Sunday, 27 December 2009

Winter Madness: Part Three

Franco and I were very happy with our climbing in the Lakes, so much so we threw caution to the wind and went to try the 'seldom in condition', Cold Climbs classic, Chock Gully V,5.
There was a lot of snow about, the walk in was much harder than on previous days with drift and powder.
We arrived at the base of the Gully. It was full of powder, avalanches of powder cutting rivers of snow through the snow already in place. Franco started up the gully.
An hour or so later, i could see him. White with powder as he finally managed to swim his way up the constantly replenishing 8ft powder drifts. He then shouted down to 'pay attention' as he was on rotton ice below the Chock. He managed it and set up his belay sheltered from the constant powder avalanches.
I followed up and found it thoroughly unpleasant, though, quite fun! However, Franco insisted that i had a crack at the Chock pitch, which i was not sure about!
I found a crunched up rest under the chock and placed a nut and clipped a peg. I stuck my head out and got nailed by an avalanche of powder. It was cold.
Franco then said, 'It's Clear!' so i leaned out and slammed an axe into the crack, torqued and then thrashed around trying to get some purchase in the powder above.
I was gripped, worried that i would fall awkwardly and i was fighting a loosing battle pulling into the steep powder. I saw grass, and slammed my axe into it. Bomber. I swung from the left of the chock to the right gully wall and hauled my way into the unstable snow. I dug and dug and dug, intent on finding gear so i wouldn't end up below that hideous chockstone! I found a new, though slightly poor peg! I shouted in delight!
What followed was a carbon copy of the first pitch. The Cold Climbs story by Birkett, said 'easy snow slopes' leads from the Chock. The 8ft powder made this, somewhat untrue! Swimming, bridging and awful ice steps led up to a narrowing and a mixed step up and left. Scared i placed a hex, which when i pulled on to the step, fell out. My heart raced as if i fell i would end up below the chock, or as a chock myself!
I couldn't go on any futher and managed to find a few cracks, so i set up a rather poor belay. I couldn't help laughing as i began to force my limited gear into any conceivable gap.
Franco managed to second the pitch and then lead past my cramped stance. I was extremely happy when he began to pull in the slack up to the top pitch.
An immense route, which was truly brilliant, even if it was in 'poor nick' in so much as there was too much snow!
We swam back down to Grisedale Tarn in the powder drifts, absolutely knackered but we knew we had done an absolutely amazing climb!
More tired, wine related bollocks.

Winter Madness. Part Deux.

After our 'FA', I had the feeling Franco was rather uninspired with grade III gullys and ridges. I also fully enjoyed the technical outing the day previous.
Luke Hunt had arrived that evening and declared the conditions 'prime mixed conditions!'. He then said, that Bowfell Buttress was high on his list and fancied a trip to langdale.
I was sceptical, knowing that Bowfell was a mixed climb at V,6 but quite sustained really with pitches of IV and V. I was slightly worried to say the least, not just because of the events on the Ben but also because i didn't feel i was good enough to get on such a classic route. Franco said, in his usual confident manner or 'ultra-psyche' that he was up for it and that i was good enough.

Another issue was that snow was forecast and i didnt fancy trying to get the Renault back from Langdale to Grisedale.
My first trip to Bowfell, was a nice walk in, in perfect winter conditions. -7 celsius according to the car, was a pleasant suprise and when we arrived at the route we were amazed to see a couple of lads already there!
These lads turned out to be Jamie and Tim from Leeds, which was a pleasant coincidence. Conditions were a bit poor low down, so we avoided the first pitch and i, intent not to second the whole route, said i would lead the IV groove even though i had no idea whether or not i could truely lead IV?!
The pitch was similar to the top groove of our FA the day previous, hence the grade given. I then seconded the rest of the climb, with Franco leading the 6 crack and the top pitch being a cracker, led by Luke.
It wasn't over though. Franco and Luke went FA hunting on the buttress opposite, climbing the horribly obvious hard looking corner. Franco and luke said it was both commiting and poorly protected in parts. I just stood in the blizzard for an hour or 3 watching!
They abandoned the attempt due to darkness falling and the worsening weather. I was not looking forward to driving home!
We walked back to the car and then had fun and games sliding our way back to Ambleside! A couple of sideways slides in a Renault Espace is enough to give you a bit of a scare.
Scarier than the mixed climbing!

