Friday, 2 March 2012


An afternoon off uni on Wednesday and after a couple of dry days, i was interested in doing a bit of highball soloing and short trad to get back into the swing of things; a winter of bouldering left me feeling a bit wary of trad. Uninspired by the prospect of Baildon, Almscliffe or similar i put forward the idea of Thruscross to Huw and he was keen.

We arrived, via a pleasant drive out of leeds at Thruscross reservoir and walked up to the deer fence and along the moorland side until the second large gate. Here we walked down to the Washburn Walls and Thruscross Boulder.

Huw and I quickly geared up and in turn climbed the E1 5b*, High Lair, which climbs a short interesting cracked wall before heading right below a bulge to step back onto the arete and finish in a good position on clean rock. A strange little route but a worthy warm up. Huw then did the HVS to the left and cleaned the top section which was a tad green.

I then fancied a crack at Ratlin' Row E3 5c**, which ascends a short steep wall to a break below a roof, before breaking out right to a jug and mantling to the top. I worked out the start and popped up into the break and placed some runners. Reaching out to the jug with my right, i matched and held the swing before throwing a right heel on to the shelf. Rocking over, i reached over to the top of the wall and deciding going further back was a good idea, i palmed into a mossy, wet moorland... oooops. With a wet hand, i struggled to gain purchase on the top and facing a boulder strewn landing (the gear being pretty useless here) i managed to pullover. Phew! I cleaned the top section and unearthed a friendly crimp and Huw repeated the route, second go.

We wandered to look at the E3 6b crack 'Laughter Lines' which looks like good fun and worth going back for as well as the E2 aretes, E6 6c arete and E4? 6b crease all on the Thruscross boulder.

However, the short evening time constraints meant we seaked out the classic, 'Heart of Oak' E1 6a. This is a lovely little square cut arete and after a few false starts, i managed to figure out the crux. I topped out on the right handside, as it seemed sensible to do so? Then while i had a play on the dirty E3 traverse on this buttress, Huw bouldered out the quality crimpy low level traverse.

We finished at Landslide buttress with Huw soloing the interesting and varied Severe and myself enjoying a quick solo of 'Dam It All' E2 5c, a route up the undercut wall with a high, committing step at half height. Sat at the top with a lovely view of the dam, it was a very good decision to head to Thruscross which had dried completely in the two days following on from rain on Monday. There was a lot of very pleasant looking bouldering and i'll certainly be heading back for a bash on a few of the other things there. Shame Beanstalk buttress probs won't come in till the summer?    

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