Monday, 2 April 2012

A sunny day out...

The last day of nice weather forecast, so i decided to make a day of it. (Un)fortunately the weather was even warmer and sunnier than i had bargained for and as I sat at the bottom of Oak Wall (Font 7b), looking at all the chalk at the crag - which was nice, i decided i was probably in for a trouncing. It didn't take long.
After a warm up traversing the lower wall, i pulled on and jumped for the sloper - this is pretty big move for me and the holds were sharp. I wasn't really stoked and after 4 or 5 goes, I left. Too hot, too sharp and too hard!

I remembered about Round Crag bouldering - me and Franco had done bits and pieces along the craglets between the Pinnacle and Lion Buttress years ago, but Lee and chums had recently documented a few things here and there - not that we know what they are. I got to work on the Rainbow Wall, a quarried feature which i knew Mike Adams had put an 8a on. I warmed up on a great rock over 6a problem then spent a bit of time on eliminating the black flake to make it a 7a with a monster reach to an iron break.

I didn't know whether Mikes 8a went direct up the features to the left or not, but i couldn't be arsed to prat on in the full sun, so next, enjoyed a 6b+ on the adjacent buttress, starting up the direct rib (5) before following obvious holds rightwards to a jug. Enjoyable climbing.

Sam turned up and we climbed a sit start on the next buttress on. Start in a cave and rt hand in pocket pull up to the ledge and mantle to the wall above which is climbed on pleasant sidepulls. I couldn't grade this, it might be 6c but it could be easier? I then tried an inviting hanging groove, but unfortunately it was too warm and too dirty to get stood up at the crux. A shame. Felt like it would be 6c?ish with a spicy feel. Would be interesting to know how the grades compare to Lees, I assume he's done all of these things.

Finally, when the heat of the day passed, i was on my way to Camp Hill. I abbed down to check out the 'main face' which to be honest was a little disappointing. The lower wall would be a dyno i think above a horrendous landing, however the top wall looked good, with some small gear. Not really sure it's a worthwhile FA but one to do maybe on a 'day off'. I finished up shunting and soloing 'Waves Within' E4+ 6a/b. It is give E3 6a in the guide and i remember Franco onsighting it back in the day, sketchily. I did not, and i couldn't remember if i had jumped off or downclimbed, so i decided i probably had already lost the onsight anyway! The lower wall is technical as always and then large rock over to the lower, (greasy on the day) pocket felt pretty straightforward, after all my rock over practice at Round Crag! Strange feeling, i remember thinking it was a heinous move back in the day. It's a shame the rockover will deposit you in the broken- ground below - pretty scary. However, my left hand was above where you'd get a small tri-cam or cam so perhaps they are 'on route'.

Plenty of chalk at Camp Hill too, this recent weather has obviously got folk climbing - which is good.

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