Hut ramblings about Photos, wine and other bollocks.

Winter Madness - Part 1.

It's been a while since i found inspiration to write about my climbing exploits, a combination of poor weather and lack of psyche meant to bugger all climbing to speak of. Admittedly, a cool trip to Tremadog with the LUUMC and Franco was a good bit of weather dodging wales action. A snowy Slate Quarries allowed a quick ascent of 'Goose Creature - E3' and then a showery Tremadog allowed a beautiful climb of the uber-cool 'The Plum -E1'.

However, the winter came on the week before Christmas. Phonecalls and Facebook planning saw myself and Franco meeting up in the Lakes at Grizedale.
I was 'psyched' not to repeat the events of 2years ago in Scotland on the Ben, i was quite content to tick a load of III's and possibly a IV, but just happy to get out and get experienced.

The first morning saw us climb to Nethermost Cove, with an idea of doing the grade II gully, prominent on the hillside. However, it was clear that the route was not 'in'. Snow was limited and although it was cold, there was a lot of rock exposed in the gully, this was Mixed conditions.
So, staying true to my ambitions of grade III cruising... I allowed franco to talk me into climbing a potential First Winter Ascent of a prominent bulging corner, around 100metres to the left of Nethermost Gully.
We arrived after some grade II mixed steps and soloing, which was about as close as i came for the whole long weekend, to 'easy' climbing.
Franco geared up for the imposing overhanging start to the crack. It was the sort of climb that looked HVS in summer. A couple of useful turf tufts proved inviting enough, we also new that 'Torquing' would prove invaluable. Franco started and amazingly onsighted the heinous corner, with aid of the iced crack, i asked if the belay was bomber!!! It was.
I started up the corner and removed the tricams in the ice crack. Bomber... I then placed my axe in the crack pulled and then smashed the ice out. Pisser.
As a result i had to torque my axes more in the crack more than Franco, but it was probably of similar difficulty. As we wandered down Striding Edge, we laughed at our first lakes route, indeed, our first mixed route being an FA, onsight! We had no idea what grade it was, but we knew it would be something like V, 7 due to the fact it was a nails move, but very well protected by winter standards! Its a clear crux pitch, around 30metres with scrambling before and a 30metre grade III/IV up the continuation corner. All in all, we believe it is a good addition to the routes in the Helvellyn range.

Listening to madness in the Landy.

Monday, 16 November 2009

The shite weather continues and the term end nears.

Uni has been a fairly decent aspect of my life, fair to say i enjoy it. Plenty of time for climbing, access to a indoor wall and outdoor venue (henry price) has meant i'm feeling stronger.
Problem is, im completely dissatisfied with my achievements climbing wise in the Yorkshire Grit scene.
Since hitting Caley in Freshers week, i've done nothing but highball soloing, bouldering and the odd micro route. Don't get me wrong there is some good climbing to be had in this manner, but im feeling abit disappointed in myself for not getting to places with 'proper' routes. I seem to be favouring the easy option of crags that you can solo all the routes - even if i carry my gear there anyway!
Admittedly, there have been some decent routes done in this time, namely; Scar - Baildon Bank, The Padder - Eastby, Cat's Eyes - Cat Crags, Wailing Wall - Hetchell, Ron's Reach - Caley, Slyveste - Ilkley and Tufted Crack - Ilkley.

I wish it was dry for longer than a day so i could climb on the Limestone. I reckon for the best results on the grit in the next few weeks Crookrise, Eastby, Heptonstall and Almscliffe need to be visited.
That said, if it wasn't for Ewan - i'd have done no climbing whatsoever as my psyche to get on a bus and try to get to a crag reduced significantly after the first week!

Friday, 2 October 2009

University - Caley Crags

I'm now a student of Geology at Leeds University, which im happy about. What im even more happy about is that there are 3 or 4 close by crags i can get to by bus, including Caley, Hetchel, Almscliffe and Ilkley.
The end of freshers week, saw my first attempt at catching a bus and going to Caley, it wasn't uneventful, seeing as i have never used a bus system before, but i got there in the end!
The crag is bouldering, except from the main edge. Which was perfect as i didn't have a mat with me!
I spent the best part of a day ticking the seemingly endless collection of classic mini-routes such as Ron's Reach/Ripper traverse (brilliant!), Noonday Ridge, Angel Wall (heavenly!), Forked Lightening Crack, Otley Wall, Chicken Heads and other such problems.
Angel Wall will definitely be on my soloing list everytime i go, not so much Ron's Reach, thnk i'll do that again with a couple of mats at V4!
Next stop is Ilkley, for the LUUMC meet and then i will have to see how to get to Almscliffe or Hetchel.
Any info on how to get back from Hetchel would be greatly appreciated!


