Sunday, 31 July 2011

Paparazzi Arete - font 7b***

Another trip to Clemmitt's to hopefully and finally tick the brilliant arete problem i had previously done from crouch. I quite quickly managed from sit, the starting move isn't hard and just makes setting up for the crux a bit harder and everything just that little bit more difficult to hold, pushing the grade from Font7a+ to 7b and gaining a * in pure quality.

Unfortunately, i decided i might be able to refine the arete so that it was slightly less 'chancy' when i got on it in the future. I did just this, by messing around with my feet a bit earlier, i could take the weight with my left foot pushing higher, while crimping on a small edge. Normally, i would pop up again with my right hand to a good full pad crimp, but this time i elected to hold my wieght and swing my left hand to said crimp. This, rather unfortuantely, seems to make the move around the nose of the arete much easier, without the need to drop down on the smaller holds and also, you can more easily hold the swing (i.e you don't have to cutloose) but it's better to swing off anyway.

Also did a small, 2 move font 5, which is on the opposite rib to Paparazzi Arete, as seen in the video.

I hope that my method just 'suits me' and that it remains a font 7b. Perhaps i've just got a tad stronger? But i doubt it, i feel my beta reduces the grade significantly! (So i might delete this video in the future :-)

Papparazzi Arete - Clemmitt's Out Boulders. from Dave Warburton on Vimeo.

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Heel of Approval

A quick dash up to Round Crag to try to make myself feel better, while suffering from drousyness and aching muscles (due to illness, nothing impressive like pushing myself or owt!) reaped some sort of reward... I had previous been to Round Crag and decided i WANTED to do Honey Arete E5 6b**/*. However i realised the floor was VERY wet and i really couldn't be arsed abseiling down to then get my shunt on and then start climbing, so i sacked this idea off very quickly and decided instead to warm up on Pannierman's Arete - Steve Ramsden's boulder problem arete on the boulder below the pinnacle.
I'm going to go back though, with a spade, to dig a proper drainage channel which would stop the bottom of Octopet, Honey Arete and Vampiric Obsession getting so horribly soggy.

Pannierman's Arete is a cool, quite high Font 6b+ with a dynamic finish. In the full sun today, it felt slippy, hard and bold. I imagine it would be much friendlier in cooler conditions. Regardless though, it's pretty good and a decent warm up and actually packs a fair few moves in from sit.

I then decided that if i was to salvage anything, i would have to try the North Arete project. Adam Van Lopik graded this E3 6b after top roping it years ago and Franco and myself had looked at it previously to onsight/ground up. I seem to remember cleaning it moons ago but it certainly didn't look like i had!
It was filthy, so i decided enough was enough with this arete toying with us, (me especially as i say "i will do that north arete as well, seeing as we're up there!" everytime i go and i never do... ) so i just rapped down and cleaned the obvious holds.
A quick shunt showed i was short sighted with my cleaning and i soon developed a bold, but pretty easy solution to the arete. A cunning heel.

It's a one mover, that much is simple. The landing (though not as horrific as i remembered) would need to be padded by 3 or 4 mats to feel safe, as the 'cunning heel' is good for the climb but would result in a pelvis first fall if you didn't manage to nestle it on the jug. I can however see why Adam Van Lopik suggested E3 6b, as it's purely 1 move, but to onsight would be bold and potentially painful. The top moves on the arete are good too, lots of big hand holds but unbalancing if you stray to the arete, so your left to pad up smears and edges up a slabby groove. It's like a gearless E2 5b once you've stood on the starting jug.

All in all, another F.A - which i'm actually very happy with. It was a better move than i thought it would be - i sort of had visions of an arete grovel, using your thighs and knees to gain height, but not so. I also found the upper section tricky onsight (as i only cleaned and chalked the obvious holds in the upper section, prior to the lead)

The video demonstrates the move, which will remove your onsight! as it's pretty much all about figuring this out - but who care's it's a route that needed doing and is quite suitable to sit upon the fine pinnacle of Round Crag.

