Monday, 29 August 2011

Howl Psyche & Battle For Tripoli - Danby Crag First Ascents

Myself and Franco both have projects at Danby. Franco is currently working on 'Vulcan Arete' and the 'Moose Wall', both E7 6c but at opposing ends of the bold spectrum. I however was very stoked by the easier but ridiculously bold, 'Otter Wilderness Direct'.

Ive shunted the line in the past and felt good, but wanted a cool, breezy day. Funnily such a day came along however it only dawned on me it was the perfect day, when i was shunting it for the second time, today. I felt solid enough for a lead, the low 6b crux felt fine and a half slip was held today, which gave me some confidence. I asked franco for photos. I needed proof and memories of this adventure.

Crux Heel
Abseiled down, i placed my mat on the dusty ground and slapped a load of liquid chalk on. It's the best. Franco prepped, i set off, climbing the starting crimps, which will remain dusty for eternity i think. A quick sequence of pockets, side pulls and heels and i was crimping my way to the sloping shelf, with it's critical (for me) thumb hold. A quick chalk and a high foot, two finger crimp on the right rocking up higher and higher to a side pull... now, heart in mouth smear feet on the sloping ledge and chalk left and right.

Sloping hold with thumb hold
 A scary, feet smearing reach from here gains the first really good hold, a bomber pocket. A series of beautifully sustained, well positioned moves find their way delicately up the arete. The line is the same for the top of the groove to the left and also, Franco's 'Otter Wilderness Route'.

John Dunne - esque?
Top crux. Necky 5c.
Slightly unstable
 I was pretty stoked topping out and i felt the ascent was a small step up from Fresh Arete. Although Fresh Arete contained a dynamic pop at the top of the main difficulties and is unprotected, the arete i decided to call Howl Psyche (due to the nearby village, Houlsyke) i felt was far bolder, even though it was static. A fall, from any point on the route will result in a fall through a tree, down into the boulders below. If the floor was were you start the route, i'd have graded it E6, but feel the added fall zone means E7 is worthwhile.

Heel for stability
'Howl' Psyched!
Franco, spurred on by my ascent, decided it was time to beat his long term project, the groove. To call it a project is a bit of a falacy. He had taken a 'factor 2' into the undergrowth hanging on the cliff below. He had never been back. However, aware of the upper moves from my ascent and from his own ascent of 'The Otter Wilderness Route' he made his way up the groove. At around half height is a horrific step onto the sloping ledge of the route i had just ascended and they finish the same. The route is sustained at 5c/6a and is unprotected. However, with the evidence of surviving a factor 2 from this very route, he decided a rope and belayer was a better option than 'the perfect shot'.

I then shunted Franco's Hypocrisy of Moose. I had belayed him when he did it and i had seen him work it a couple of times but i'd never actually tried it. I flashed on shunt up to the rickety flake and then floundered, eventually finding a sequence to get established around the corner on the opposing gastons. I couldn't get up and around to the next hold and wouldn't like to test the tri-cam (the Rp's will rip out!). The topout is horrific too... Awesome line, good holds and really good moves. Pretty un-obvious and it's bold. Can't believe Franco lead it, i thought i was going well at the moment!

We finished the day on a boulder below the buttress. Hidden in trees a carpet of moss simple folded off and the arete below was cleaned and quickly climbed, providing perfect moves in an endearing position. We decided it was a bit stiffer than the other arete we had ascended at Danby and felt Font 7a*** described the climbing well, however we were pretty knackered from the day! Danby now has a fair bit of mid grade bouldering and highball routes which were delighted about!

The Effervescent Pheasant from Dave Warburton on Vimeo.

Bring on the run into Uni... 3 weeks to go. What can we achieve?!

A wild day at Lion Buttress, Round Crag - 'Mane Vision' E4 6b * + Video!

Sam on the start of the cruxy, 'Mane Vision' E4 6b

Darkness and a 1 hour blast in the space of 3 days at Round Crag had seen Franco and I discover another fine unclimbed line. Lion Buttress, the host to a couple of fine lower grade routes, also contains a central wall, spilt by a traverse crackline, 'The Kitten' (VS).

Franco had previously attempted to climb direct through the break and in the dark he said the climbing was thin and excellent, if only he knew where the next hold was! I had returned with him to try it and my first attempts too showed that a quality sequence of moves, protected by good gear with a tricky little fall was the routes character, something i liked the sound of.

