Monday, 27 February 2012

Clemmitt's Innit

Having never bouldered at Clemmitts in the woods, though i have had a rather nice couple of sessions on the 'out the woods' section, I decided to check it out rather than shunting at Round Crag or Danby. The weather had obviously been dryish for a couple of days by the feel of the air and i decided Clemmitts in the woods might be dry enough for a check out.
I arrived to a green-looking boulder field, but checking out the Cloud Nine boulder, i soon realised it was dry and climbable, even if the ground was damp and leafy. The tops of some of the boulders were seepy but not a major problem and the occasional cooling breeze would keep the climbing just right in the positively balmy, February warmth!

I warmed up with some quick onsights of Cloud Nine (6a), Princess Leia (6c) and the other pleasant slab things here and there. I then tried the rather cool looking leaning arete i had seen some photos of Sam trying a week or so earlier. Given 6c+ i thought it would provide a bit of working and the climbing looked good. However sitting down and pulling onto 'Arrogance of Youth' i soon found myself placing a bomber left heel and small left crimp, reach to a juggy pocket and up to a flatty. Match and mantle and over. Interesting climbing and a nice feature but seemingly no more than 6b+?

Buoyed by this, i sat down on the otherside of the boulder at Off the Rails (6c) and pulled up to a small crimp and lopped a left heel on and rocked into the juggy break. I topped out into the heather (!) and then sat down again and popped from the starting holds to the jug and then again to the slopy rail. Obviously this has cleaned up nicely as the climbing is no more than 6a+/6b. But adds to an excellent little circuit already.

I kept glimpsing views of a buttress with a horizontal crack that i'd seen a video of Franco doing some dynos on. I walked up and tried T-Rex (6c) and after a couple of goes to find out where to jump to, i found the sloper and got jumping. It didn't take long, before i was rocking onto the wet top and climbed back down the 5+ to access Dyno Saw (6b+). I thought this was just as hard, with a much larger dyno to a very good hold. Both really nice dynos and well worth doing. I then had a quick play on 'Sandman boulder' doing the weird left to right traverse (6b+) which is probably about 6a+ and then i did the 'project' which, i flashed at 6b, and was obviously one of Lee's 'left projects' for others to do.

Feeling a tad tired, but enjoying the feel of climbing after a few weeks off in nice weather with the dog for company, i sat under 'Iron Bru' on Iron Bar boulder. Given 7a in the guide, i figured out where the holds were and chalked and cleaned them. I pulled on and tenuously grabbed the crimps above. Up to a slopey and damp top i thought the climbing was more like 6c/6c+. I tried 'Iron Bar' (7a+/7b?) and found the climbing good, one to go back for.

The following day; psyched to check out a few other problems i quickly tried 'In the Bag' (7b+) but found the moves on slopers too hard for me in the balmy double figure temps... so i wandered to 'The Bear (7a/7a+) and spent around half an hour cleaning and slapping my way, desperately towards the top of this fridge hugging fest. However, with the dog looking on questioningly, i attempted to clamp my right heel on to the hanging column and found this was the secret. From this stable position i could pop to the flatties on top.
I finished the day climbing Coconut Mono (6b) without the old, now broken hold, which i felt was about 6b+ before spending 15 or 20 minutes figuring out Oaks Roof. This climbs well, but is marred slightly by snappy undercuts. However, its a nice little problem and is given 7a in the guide, but is on as V7 on UKC and suggested to be V5, also on UKC. I felt 6c+/7a in the way i did it so there!

Lovely place, easy walk in - i will go back again before the summer comes and the bracken makes the place generally unpleasant! Go to it, it's a cracking little place. Train at 'Boro wall and 'send' at Clemmitts. Buzzing.

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

The White Scoop and Waves of Inspiration

Franco and I have enjoyed developing the moors over the last couple of years and towards the back end of the summer managed to 'put up', two of our self-appointed best routes. My addition was the very bold, break-away line from 'Central Crack' (E2) which i headpointed over two days and decided on a grade of E7 6b***. Franco, over the same time period cleaned up and climbed a slabby wall, featuring beautiful scallops from the quarrying. This dynamic and arguably morphological climb was grade E7 6c/7a*** with Franco deciding on 6c after some musing.

We were both fairly confident about the grades and quality of our lines and looked forward to someone repeating them. In October, local strong-man Richard Waterton headed out of a pleasant day shunting the lines and got in touch to seemingly confirm their quality and grades. This was a pleasant surprise and the dialogue can be seen on Franco's Blog:

Dave Warburton on the F.A of 'The White Scoop'
The take home comments were that the franco's Waves was indeed around E7 6c** and around slabby F7b+. He suggested that the climbing was very good on excellent rock.
While Richard commented that my style on The White Scoop was indeed worth around E7*/**, however he questioned whether it was not worth climbing higher and placing gear off a left hand crimp to create a 'less suicidal' climb at around E6 6b. Also suggesting the climb was spoilt by sandy rock at the start. Basically questioning if 3*'s were applicable. However, it would seem these days that 3* has lost its 'national significance' meaning and would appear to reside with 'area classics' - We wouldn't want to the Moors to be left behind in the star-revolution!

"Going back to placing gear in the crack - when I top roped the route I followed the same line that you did (I didn't try traversing left higher up or anything) - my point was that I didn't think you'd have to climb up and down the crack to place a higher runner, but might instead be able to do this by reaching right off a reasonable crimp on the wall left of the crack, before moving left and doing the crux sequence up into the scoop. I didn't however test this out as I was busy trying not to fall off!"

Dave Warburton on the F.A of 'The White Scoop'

I would suggest that any future ascentionists check the top out is clean and enjoy it in any style they like. A moderately high runner at E6 or at the top of the crack at E5? to make a safe and excellent pitch, which i must admit crossed my mind but decided the FA was best done in the style i did it in... As i say, go and enjoy it in any style you like!

Richard didn't say any of the other lines were crap either! Except that 'Barry' the E4 on the largest boulder was extremely poor rock quality, which i must admit, i totally agree with. You'll be able to find a better E4 on the walls of the quarry somewhere, i'm sure!

Franco on the F.A of 'Waves of Inspiration'