I decided a name of 'Heel of Approval' may entice future ascentionists to figure out the beta for themselves and although i can understand the grade of E3 6b set by Adam, i feel the grade of E4 6b is more fitting. No stars due to the unsustained nature, but it's a good one move and unfortunate it's not a flat, lovely landing as it would be a fine E3 6b, if so...
 (an afterthought is that there is a pocket which could take a cam, which might stop you hitting the ground proper, but maybe not the boulders and ledges? I'll have a look next time i'm there, but this may be the reason he suggested E3? Would maybe get in the way though...)

Enjoy the video, due to the position of the camera it makes the arete look slabbier than it is, you can tell due to the wierd unbalanced looking positions i get into!

Heel of Approval - E4 6b from Dave Warburton on Vimeo.

Highcliffe Photos and Round Crag thoughts...

A strange week. Franco departed to the Alps and i decided to shunt projects and also established routes that i didn't care about. However, i seem to have developed  Franco's Illness, the Illness that saw him struggle while bouldering at Danby. I feel like crap, too tired and lacking in psyche to do anything until about 3pm it seems, I also have a wierd soreness in my right armpit? and also a really tight right shoulder muscle.

Regardless, i packed the Shunt and headed to Highcliffe - Long story short i ended up looking at the buttresses and doing little else. A quick shunt of 'The Web' - E3 5c did afford me some good climbing, but it's a joke at E3 and 5c. The mantle move used to have a peg, this is no longer and there and would see you crater from 7metres (while mantling) the move also seemed very hard for 5c! I would tentitavely place this in the realms of E5 6a! But maybe i can't mantle for shit!

After this i checked out the recently re-exposed left hand buttresses. These areas sport some 'old testpieces' of the 8-12m kind, ranging from thuggy flared cracks, to peg-scared fissures and gearless, excellent looking Aretes. There are some 'classic' looking VS thuggy cracks but they all need a damn good clean. They certainly look good, I would suggest heading up with a brush/nutkey/trowel etc etc, picking a line cleaning it and climbing it. I unfortunately forgot my nutkey so Ping, Peeler and Cling on will have to wait another day. Also, not really soloing territory - would be much nicer with a couple of people! Peg scared well protected cracks at E1 5c (1970's grade too, most probably!), are probably closer to E4 to solo...

Peeler - E1 5c**

Holden's Wall - HVS 5a **

Gluon Arete - E2 5c! Cling On Traverses in on the Rail at E1 5c*

E2 6a Arete, HVS cracklines and HARD boulder problem flake feature (cool)

Ping (E1 5c**) and Twin Cracks (Severe)

'Far left Buttresses - FA potential on this 6-8metre high 'venue'...
I then walked right over to another 'buttress' i had spotted on the drive over, however it's pretty shit. It might provide some FA's for a local, desperate climber!

Dissolutioned by this 'day out' i quickly drove to Round Crag, Blakey Inn and proceeded to rap down and clean 'Telescopic' E4 5c. This route is pretty poor to be honest, with slightly sandy rock, very closeby collapsed pillar (that is hard to avoid) and as the grade might suggest, is just a bit 'sketch'. There are far better routes at Round Crag even if you have to have a quick look first, they are rewarding.

My belief is still that a good day out would be had, if you either lead onsight/ground up 'Time Out' the E4 6a*** groove, placing the fiddly wires (or pre-place them?) and then using the gear as side runners for 'Fresh Arete' E5 6b** and going ground up on this too.

My quick day here was halted by tiredness and hunger but i did have a quick note-to-self about coming back and shunting then soloing Honey Arete (E5 6b**/*) and then having a quick look at Lopik's E3 (E5?).

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Danby Bouldering

A quick visit to Danby to check any improvement in cleaning or strength on the FA's at Danby, turned into a bouldering day. The crimpy, hard routes required a warm up and the good 'bloc' positioned in the Ravine area of Danby, provided a nice arete and also a sustained traverse.
Unfortunately, this total lack of concentration on the routes, meant that we were spent after a bit of cleaning, bouldering and what not.

The Hypocrisy of Moose - H7 6c***

Regardless, there are now 2 nice boulder problems at Danby, which would be nice to try if local or may provide adequate warm up for some of the harder problems.