Focussing hard, it's a long way to that tiny crimp

Franco, had trashed his tips on several attempts at yarding on the thin, two finger crimp but eventually stood up and looking comfortable and in the sunlight this time, he reached to a tiny protrusion. Balanced and comfortable, it was a matter of just reaching the sloping crimp on the micro-ledge... Bang.
Franco hurted down to my position with yells of anguish. The protrusion had snapped! Bugger!

Huuge reach
It was now a straight dyno to the sloping crimp, using reflex strength in your left arm and the tiny two finger edge with your right, you would have to pop again with your right and hold the swing. 6c move for sure.
Franco, desperately got closer and closer to hanging the crimp taking some unbalanced, sideways falls and I, lacking the reflex strength never really got close to hanging the crimp. There had to be another way.

The vicious winds of the moor tops were battering, relenting for short, 10 second periods of calmer, warmth. It was a chilly day and the conditions on the rock, were good...but i didn't think the wind was conjective to success, not only that I was scared at the prospect of Franco managing the sloping crimp dyno hold and me being resigned to accepting i was unable to pull off such a feat. I pulled up again clipping the gear and chilling at the 'Kitten break'. I pulled on, left hand into the 3 finger pocket/edge. Closed to a powerful crimp. Right hand on the pinch undercut getting my feet up into the break and then in one fluid movement rocking up to and holding the tiny, finger splitting edge. This time, I felt more composed, in balance and fiddling my feet about i through caution to the wind and pushed a couple of fingers from my left hand onto the stub of the broken protrusion. The 'gaston' held and i was stuck two fingers on a gaston, two fingers on a unforgiving, but excellently shaped little crimp.

I stood for what felt like an age. This wasn't some wierd out of body experience, it was windy as hell and i held the position for the best part of 20 seconds, battling to avoid being ripped off the wall. I could see, just about the grey, sloping edge and while stood motionless, i visualised deadpointing it. Over and over.

I popped and at the same time, unconciously tried to snare my left toe against the break for balance. It worked, allowing me just enough time to hang the sloper before my left food followed me around to the right. Ground up and now facing a ledge hitting fall, i was scared. I reached up higher and scrabbling for feet, I nearly threw it all away with the mantle finish. It was complete.

I was happy, but also gutted. I felt the wall was going to become a dynamic test piece, but if i'm honest i'm just glad to have climbed it in a really fitting style, ground up. And i wouldn't have managed the dyno, so i shouldn't complain!

Franco then, utlising my beta made a quick ascent. We were unsure whether the 'more static' beta was indeed worth E5 6c, unlike the dynamic stretch... I think it's probably E4 6b with the static crimping which wasn't how we were trying it originally.It's a quality challenge, quite contrary to the bold lines of Round Crag proper.

Sam then tried the line, but struggling to manage the huge rockover to the tiny crimp, he didn't quite manage to hold it, firing off and rather nastily scraping the front of his shin. I could see white on the front of his shin and i bricked it, asking him to show me the wound quickly. Fortunately it was just a fatty layer, which i really should have come to the conclusion of quicker, due to his reputation for having chubby little legs...

All in all, a wild day up on Blakey in the roaring wind. The buttress, with it's Lion/Big Cat theme had to be adhered to and we felt 'Mane Vision' was a good attempt at keeping with the Lion theme and also a bit of a remark to the fact it was climbed, eventually, the way we were attempting it at first!

A hard (for me) route which is well protected where it matters and is in contrast to the poorly protected routes of Round Crag. I feel it's a useful addition to a crag in a great setting which i really hope starts to see a bit of traffic. A brilliant day out at E5, Honey Arete, Farndale Fayre and Vampiric Obsession, using Heel of Approval to get yourself warmed up to boldness! Then a well protected struggle with Mane Vision!

Mane Vision E5 6c, Round Crag. Ground up FA from Dave Warburton on Vimeo.

Saturday, 27 August 2011

To wrap up a decent summer...

Time feels like it's running out, fast. There's so much i want to do, both established routes and the FA's we're desperate to get done while we are both based in the Moors.

Established Routes:

1. Magic in the Air - I'll happily tick this with the siderunner at E5. If it feels nice, then i'd be interested in the actual line, which without side runner is E6/7   - Done with E5 side runners. Awesome route!

2. Stratagem - The E4/5 testpiece of Ravenscar is off putting as it's awkward and hard and easy to blow at the top - which i hate.

