Thursday, 9 September 2010

Hodge and that...

A few days in the lakes was planned and we departed to the CMC hut, intent on ticking Lakeland E4's.
We chose Dow Crag, as the guide had 3 *** E4's in a row on 'B' Buttress, that seemed like they all needed doing. Unfortunately, Tumble, the classic E4 was wet in the lower groove so i backed off and then we discovered that Genocide now didn't have the peg insitu which would mean it was harder than E4, pretty de-stoked by this Franco soloed Eliminate A and then we left Dow Crag to Hodge Close, just down the road.
Franco On Genocide E4?, Dow Crag
Franco Soloing Eliminate 'A', VS, Dow Crag

Limited Edition (E4 6a/F6c+) had been on my to-do list for ages. I viewed it as a better protected, harder Ten Years After and i liked the sound of that. Franco climbed the route first from the 'Big Dipper' rampline, quickly popping his way up the starting groove and then simply rocking through the upper reaches of the climb. He abbed back down and then i had a bash.
Franco On Limited Edition:

The moves off the ledge are thin, the second clip feels desperate and then a long reach or pop to a really good hold. We both felt it was touching Eng. 6b but it was very warm.
Above this is a good 6 or 7 metre run out, leftways where soloing 5b/c helps you, until you reach a 3rd bolt. Above this is a great piece of flake climbing and a 4th bolt. Then, reversing 'Mirrormere' you traverse right for around 7 metres to a foothold and 5th bolt.
A thin, contorted rockover leads into the final tiny flake and the top. Great route, slightly unbalanced due to the hard start but the positions are good.

We left back to the Club Hut and decided that a visit to Cathedral was in order. Unfortuantely, Basilica the big E4 up the huge wall was seeping, so we decided to try Cold Turkey, E4 6b...

I don't know if this was ever ed... but unless abseilers and perhaps waterwash has combined to totally strip any holds off this slab, the climbing was very, very hard indeed. Certainly not E4. We rapped in but i sacked it off and got back out on the left. Franco was interested to see if it was possible and he did get to the top of hte climb but said it was totally ridiculous. Above the two lower bolts are two rusty pegs, they looked bomber enough but the top wall would be run out with moves of 6a at least, making the whole thing seem to be 6b moves (now 6c??) into run out 6a... yup, sounds E4...
My mood got worse as on the drive out of Cathedral i hit a rock protruding into the road and got a flat tyre. Unfortunately someone had taken the spare out of the car, so stuck in the middle of nowhere we abandoned the car and started walking back to the Hut at Ullswater. We luckily got a couple of hitches and arrived to find the hut had been booked by RAF Squaddies. Great.

While in the hut, i decided it was time to try the new and poorly understood 'Dunne Diet'. However, the effects have been not all that i expected..

I had rung my parents are asked if they fancied a trip over to the lakes...and if they fancied bringing a spare tyre. They did, as they had been planning on visiting the lakes anyway, which was lucky.

The following day, after repairing the car we gave mum and dad a tour of the quarries and then invited them to watch us climbing at Hodge Close, as it was roadside and easy to see whats going on. My parents had never seen either of us climbing and often asked about rope management and belays and such so it was a good place to show them 'the ropes'...

Bloke on 'Sky' E2/F6b+
We climbed 'Sky', a retrobolted E4 5c, which is now F6b+... it really should have had less bolts to make it E2/3 but never mind. Great climbing well worth doing.

Me climbing Sky, E2/F6b+
The parents seemed to enjoy our quick ascent, without issue and they left to Ambleside. Franco and I stoked for 'First Night Nerves' found it was wet, so we decided to try 'Carpe Diem' (F7a+) which climbs a shallow groove formed by the rockfall. I remember myself and Franco looking at it before, as a trad line.
Anyway, the climbing is nice, but the bolting is poor. Far too many closely spaced bolts but then the only tricky clip, the 3rd bolt, is placed awkwardly and the 2nd bolt is far to close to the 1st... I don't know how to bolt but it seems a shame a nice feature of rock has been spoilt, not by the bolting but by a poor job of doing so. Still, climb is worth doing - don't get me wrong!

Franco then had a quick play on a proj...

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