The Arete is a sit-down start. A potentially frustrating start, leads to better holds. A large sidepull, can be avoided to create an eliminate Font 6c, which is very good. With the sidepull, Font 6b+ again worth doing.

The traverse of the obvious break of the boulder is a good one to the get the arms working. Starting low on the right, traverse left towards the Ravine, using cunning footwork and some powerful moves. Enjoyable.

A video illustrating the two problems put up on the Ravine boulder with some other bits and pieces too. Just made for the sake of it:

Bouldering at Danby Crag from Dave Warburton on Vimeo.


The following day, the day before Franco journies to the Alps we decided to return to Clemmitt's, so Franco could 'send' the sit start to Paparazzi Arete (Font 7b***) and i wanted to either do this, or the low, crouching start at Font 7a+**.

Long story short, it took me a few goes, but i eventually sent' the arete from a crouch. I then tried from sit which is ok, the starting move from sit isn't that hard, but it does add an element of fatigue and sweaty fingers to the rest of the arete, which is by far and away the crux moves. Franco had quickly managed the sit-down start, as he knew it was a case of being fresh. All in all it's an excellent arete boulder problem - definately one of the best (if not the best) boulder problem i've done.

We also did a direct, starting as for the arete sit, but making a direct reach up the face and topping out, at font 6b+ or so. A nice evening with Franco and Rebecca.

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Battersby new routing, new buttress hunting gone wrong and a quiet evenings bouldering...

Disappointed by the recent weather thwarting our climbing plans, we decided that we would test the idea we had, that 'Battersby Tower', a newly discovered outcrop along the Battersby range would provided superfast drying, rock... We weren't disappointed.

We arrived feeling 'ropey', from the effects of an upper-class night out in Yarm... but quickly got to work. Franco abseiling down the left arete and proclaiming that 'it was for another day'. I then decided, feeling the least dodgy of us, to have a quick solo of the 'rampline' of weakness up the front of the buttress. We couldn't decide if it looked VS or E2. However, i was confident i wouldn't be too bad. I racked and roped up, but realised i cherished photos much more, so Franco took them while i trailed the rope and gear up. I intended to place gear where possible, however, the gear is poor in the lower sections.
The crux is interesting. A step up to either a large, licheous sloper or a smaller footedge. Eitherway, the move is unbalanced and the lack of gear focusses the mind. A cool little move and the top groove was delightful. An E1 5a* or E2 5b*, we were unsure. It reminded me of 'Physical' at Broughton Bank, although harder, but it also reminded me of Queer Street at Highcliffe, an E1 5a**. Either way, a lower grade route, which we were especially pleased with.

Franco then quickly dispatched the direct start to the same line, taking the obvious groove at E2 6a, but with not added quality. The real shame was the offwidth that bounds the right side of the crag. It is too close to the edge to warrent a route effort, REALLY large gear would be needed too!

We decided to call it a day at Battersby and for whatever reason chose to walk towards 'Rudd Scar' and 'Botton Head' to check if they actually existed... Rudd Scar certainly does and there are outcrops along the Botton Head area, though we lost psyche to check them today after being defeated by endless bog and waining time.

                               Some crags for future devoties?

We finished the day with a quiet evenings bouldering at Potter's Quarry. I haven't been for ages and the two 'big 5c's', Borboletta and Poision Letter were in mind, as we had previously dismissed them at 'hard and high' when climbing at 5a/5b. Anyway, the route was less high than i remembered and was also much more decorated with holds. The crux actually appeared to be the move off the deck and we quickly dispatched both routes first go, which was very nice. They are hard for '5c' i would give them either highball V3 or much more fitting, E1 6a - i don't know if it was just my knee, but i felt pretty lonely towards the top of the wall. Regardless, it's an excellent little problem, quite sustained to the top.

Franco on an 'undergraded' eng.'5b'... more like Font 6a+

After viewing the old maps in the area, the area that 'tower' is found, was called 'Otter Hill', which we liked a lot. The buttress is part of the 'Battersby Crag' area, but it is around half a mile from the already developed 'Battersby Crag' so, we have elected to describe this as it's own buttress. The Otter Hill Bastion...