3. Hanging at High Noon - E4 slabby wall at High Crag. Steve and Karin's route that gets the stars, but will need a damn good clean! Might try to get some action shots of Warrior too? - Got Warrior shots and found a project

4. A Reach Too Far - The E2 6a (1pt aid) was freed by Steve Crowe and Karin Magog and is rated at ***. This esoteric gem has to be on the list, will be very interesting to see the how the quality is!

5. Farndale Fayre - Steve Crowes' E5 arete. Short in height but big in impact. You get a good photo to, if I can get the bottle and a 3rd person for photos! Don't think i have time to get stoked for Pippi or Scut de scun Ai. - Done, headpoint after being shown the sequence by Steve.

6. Grand Master Flash - Bouldery then thin up top. I must be able to give this a good go onsight now? Given E5 but has been proposed to be an E4.. not sure about this though?

7. Pyscho Syndicate - Extremely thin and very bouldery. Given 7a back in the day of 7b's due to sustained nature by the F.A and described as the 'hardest move in the world' (at the time) by R. Fawcett on a repeat. It is now graded 6b, but can only be desribed as nails!

8. Time Captain, Love or Confusion, Res Publica, Cardiac Arrest, Teesside Twitcher and Three Screaming Popes would be excellent too - far fetched though! - Did the Web - E5 6a**

First Ascents:

1. Otter Direct - The blunt rib at Danby is my project!. Currently the direct start to the 'Otter Wilderness Route' is regarded by myself and Franco as one of the very boldest routes in the Moors. The climbing sees a crux at around 4 metres at 6b. With sustained top end 5c above. There is no gear and the fall is doubled by the cliff below the route which has an ominous hole too... E7 6b.  - Done. 'Howl Psyche' E7 6b*

2. Vulcan Arete and Moose Wall - Franco's projects but they require time and attention from me too. Danby will be a ridiculously well routed crag in the high grades when achieved. Jungle Grooves could go too but at E6 6a, it might be a straight choice between Otter and Jungle in terms of not taking too many risks...
Jungle Grooves climbed at E6 6a by Franco, now called 'The Battle for Tripoli' also did Franco's Wall project 'Die By the Sword' - E7 6c!

3. Kay Nest Wall - I've not really looked at it in regard to free ascents, but i've heard it's E7 6c, well protected by original, hand drilled minature bolts which may or may not hold... Finishes with a dyno to an edge or something horrid.

4. The White Groove - Hopefully the coastal super route, at a run out and sustained 6b this is considered E7. It just needs a couple of days dry weather and then a warm, full day as it's a bit of a drive from the main moors. - Given another clean and sorted a sequence. Tricky, physical climbing leading to a bold top section.

5. Puma Wall - The wide wall, with a break at half height on Lion Buttress. It was attempted by Franco in the dark and he said it would go. Climbing is top end 6b with good gear - a well protected tester. E4 6b is a tentative guess. - (DONE!) - Mane Vision E5 6c

6. Otter Arete - The left arete of the newly discovered Otter Hill Bastion - bold and probably E4+

I will not do all of this, but it would be excellent to do a handful of each list! And the rest will have to be done whenever i return in the future! Stoked.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Honey Arete - Round Crag

No silly videos or action shots today, after a dodgey morning of car related troubles and such, we eventually got ourselves to Round Crag. I was not stoked for Danby today and i was looking forward to trying 'Honey Arete', which meant hoping that our drainage work had been successful.

The ground below, usually perma-boggy was a beautiful dampish, sort of solid, but now without worry of getting muddy and wet. What an improvement!

We observed the tall, elegant arete and commented on the two obvious cruxs, one past the pocket at 3metres and then the top section which looks thin. I was psyched out by this and having previously Shunted the starting moves with Steve Ramsden didn't really mind a quick rap down to clean holds and then shunt back up to check how it climbed, Franco was off looking at Scut de Scun Ai.

We both elected that a 'fielder' below was a much better option than photos on this occasion and with the confidence of a human impact reduction, Franco then, similarly to 'Vampiric Obsession', onsighted the climbing following my cleaned holds and i quickly did similar with the knowledge of my own pre-inspection.

Franco at the top of Honey Arete
The arete is graded E5 6b*** and i would fully agree with the quality when it is clean. Hopefully a few more ascent over the next year or so may keep the holds lichen free... The grade is a funny one, it's extremely bold but the landing is flat. The actual 6b crux may be ok to jump off from, but i wouldn't like to slip. I would regard the top, thin smeary section to be very serious. Good effort to Franco for onsighting it!