September saw my family, Franco and I travel to the Costa Blanca, for basically a sun soaking holiday with the potential of climbing. We took everything, sport and trad ropes, trad rack, liquid chalk. I wanted to be climbing out there in september (even though i was told it was too hot) and i didn't care even if it was piss stuff.
Pena Roja, was our first destination and it was a place we'd return to. The first evening was only short but it was significant as we discovered that out of the sun, the Blanca was reasonable temperature wise and that climbing could take place!
Over the 8 half days we got climbing, we stayed in the 'Xalo Valley' area going to Roja, L'Ocaive, Murla, Los Pinos and we also got to the Penon de Ifach. (which is fantastic!)
The highlights were, Lliberpool at P.Roja, Espresso and Summer Rain at Los Pinos, and Crazy, Crazy at Murla. These were routes that i enjoyed the most but i think everything i did was really, really good climbing on gorgeous rock!
The Major achievement was an ascent of Vampiro on the north face of the Penon. The route is F6c in the guide, but in the sub-divisions it's given F6c+ for the last pitch?
I climbed the first pitch which was a contrast to anything i'd climbed on the Blanca, slippery, slopey holds leading up a delicate slab. The second half of the pitch was more in keeping, steep juggy climbing leading to a hanging stance.
Franco got the second pitch which we decided was probably the crux. It was, we both decided it was like climbing E4/5 up the wall. Some beautiful moves, big reaches and suprising holds (both good and bad!) i was suprised when i seconded it cleanly! Pretty good effort by Franco to lead it cleanly as well!
The top pitch i made a mess of, not really sure about the grading i just chose a line of weakness and ended up with major rope drag and a hideous mantle/sloping topout. It was in a pretty atmospheric surrounding though!
After the route we did what was the norm all holiday. We walked down and sat on the beach for a few hours! Bliss.

Thursday, 3 September 2009

Back to the Moors

The peak trip was over, and we wasted no time climbing back in the North East - First stop, Raven's Scar. We went with the idea of doing Gangrene - E3/4 6b but the rain soon put a stopper on that, so we decided to just spend the time bouldering on the overhanging nose underneath Ahab. The 6a's and 5c and a 6b being a good train, plus some bizarre reaches off ankle locks and an attempted Campus of the entire nose. Probably like V9 or something?!
This wasn't the final action before the weather well and truly crapped out.
Roseberry was the plan for the next day, with me wanting to repeat Franco's bold solution to the main wall of Roseberry.
One of the most impressive bits of rock on the moors, has an unfortunate reputation for being loose on every scale. I guess it is true, but i've only ever seen rocks in cracks and boulders at the bottom. Pulling holds off the main wall would be very hard, its all pockets, monos and crimpy rails, the only problem is the rock is sandy.

The old aid line, forces its way up the centre of the tall sandstone outcrop and has apparently been 'looked at' in the past. Franco climbed the line after Abseil inspection in July and i seconded him. His ascent was in the Dark.

He gave a grade of E5 6a, which was met with some questioning, but having now completed the second ascent i can agree. This would be a pretty intense onsight.

Franco and I walked up to the main wall very windy conditions and i instantly decided i probably wouldn't be able to lead the wall in the conditions. However, i was planning on putting a rope down it anyway, so i did so. When i seconded Franco, i decided the crux was a sequence moving left to an eventually juggy rail. While working though, i decided the technical crux was pulling on the mono to the crimps. The onsight crux is this entire sequence - pulling up off a hard to notice mono to a couple of crimps then heading left to a slopey but ok rail.

The E5 comes from the fact that we think this would be fairly 'interesting' to onsight, what with the sandy nature of the rock and when combined with the fact there is one piece of gear, (0.75 camalot) in a shallow break in snappy rock... If this pulls there is nothing to stop you before hitting the column below, or worse the ground below this.

I didn't want to top rope it to death, so i roped up for the lead, earlier than expected! The wind was off putting but not too bad. I made my way up to the cam and then made the crux moves. There was a heart in mouth moment as i launched left to the slopey rail and missed the decent sloping section, instead getting a significantly poorer part - something i hadn't noticed on the working session!

