Friday, 2 April 2010

Kay Nest Crag

What an odd crag.
It's not the place i'd have thought there would have been around 15 routes and not only that, a rather immense bit of featureless wall, hand drilled and bolted aid action.
The effort that must have gone into creating that aid line, must have been substantial, unless it is easier to hand drill sandstone, that i think!
The line, which sounded in the description as though it followed a line, possibly of weakness, was quite the opposite and forged a bolted beeline, directly through the most continuous and featureless wall of rock. There was some old tat and some pegs for interest as well, one of which looked as though it had been placed/replaced quite reasonably. The Tree below the line had also been cut down with in the last few years and there was a screwgate about 5 bolts up.
Franco and I mused about the old ethics of bolts - on the moors, they only seem to bolt the featureless faces and ridiculous roofs - but it doesn't seem to have happened at the more popular crags like Ravenscar? Admittedly they probably only wanted long routes and for one reason or another, the larger buttresses on the moors never seem to have been popular. Cringle, Beacon, Kay Nest etc etc.
Franco ended up giving it a go and tenuously aided through the blank section to free climb a small section around 6a. So, hurrah! we dispensed with a bit of aid - but it's a line of bolts... I'm glad i wasn't on the sharp end seeing as i weight quite a bit more than him!
Theres a few really nice and large boulders around the base of the crag as well - so for a spot of idyllic bouldering (some of which can be quite hard, sort of V5, V6, V7) then it's probably worth a wander if you like that sort of thing.
We ended the day at Roseberry Topping however, myself wanting a crack at Chris Woodal's, Accelerator (HVS) and Franco planning to 'send' the direct finish to Pasghetti Alpinist.
In the end i climbed the challenging and rewarding crackline first, which was quite a memorable route. The first few metres are unfortuantely on poor rock, but the crack itself is good. Gear is good, which is the important factor. The rock then improves and some of the jamming is superb, but which entering the upper reaches of hte crack, before the small cave i managed to pull off a wall hold - amazingly staying on. I reached the cave quite shaken and placed some gear then pulled out for 'the difficult final roof'. However, the final roof is on buckets and much easier than anything on the rest of the line! Obviously, im a modern climber compared to the jammin' hardcore of the 'good old days'.

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