Myself, chuffed even if it was a headpoint

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Snotterdale Crag - New Routes and bouldering (Video!)

Felt un-stoked for Danby today, but still in the mood to climb. I was actually looking forward to maybe repeating some probably un-repeated lines and the best place for that we decided was 'Snotterdale', the blacksheep of the Scugdale family.

I'd been before and climbed the excellent E2 of Desperandum, which is reason enough to go alone. However our last visit had made us aware of an FA or two. There were also a couple of E3's which are Steve Brown and Dave Paul routes, i think, which are always interesting to try to climb!

Carrying on the current tradition of looking for warm up boulder problems at these cliffs, we soon found a rather cool looking prow system. The rock was clean and the holds provided were really good! A quick look and soon a quality, albeit short sequence was put to use. It's a tricky one to grade, but there is a definitive crux and we decided a Font 6c* would probably suffice. It could be a tad easier? Either way, we were both certain it was a very worthwhile little problem to do at the crag.

Font 6c - Wizard's Prow

Wizard's Prow

We the turned our attention to the line we had spotted last year. An obvious hanging crack, slightly remeniscent of 'Strapadictomy', but obviously a statement to be taken with a pinch of salt!

Franco was stoked to climb the line onsight. But it was in serious need of a clean, so i volunteered. However Franco was adament that a onsight/ground up ethic was in place on the line and that he was capable of climbing the line while cleaning...

Long story short is he was. After two or three gos up and down, cleaning as he went he said he fancied a crack on lead. The small tricams, cams and mid sized sideways nut providing the gear in the horizontal break. A quick rockover to a gaston and then a relaxed 'flow' onto this allows the top to be reached. I then repeated the line with the beta of Franco's successful ascent, but the crux couple of moves are excellent.

An odd climb to grade, as the gear is ok but the landing isn't perfect. It's not high, but the move is tricky. It's a 6a move and the gear is there but it might not stop you hitting the small series of ledges and, it may well pull out? We opted for E4 6a** and named it 'Snotterdictomy'...

After this i was interested to either climb 'Soothsayer' a rather cool looking E1 5b wall climb, or 'Sixth Sense' an interesting slabby wall at E3 6a. I opted to look at Sixth Sense and quickly gave it a clean which it was in dire need of! I then soloed the line, eventually making the unbalancing and bold move to the pocket at the top. I then panicked and asked for Franco to run around for a rope. However while he did this i remembered what i was doing and made the move ok. The top out is a bit rank though! Franco said he wasn't really that interested in it, but i told him it was good. He repeated it and agreed it was a worthwhile climb, certainly worth a * which is doesn't receive currently.

The midges arrived in a bad way, so we quickly climbed the quite long, angled arete at the lower tier which went at Font 6b** which has a couple of really good moves including a long slap for a sloper. Excellent!

Taken in poor light with the last life in the camera - The long and very cool Font 6b arete, 'Lady of the Lake'.

The film below might be a bit shite, as i have put both ascents of all the routes on, in an attempt to help get an idea of how to climb the routes, Franco will often LANK lines and i'll often make things look desperate...

Snotterbad Little Movie... from Dave Warburton on Vimeo.

Monday, 15 August 2011

Palma Ham - Font 6c (video) - Danby Crag

We noticed a large slab, covered in moss and dripping wet and i cleaned it of the thick of the moss yesterday. The intention was to progressively just keep cleaning the slab as it dried over the days and weeks... however returning to Danby today, it looked a good deal drier than yesterday.

I first had a shunt of 'Otter Wilderness Direct' the E7? 6b route just to the left of The Hypocrisy of Moose. It's very good, two star and bold as brass. Really look forward to it and i'm hoping to find myself in a similar state of mind and ability as Fresh Arete last year.

Anyway, after this we gave the slab a look and after a quick clean from Franco he quickly soloed the upper slab with a large rockover. I however was scared by the fact the rock, when stood on or crimped, turned a damp dark brown colour. I tried Franco's method and quickly chickened out asking for a rope, which i used to clean a few more holds and practice the top moves, which was now more to my liking and then made a similar rock over but with different hands. Excellent little slab, something the moors lacks.

Franco then quickly (his second attempt) managed the direct from the ground over the undercut start, utilising the flake on the right of the 'roof'. He did it stylishly with a heel and an egyptian move to get established. I, after a few more attempts, was happy with the heel but found i would flounder while crimping on the wetting holds, but eventually managed a very ungainly and shin scraping entrance to the upper slab.