I did the final moves placing enough gear at the top to make up for the lack of it in the crux section!

At E5 6a 'The Pasghetti Alpinist' is by far the hardest route at Roseberry Topping and it takes a line of weakness up the Main face. Really good line by Franco and he named it after Ian Jackson (he would say Pasghetti instead of Spaghetti) who had roped it in the past.

Couple of Video Stills, of me climbing 'Time for Tea' at Millstone.

From the Peak to Costa Blanca

We finished off our stint in the Peak District, with a rather disappointing week, mostly due to the weather. The hot sunny humid weather had been replaced with, warm and wet showers.
We utilised the Peak Limestone this time not for its shady potential, but for its overhanging 'dry in the rain' feature. It worked to a degree, though our week was mostly confined to the lower metres of walls... ie, bouldering.
Stoney, Rubicon and Rheinstor were the areas we visited, with one trad morning at High Tor, where Franco managed Darius - E2 5c***.
The highlights from the bouldering was a flash of 'Double Double' at Stoney and a nice tired session on 'A Millers Tale' at Rubicon, both 6b+/6c.
The nicest day we had, was after High Tor however when we popped into the esoteric but lovely looking Rheinstor.
We arrived to an Air Ambulance - a climber had fallen but was OK, as far as everyone knew. He was airlifted away and Franco and I proceeded to flash 'Wizard of Aus' - E4 6a and 'Ron's Route' - E3 6a.
The rock at Rheinstor was the nicest limestone i'd climbed on, gorgeous, monos and two finger pockets. The traverse from left to right is a Cracker and apparently V6. After doing the routes there and bouldering the 'up problems' after flashing the routes for finger training it was hard going but good fun!

Thursday, 20 August 2009

Peak Limestone

Living in the Peak this August has allowed us to get on the Limestone, something that always appealled but something we never got around to. The obvious places were on the hitlist, Chee Dale, High Tor, Stoney.
The holiday began with numerous trips to Stoney, climbing some lovely stuff and also so hard stuff. Banana Crack, Cabbage Crack for myself and Armaggedon, Wee Doris and Bitterfingers for Franco. This was a good, though slightly polished introduction to a climbing medium i think i'll get on with quite well...
Chee Dale is now my favourite cragging area. The small river crossings and quality limestone escarpments and of course quality routes have made this an area i will certainly return to!
Splintered Perspex and Mad Dogs & English Men being two superb routes, as well as a whole host of hard sport!

It hasn't all been Limestone though, a day at Curbar and a day at Millstone were nice days out, the pinnacle on the grit being a O/S of Time for Tea and also a G/U of Regent Street (After i slipped on the start!!!!) There's also been two evenings of Soloing at Stanage, the best route being Robin Hoods Crack, Manchester Buttress and Mississippi Direct. Good stuff!

Sunday, 19 July 2009

Peak, Cliffhanger and Yet more Slate...

The weekend saw us journey down to the Peak, with the plan being 2 days climbing and a quick pop into see Matt Heason and then maybe look at Cliffhanger. As it turned out, the plan changed but it worked perfectly. Stanage High Neb and End was the destination for Saturday, climbing "Impossible Slab" - E3 and "Orang-Utang" - E2 as well as some solos on stuff like DIY - E3 and Cent - E1. Franco then made a flawless ascent of 'Old Friends' a route that i intend to return to lead at some point i think.

Sunday we talked buisness, then with Curbar calling the rain set in... so we went to Cliffhanger.
Brilliant event, i enjoyed it more than i expected especially the Dyno competition and the womens climbing comp.... I wonder why? ;-)

We departed the Peak in the rain and drove to the CMC hut in the Lakes, intending to get on some high crags, eg Gable, Dow ect ect.
Unfortunately the weather was damp in the mornings and we settled the best bet would be Slate until the weather improved... which we didn't know whether it would or not as there is no technology in the Hut.
The slate was a good move. The showers didn't affect the slate as it dried so fast and Franco climbed the Wonderful 'Ten Years After' - E4.
I then got forced into climbing the E3 / F6c arete in the all weather Gym, after rain began. Hardly, Ten Years After!...

