Friday, 16 September 2011

Danby - Aretes, Offwidths, Bold Walls and boulder problems. Phase 1 of re-development complete

Franco and I have completed the 1st wave of re-development at Danby Crag, a fine crag now boasting a brilliant wealth of difficult and excellent routes. The culmination of this frantic summers work was a quick headpoint by Franco of the bold, hard and brilliant 'Die by the Sword' followed by the discovery and ascent of 'Stalin' a quality offwidth struggle.

Danby this year has seen the addition of routes all across the escarpment at grades, generally in the E-grades. However, part of our relationship with this crag was to develop any unclimbed lower grade routes too or to clean / publicise any excellent forgotten routes.

2011 development has added the following to Danby:

The Jungle Drum - E4 6a**  Classy arete climb with gear at half height

Jack Metcalfe on 'The Jungle Drum'

The Polish Diplomat - E5 6b* Wall climb, with adequate gear at half height and a very hard pull to gain the top

Dave Warburton on 'The Polish Diplomat'
Chocolate Moose - E4 6b** A leaning, highball arete that is font 6c+ above plenty of pads

Franco Cookson soloing 'Chocolate Moose'

Palma Ham - E2 6b (Font 6c) A hard rockover leads to a slab. Providing a rare opportunity for moors padding.

Dave Warburton padding up 'Palma Ham'

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

The Battle For Tripoli - E6 6a** The Danby frightener. Continual interest up the groove to a horrifying step onto the arete, above a huge fall

Howl Psyche - E7 6b* Another serious outing climbing through a low roof via dynamics or gymnastics. Massive fall potential

Dave Warburton Soloing the frightening 'Howl Psyche'

Die By The Sword - E7 6c** Brilliant, fingery and sustained moves up the wall right of The Hypocrisy of Moose. A running belayer won't stop you hitting the ground, though it will lessen your journey down the steep bank!

Franco post-crux on the outrageous 'Die By The Sword'
Stalin - E3 5b** The pinnacle offwidth is steep. It has good hand and footholds on the wall however to aid progress. Very low runners are of little help, though huge cams will make this one safe (and lower the grade!)

Dave Warburton - struggling to overcome 'Stalin'

We also established some fine boulder problems in the 'Ravine' area and also below 'Twin Aretes' Buttress.

Vulcan Bloc Arete - Font 6b+** The photogenic arete is climbed from sit to a tricky top section. Eliminates abound.

Dave Warburton bouldering out 'Vulcan Bloc Arete'

Marine Band Traverse - Font 6c* The obvious traverse of the odd, wavy break. Strenuous and powerful.

The Effervescent Pheasant - Font 6c+/Font 7a*** The brilliant arete, found deep in the woods is climbed from sit.

The Effervescent Pheasant from Dave Warburton on Vimeo.

Aside from our new routes, we also cleaned, photographed and reviewed the quality of:

Osiris - HVS 5a** Now given two stars this obvious crackline is sustained and tricky. Excellent climbing but still a tad dirty.

Roosevelt - VS 4c** The underrated crack and slab is clean. Protected at the hard bit it has a tricky, unprotected start. Excellent climbing

Dave Warburton leading the impressive 'Roosevelt'

Valiant - VS/(mild)HVS 5a*** The superb groove-crack is barred by a protectable, tricky bulge to start. Excellent moves past this allow the well protected groove to be enjoyed. Superb climbing.

Sam Marks enjoying an ascent of the terrific 'Valiant'

Castle Ridge - VS 4c**  Originally graded VD (along with the rest of the buttress) this tricky climb is finally given a more fitting grade and contains some great climbing. The rest of the routes on this buttress are less tricky.

Creeper Wall - VD**  This remains the same as it was, but it is very pleasant and clean currently.


Simon C said...

Good work!
Pleased to see the upgrade of Castle Ridge. I reckoned VS 4b but with a 4c boulder-problem start and was worried that it might really be VDiff and I was even crapper than I thought!
Valiant I thought VS 5a but fell off on lead and resorted to a top rope.
About time I went back...

Dave Warburton said...

Cheers Simon,

Yes, clean them clean get on some of the other routes too! :-)

Feel free to let us (or steve) know any feelings you have on grades and route quality if you do anything on the Moors. The guidebook is in rewrite currently.

Thought Valiant was harder (though well protected) compared to many other Peak and indeed Moor's VS's.


Franco Cookson said...

I chatted with some of the CMC who all seemed to think the start to castle was 5a, but I agree it's effectively a VS 4b* with a bouldery start.

Valiant is HVS in its usual state, if it was totally clean it would probably be a hard VS.

Great round up anyway Dave, it's been a good Danby season!