'Kestral Wall'

After he climbed this however, Franco and I embarked on 'Horse Power' on the Upper Tier. I climbed 'Pericles' to the Upper tier, this contained some good, if slightly committing 4c climbing up a groove but it was a good warm up for the E2. After a bit of a faff, we both climbed the route on lead as i climbed up first but required a OO friend, so Franco climbed it with the friend and did it, the highlight of the route being a boldish swing right on a good hold then rocking over onto a large 'flake' style block. A first E2 in the Lakes.

The Next day we ventured to Borrowdale and after many disagreements, (based around going to 'Black Crag' for Prana , 'Eagle Crag (Borrowdale)', 'Sergeant Slabs' for Asphasia or 'Bleak How') we decided Eagle Crag was the way forward, lured by the plethora of ***'ed E2's and E3's! However, see soon found that this classic crag was exactly that, a classic crag. I looked as though climbing had not been done here for decades! We set off up 'Post Mortem' and after a VERY sketchy, green, vegetated and loose 5a first pitch we had me on the edge all the way with a crux overhanging groove at the top. I got to the ledge. How could 5a feel as bad as that! I was thoroughly exhausted and very very dirty. I brought Franco up and we laughed at how 'epic' it was! Unfortunately, Franco couldn't climb the 5c overhanging offwidth and i wasn't feeling up to it at all, seeing as Franco is climbing so much better than me at the moment. We abbed off. There was alot of bird activity around the otherside of the crag, we thought they were Eagles, but they were probably actually Peregines after we saw them 'swooping' but im no Ornothologist!Franco on the Horrific Offwidth

After this setback and a lot of time lost (but not wasted!) we walked around the hill to Bleak How, where due to time issues we climbed 'Psyched Out' and 'Bleak How Eliminate' which were only 20m which is abit tame for the Lakes but needs must. It meant we could push ourselves.
Franco on 'Bleak How Eliminate'
Franco and I climbed Psyched Out and then Franco climbed the Eliminate. A very good effort and i really fancied a crack at it! but it was too late i seconded him up and we ran down to get a lift. A good day was had in actual fact and we know that the area is CERTAINLY worth another visit.The Aptly named, Raven's Scar

We returned to the Moors, on the saturday as the weather system moved from the East to the West so we did a superb job in avoiding bad climbing conditions. Me and Franco then decided a trip to Raven's Scar was in order. I have now passed my driving test so i drove to Hasty Bank and we set off for Raven's Scar... unfortuntely, we didn't have a rope as confusion after the lakes trip had left us Ropeless. We however, undeterred soloed some classic easier stuff at Raven's Scar and a greasy, scary E1. After a few videos of classic lines we walked to Wainstones where there were some climbers who nicely lent us a spare rope, which Franco used to dispatch Ali Baba -E2, again for the 7th time?!

Some 'trippy' camera trick Franco managed. A few more solos and then i drove home to Neil's 'birthday meet' in the Downe Arms. A decent Saturday was had and the weather was actually superb!