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Clemmitts Bouldering

After an annoying and probably expensive incident with the car (something to do with springs destroying the tyre), Lee (Betaguides) Robinson journied up from Hull, with the intention of trying out the Goathland bouldering opportunities.

Franco and I were less inspired by this, with the 40-50min drive being a bit off putting at 5.30 in the evening. We thought Clemmitts, (the newly developed and extensive bouldering circuit which had aluded my attention due to a variety of reasons) mainly due to a small circuit that needed trying around the southern area and also, the fact i'd never been.

Anyhow, the scattered collection of boulders had some pleasing and often tricky little problems, with some good aretes, especially on the 'Mobile Phone' block. The obvious arete and the walls to the left and right giving nice Font 5+ climbing, however the sitting start on the arete, bouncing the grade to around Font 6a/6a with an eliminate traverse from the main arete towards the right, however the last move was very hard and totally eliminate, so we left that.

Lee then found and flashed a Font 6b arete, that climbed really well indeed

A low boulder nestled in a small collection of 'blocs' contained a quality, low, angled arete. With powerful moves on small crimps with a crux dropdown on small holds, with poor feet. An excellent problem at about Font7a+/V7.

Certainly psyched to get back to do all the good problems in the Clemmitts main circuit as well, looks more than worthwhile.

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Danby Crag - New Routes

Spain seems like last year. Since then i've spent the best part of 3 weeks finishing uni work and revising for exams, in which time i went to Troller's Gill and Kilnsey. These were ok days out with routes from F7a to F7b. I then began my summer mapping project, 6 weeks of geological mapping in the Skyreholme Area.

I was quite psyched for this, expecting some people to come from leeds to climb, but unfortunately this never happened and i ended up spending 5 weeks 20minutes from Trollers. Admittedly after a day of geology in the field i rarely felt like going down to 'see if i could get a belay off someone there. I ended up soloing a few lower grade routes there, a quality HVS slab, Brute a strenuous flake E1 and a F6a or two.

Fortunately this came to an end and i returned to the moors to meet up with Franco. I was unsure how i was climbing, feeling a bit peeved that my F7a fitness (pretty good for me) was lost, due to exams and mapping. I had flashed E4 and E5 just before too.
However, Franco's arete finds at Danby were great. Complimenting tricky moves, with good positions and in my style. A quick headpoint of 'The Jungle Drum' a really good, 8m arete with a well protected but potentially hard to read move at half-height near numerous cams. The tops moves padding with feet which laying away from sandstone flutes is a delight.

Shunting 'The Jungle Drum' H4/E4 6a**

To the right is a wall, starting off below a bulge, you ascend to a series of horizontal breaks where 'adequate' rather than good gear is arranged. From here a tenuous, painful move on a fingertip splitting edge allows a good rail to be achieved. This move has as much about foot placement as it does on sheer will to yard on a painful edge, but after a couple of shunts i felt that the 'on-off' move was more on, than off.

 Abseiling down 'The Polish Diplomat' H4/E5 6a/b

 Reaching the crimpy-horror-hold, the crux is pulling off this to the top

The crux, it's a hard pull, very obvious but can be very 'on-off'.

Both routes are around E4/5 6a/b, probably low in this grade, 'The Polish Diplomat' probably weighing in as slightly harder than The Jungle Drum, due to the potential added danger. Sam however found the climbing on The Jungle Drum much more straightforward than The Diplomat, so perhaps i can't grade?

 Sam yarding, unsuccessfully on the crimpy-horror-hold

Franco then found yet more potentially very hard routes, one being very interesting involving a wild slap or a ridiculous full length static stetch (probs need to be 6ft 2 at least!) to a small break at the top.

 Sam enjoying the tremendous, sustained and stiff, Valiant VS 4c** (MHVS 5a)

                                        Face pulling on Valiant

Seems Danby is where its at. Oh, Battersby crag too, maybe...!

An odd, mish-mash of pics and video from our couple of days at Danby new routing.

Compilation of video and photos of Danby Projects from Dave Warburton on Vimeo.