The next day we ended up at Hodge again. The weather was exactly the same. Franco jumped on 'Wicked Willie' - E5 6b and despatched it, after a fall on the Crux. A really really good effort.
On the walk back around, we met a couple who had been directed up the wrong road to their car...which was parked at Tilberwaite Car park.
We decided that Tilberthwaite was worth a look so we could give them a lift around and i wasn't psyched by anything at Hodge now.
I climbed 'Violation' E3/F6c, a weird groove and slab pulling through a roof. It was varied and nice, but again, it was no 'Ten Years After'.
The Wednesday saw us return, yet again to Hodge, after yet more rain. I was talking myself into doing something good and after a brief stop off in the Lakes Climber, (talking to the shop owner and Andy Hobson, i believe) i was psyched to climb Ten Years After.
I jumped on it, which is most unlike me.
The initial groove was pretty awful to be honest, laybacks and smears on slate, to the gear. Then stepping left was slightly technical to a peg. Happy.
Climbing up and leftwards to gain some good nuts and carry on up to a series of grooves and a Peg/Bolt.
I topped out, having climbed my first E4 onsight. Have to admit that im glad my first E4 onsight was a GOOD, reasonably large route, of a sustained nature rather than say a Moors problem/Sandbag or a Peak route. Im even happy i didn't do Poseidon Adventure onsight now, so that Ten Years was the first.
Franco then climbed 'The Main Event', damn, he loves the Slate!
We returned to the hut and from this point on the holiday lost its gloss. First a misguided trip to Borrowdale took us to the dry rock of the Bowderstone... :-( The Crack, the Ramp and Bowderiser were enough to make it fairly decent... But then on the long drive to CAtherdral Quarry the bloody car turbo blew up and it took us til Saturday to get recovered to the North East. Long story short, saw the car being in a Garage in Windermere, while we and our Kit were in Patterdale... we managed to hitch over and get back to the North East.
It ought to be expensive...

Sunday, 28 June 2009

Thirlmere, Borrowdale, Dow and Slate!

Monday afternoon, after retrieving Franco's Moped from Malton, we set off to the Lake District with the plan of action being to settle some unfinished buisness and nail some new routes and possibly push the grade out a wee bit.
We took advantage of the light nights, with a hour and a half stop by at Castle Rock of Triermain, to rattle off 'Triermain Eliminate'. A route on both of our wishlists after we had been rained off the Top pitch, in the past.
Franco dispatched the route with ease, i however found the climb rather tiring (driving is my excuse plus it was still VERY hot) and elected to take a rest in the final niche, only a metre of so from the finish. My choice was a good one i think, because i had problems topping out on the slopey grass.
Abseiling back down the line to remove gear showed how overhanging the north wall was, i passed franco on the half way ledge a good 2 metres out and was atleast 3 metres out at the base. No wonder the place is quite pumpy...
We met up with Luke Hunt, and his friends from Uni, Tom and Miles. We chose Dow Crag as the next days location, a crag i was looking forward to as i had never been.
We arrived at the crag in the mid afternoon and decided to 'warm up' on 'Pink Pather' - E2 5c.
Unfortunately, our route finding was awful and i climbed a 'non-line' taking the central section of an E3, to an exposed and poorly protected rightwards traverse. I was bricking it and after my minor epic managed to downclimb to more substantial gear where i lowered off.

