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.