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.

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