Still unaware this was the wrong route Franco climbed the line finishing up the Arete at the top. Declaring it E3+ 5c+, which seemed to be the case when i was up there.
Thoroughly de-psyched, i was happy to lay around on an exposed slab taking photos of Franco and Luke attempting 'The Shining Path' - E5 6b***.
During this time Tom and Miles were enjoying the classic, Eliminate 'A' - VS.
Luke made a valiant O/S attempt but eventually flagged and rested. Franco then gave it a bloody good go, but floundered at the extremely tough and sequency looking crux.
Luke then gave it another go and managed the line with only a cheeky pull on the quickdraw, which was unfortunate.
Wednesday, we chose Borrowdale with Reecastle being the choice. It wasn't quite as i imagined it and i wasn't feeling at my best. Franco therefore climbed first despatching 'White Noise' - E3, rather easily with Luke following. Tom and Miles were climbed the only VS at the crag and then had their eyes on 'The Rack' HVS***.
I attempted an E2 on the righthand side, but it was dirty and i just lost all motivation. I couldn't see a safe 'E2' way of doing the moves so i downclimbed.
I later made myself feel slightly better, climbing 'The Rack Direct' E2 5b*.
Luke and Franco were currently boshing around on 'Penal Servitude' E5 6b***. Luke eventually managing the line with a small rest.
With most of the evening still available, Franco elected to go to Black Crag in Borrowdale as he fancied another barefoot solo of 'Troutdale Pinnacle' Severe, and also a look at 'Prana' E3 5c.
I joined him on Troutdale Pinnacle (with shoes! :-) and then agreed to do the embarrasing first pitch of Prana, an awful wet slab up to one of the most comfortable belay trees ever!
I sat basking in the evening sunlight, watching Franco eventually pull through the crux overlap high on the Headwall above me. I seconded it, which was nice and the moves were all good solid 5b/c. We were both quite happy and wandered down to Grange, where Tom, Miles and Luke were drinking.
Thursday, saw Luke, Tom and Miles depart back to Manchester. Tom and Miles going to some music event or some such...
Franco and I decided to go after a route we needed to tick and i also had a bit of a point to prove. I really want to like Slate!
Cathedral Quarry it was, Darklands was the target and i was going to feel secure on Slate.
When we arrived Franco's second route, Basilica was being muddied and polished by Abseiling hordes.
We decided to try and climb Darklands as two pitches to remove the rope drag. I climbed to the belay and then Franco climbed through, clipping the numerous bolts and decaring the route an absolute softtouch. He abseiled back to me on the belay but unfortunately the ropes were stuck. So in the end i seconded the top pitch. I wasn't too bothered. The route is indeed a softtouch, there are 1 two many bolts and by this point i was qutie psyched by the route to the left, 'An Alabuse'.
It takes a rib to the right of the big, dark hole leading to the entrance. It then steps right and laybacks up a large flake leading to a delicate cruxy finish on the top slab.

I went first and really enjoyed the climbing under the impression it was E2 but it turned out to be E3. Really nice juggy moves, lead above the void. Then a delicate ramp leads to the layback, which is interesting! Then the top is a sequence of high feet and crimpy jug pulls. Really really nice route, one of my favourites!
Franco then climbed the line and abbed for the gear. Then climbed 'Rim Fisher' another E3, which was apparently much harder.
We left back to the Moors, after a brief chat with a nice bloke about the bolting situation in the Quarry. Darklands in particular appears to have 1 too many bolts and certainly didn't seem to fit the E3 grade as a result? Never mind its a cracking line!

Monday, 15 June 2009

Moors Classics and a return to form?

After the end of may Peak trip, June was all about Exams and getting strong for climbing. So much so that i returned to Ravenswick quarry for a couple of hours of non stop bouldering just to burn my forearms into submission then attempt some long steady 5b traverses to build up the stamina, i think it worked.
During my revising i've been finding various places around the house to do pull ups and chin ups and what have you. I've never really focussed on training in the past, but i feel a combination of the garage wall, fingerboard and pull/press ups should do some good.
The second weekend of June began with plans of Almscliffe or Filey. But dodgey weather forecasts made a last minute decision of Ingleby Incline the preffered option. We slogged up to the crag in about 30 minutes and decided to jump on the *** line of the crag, Gym Junkies. At E3 6b, it struck me as being the kind of route i belayed Franco on and decided i wasn't going to do. However, Franco's ascent made it look do able and the starting moves are well protected.
My attempt proved fruitful, and although it could have been far better protected with some fiddly wires it still felt an easy E3, certainly not 6b. It's worth jumping on if you reckon you climb E3!
Our first objective ticked we walked to Time Captain E4. The large roof of the route really appeals but the top slab is dirty. Neither of us wanted to ab and clean the line but i felt it would be too much to ask, for me at least anyway. We tried the E4 Love and Confusion, but with low friction the sloping pitch hold was hard work. Franco gained the pocket but decided the slopey topout was worth leaving for a Colder day.
I then climbed Top Gun, a classic HVS which i should have done a long time ago but never got around to. It's a great line and a good climb, worth going to and doing. We finished with a boulder around on No Prisoners, a 6b sloping crack. Some nice moves but i felt my dynamic methods were not in the spirit of the line.
The next day, i decided that i was going to demand that we visited High Crag in Tripsdale and got up Warrior, a *** moors E2 that hardly anyone has climbed.
We arrived at the crag at about 3 in the afternoon, after a long walk in, a stop off at some boulders and a quick look at Tarn Hole. We had chose to walk in from the moor top, to avoid the midgeys and try and get a cooling breeze. It was scorching.
As soon as we geared up for this epic looking crackline, the midgeys started. We fought on, whereas last time we ran like pansys, and our 'commitment' paid off.
I elected to go first. I usually fail on lines when i go first but i decided it would be good to do. We placed a loweroff at the top as the top was whringing wet and the moss was of poor friction... :-)

