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!