Franco rocking onto the Slab

Awkward little move

Excellent slab climbing, shame it doesn't keep going and going

The crag now has arguably 4 quality boulder problems, with the Ravine Boulder hosting a Font 6b+ Arete and a Font 6c Traverse. Chocolate Moose is a highball Font 6c+ arete which is hopefully going to become popular and now this slab, a rarity in the moors, should *hopefully* attract some attention to Danby Crag. Moreover, another E7 in the form of the Otter Wilderness Direct, should attract some attention too. Stoked.

Palma Ham E2 6a (font 6c) - Danby Crag from Dave Warburton on Vimeo.

Sunday, 14 August 2011

An outsider ventures where few dare go... (video)

Franco invited his fellow Manchester Uni climber Jack Metcalfe, up to the Moors for a day of boshing out our recent developments at Danby. Jack was psyched and laden with 4 mats between us, we had a line-up for what was going to get done.

Jack warmed up with a swift and assured onsight of 'Jungle Drum' - E4 6a**, confirming the grade and quality and also that myself and Franco were right in downgrading after the discovery of the 'easier' start. Cracking route though, get out there and get on it.

Jack, cruising the Jungle Drum (E4) onsight.

We then moved onto the current Danby development centre, 'The Ravine' where myself and Jack were stoked to repeat Franco's, 'Chocolate Moose' - E5 6c*. Jack quickly figured out a sequence and was soon 'boshing' his way up the larger holds at the top of the arete and pulled through the horrific top out. I then managed the same feat after 2 or 3 false starts and a jump off the top out... thankfully the 4 mats were put to good use and the manner we ascended the route was deemed a highball Font 6c+ and after contemplation the grade of E4 6b*** was considered correct but for once it appears this arete is probably best approached above a stack of pads!

Franco then showed Jack his two current projects, the blunt rib and the 'E7' arete, which he felt wasn't far away from being completed.

The final actions of the day were a quick, infact flash, of 'Body Torque' (font 7b/7b+) by Jack. A very impressive ascent, quite faultless and quite useful as it was midgey are fook up there in the windless conditions!

Excellent day out, good to have the quality and grade comparison from Jack and hopefully this may spur a few more folk to repeat or go searching for FA's too.

Another Danby day out, with Franco, Dave and Jack from Dave Warburton on Vimeo.

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Bit more bouldering... (V11 video)

An odd day. We both felt weak and a bit tired after yesterdays quite 'full on' day, which involved digging ditches, Font7b+ bouldering and some route cleaning, not to mention the walk ins.

Anyhow, we opted for the quickly drying Wainstones as the light rain fell and we opted for just boulder mats. Franco had talked of 'being able to do' Steve McClure's V11/Font 8a heinous problem 'The Finger'. The problem involves a small sidepull and a mono which is an old bolt hole.

I looked at the problem and thought it would be very risky for an 12st lump to start yarding on singular digits while they are in very 'tweaky'pockets or in this case, bolt hole. After a bit of warming up and 2 or 3 'practice' runs, Franco suddenly nailed the top hold and began his oddly familiar dance of victory with obligatory rockshoe throwing.

Not a bad effort on what was, until recently, the very hardest boulder problem on the Moors, but i do believe some of the recent work at Oak Crag may have changed this?

A tad disgruntled that my physique and psyche didn't allow me to do more than just hold position on the mono and sidepull, so i seeked out Jas Wood's 'Fade To Grey' - Font 7a* a thuggy sideways boulder problem situation under the omonous Garfit Buttress. After a 1st go to check the sequence and figure the thuggy, groping top out, it went second go and i did it again for good measure. Very nice.

Danby, Stormy Hall and Round Crag

Feeling 90% after my recent shingles episode, I was looking foward to climbing. Franco had returned from the Lakes where he had been a couple of days, just after me.
The weather was pretty piss. Raining and grey with no real look of brightening up we waited until it had stopped and set off for Danby, both myself and Franco convincing ourselves it would remain dry.
For a sheltered, north facer it had coped well but 'Chocolate Moose' E5 6c had unfortunately developed a wet streak. Franco and I decided it was just a day for cleaning and 'looking', but we soon gave in as it was apparent the rock was actually a bit too damp to clean on 'Otter Direct'. Franco had just had a clean and shunt of 'Death Arete' which meant the trip was not a complete waste.

