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!

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