I started to climb up and rammed a cam in (which i nearly lost), then a beaut of a Hex, something i haven't used for at least a year!
I then ran out of ideas of how to keep jamming up this confining, overhanging, damp, green, crackline. I rested on the Hex to have a look around and realised i had to span left onto the wall.
Climbing this epic route, this time using the left wall and realised it was straighforward, relitavely easy considering what it looks like and that the moves were actually worth stars, though perhaps ** rather than ***.
I attempted to top out but the wet moss was impossible. I even considered a dyno to a tree root, but decided this was probably not wise. I lowered off, happy with the midgys massing and my hands and clothes filthy.
Franco climbed the line cleanly, using the hold out left that he had spotted and finished as i did. It was the only way unfortunately.
We ran away from High Crag before the man-eating midgeys stipped us of our flesh.
The E4, 'A Reach Too Far' at Tarn Hole, looked like a highball couple of stars Peak E4. It was however a Moors E4 with ***. We had to try it.
Unfortunately, after our excertions on Warrior and the walk in and the day before at Ingleby, I at least felt knackered. We gave it a bash but neither fully committed, so much so we both retain our onsights. However, i feel the clue is in the name, so i might need to stretch abit if im going to go anywhere near it again!
We walked down, in the beating sun at about 8 in the evening. Absolutely knackered but with a Weekend of Classic ticks, long, heavily overgrown walk ins and sandbag testing - i was ready to relax and recouperate and begin my revision for Chemistry.

Friday, 5 June 2009

Getting back into climbing

It's been a long time. Since November i've had 8 crag days and i realised my weakness this weekend. Myself and Franco decided to meet up with Luke in the Peak and Twig decided to come along as well. It was my first time meeting Twig but Franco assured me he was a funny guy so the weekend promised to be full of laughs.
We journied down after work on friday night and parked up at Burbage Car park, somewhere we had bivvyed before. It was cold, considering the balmy days we were having and the sun rose early, we got up and drove to millstone for around 7 in the morning.
Franco climbed The Snivling Shits - E5 6a around 8 oclock i think, and myself and Twig tried the first few moves but neither of us were willing to commit seeing as the crux is the top i think.
Luke turned up and told me to do Embankment 3 - a pleasant looking E1 on finger locks and such i enjoyed it and was happy i could still onsight E1.
We hurried around to Lawrencefield, Luke was after Pool Wall and i fancied Great Peter. Unfortunately after taking photos of Luke on Pool Wall, people jumped on Great Peter - what a shame. Burbage South it was then.
Some project at Lawrencefield... Looks class like ;-)
Had a mess around at Burbage South, nearly climbing Boggart Left Hand - unfortunately the sun was blinding and i couldnt quite reach the break. Next time!
We spent the night at Ladybower Reservoir, i think. It was nice but we slept in the car as it was quite cold.
Next day we bombed up to Bamford and Franco climbed Jetrunner. I fancied it but was unable to commit to the pocket move. I did however enjoy Gargoyle Flake and the Crease and the VS to it's left. It was a nice soloing day.

We completed our road trip with a bash at Froggat. I fancied Strapiobante and also for some reason Strapiombo appealed as well.
The weather was scorching and i struggled to keep my hands chalked so much so when it came to latching the sloper at the end i actually thought it impossible in the weather conditions! unfortunately it wasn't until i'd had a rest that i realised there were good holds to it's left! Bugger.
Strapiombo was much better. Horizontal jamming along the roof crack led to an easier crack. I placed a cam, and jammed above it. It felt sweaty this jam and it slipped down this crack straight onto my cam. It fucking hurt. I think i knackered my nerves because my thumb is still numb as i write this. Either way that was the onsight gone for Strapiombo a route i had done the hard work for but on a cooler day i'd have nailed both. Never mind. It's given me the incentive to start training and getting strong. This summer before uni, with the weather apparently going to be amazing, means that i want to be as strong as i can be i've got a lot of plans this year!