I was a bit disappointed by the lack of climbing and i was really interested to see if i was capable of climbing my best after the lay off and the pain in my back from the shingles. The day i fully developed shingles, i had fancied popping up to Stormy Hall and repeating Steve Ramsdens' 'Body Torque' Font 7b+ from sit, so see how it related to 'Paparazzi Arete' at Clemmitt's Crag Boulders.

Franco was stoked for this and the 'free falling' pinnacle takes no drainage so was a good bet to be dry and it was.
After some initial false starts and a visit from Dave Butler, walking home from a shift at the Lion Inn, we both eventually managed a very dynamic ascent of Body Torque.

Body Torque, Font 7b+ at Stormy Hall Boulders

After consulting Steve's Video's in the food-rich environment of Franco's kitchen, we saw how Steve ascended with a craft heel in the pocket myself and Franco put our right hand in. Anyway, if i go back i'll use a heel to make it more static.
Finally, with mist rolling in, we decided to leave Franco's house at 7pm to go to Round Crag. My thoughts here were to dig a trench allowing the free drainage of the boggy arete to the north of the buttress and also show Franco, 'Heel of Approval'.
Heel of Approval - E4 6b - Round Crag


 We did both these things, but the damp, misty conditions put Franco off an ascent of 'Heel...' and we then dug a rather belting drainage channel. All in all, a very mixed and useful day out on the Moors!

Gowbarrow Crag with Mother

I have thankfully seen the worst of my Shingles issue, the rash and associated pain diminishing fast and as a result climbing could recommence.
A family camping meet up in the lakes provided me with a couple of days of rest but on the final day, i took my Mum (a total non-climber) to Gowbarrow Crag to 'show her the ropes' as we both felt it may go some way to allowing her a better understanding of what safe practice is and such like - she was especially interested as a result of Franco and Lukes' escapades in the Alps (not really relevant) and also the events surrounding IanJacksons death.
Anyhow, the day was a success, after all the initial work of showing mum abseiling and prussics and belay set up, i set up a Top Rope on the lower buttress at Gowbarrow and mother very quickly despatched a 'Diff' crackline and a VD wall climb, after i had soloed them to show her climbing technique.
I was quite impressed, two faultless ascents of actual climbing the VD wall was actually on quite small holds for hands and feet and probably wasn't VD...

Suitably satisfied by mothers climbing ability i decided she would be able to give 'The Whistler' MVS 4b** a good go and it looks like good climbing and also a perfect situation to place some gear and get mum to 'second'.
I set off on solo, dragging a rope and placing gear to keep the rope on line for mums second, i didn't bother to teach mother to belay as it was unrequired on the day and i quickly made my way to the top of that excellent route. It's well worth a quick pop up if you are in the area perhaps?

Mum seconded again with very little issue, a slight struggle to get past the roof but another clean ascent - A fine effort!

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Illness - Shingles

The week that started with a walk around near Highcliffe and a couple of sessions at Round Crag, was a week I was constantly aware of a slight tenderness under my right arm and a painful upper shoulder/back.
While Soloing at Round Crag, i quickly decided enough was enough and left waking up the following morning in some discomfort. Still psyched and aware i was going to Surrey for the following week, i decided i HAD to go climbing again, so Clemmitt's proximity and the Font 7b arete was an ideal target, which i achieved.
 I did however feel pretty poor at Clemmitt's, in regard to my back being very painful and i returned home at 9.30 pm and went to bed.

I had a half plan to get up early before it got warm and go to 'Body Torque' the Font 7b+ boulder near my house, however, the morning was just too much of a pain and lethargy consumed time. I soon developed a small rash under my right arm and by the evening a fully blown angry rash from my chest to my back, only on the right side of my body.

Unfortunately, by this time we had arrived in Surrey so i popped into a NHS drop in centre and was quickly diagnosed with Shingles, something my mother and I had already come to the conclusion of.  Apparently, i must have experienced a great deal of stress recently, which affected my immune system - can only imagine it was the idea of all these FA's on the Moors and not enough time to climb them all! ;-)

 Should be cleared up in a couple of weeks or so, rash is still prevalent but hasn't spread to my left side of my body or any of hte adjacent nerve pathways - hopefully wont develop the after virus either, (as im on anti-virals) which can result in months to years of muscular pain... joys.

Psyched for more Moor's based action, with the added bonus that Adam Van Lopik has confirmed that Octopet climbs the slab to the left of Honey Arete and not the line of Vampiric Obsession. This is good on two fronts - 1. Vampiric will remain one of our FA's and is a good climb and 2. Octopet looks fooking ridiculous at E4!!! Can't wait to give it a look now!