Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Otter Hill E6

We've been back to Otter Hill twice since last summer, on both occasions to check out the left arete of the buttress and on both occasions we were heavily rained on. This left a bit of a disgruntled impression of the crag for us and it felt as though we'd never return this summer. However, after an extremely windy half session at Ingleby, with Franco getting a tad further ground up on Time Captain RH, we decided to wander to the more sheltered Otter Hill for another look.

Franco had abseiled the line previously and we had wanted to ground up flash the new line. However, this led to the wasting of time that resulted in major dampening incidents of the past. Today we decided to quickly top rope the line to ensure a quick dispatch. I was pleased we did.

The lower wall leads quickly to some gear at around 3 metres. From here to the top break, each move takes you further into unprotected soloing. A sustained and interesting series of moves lead up the wall to the right of the arete and an enjoyable reach provides a break and gear. From here a pump-inducing top out can be made finishing with a flourish with the aid of lichenous slopers, heather and heels. Great stuff.

The route itself was not how I thought it would be, being quite tricky to suss the moves and being further between holds than it looked from below. No moves are harder than 6a, but the overall sustained feeling and increasing seriousness with the potential for decking off at least one move, possibly two, means a grade of E5+ or E6- seemed prudent. It's a strange one, very easy climbing but not really safe. H4 for the headpoint but hard E5 or even E6 to onsight. It felt a good notch easier than Ginny Greenteeth (E6 6a) but that is unsustained and pretty obvious and also has two no hands rests... So i suppose an easy E6 is a hard E5 and that seems about right...  


Adam Hughes said...

Good to see you have been getting loads done Dave. I'd be keen head up your way and experience some of the crags that are closer to me, which ones would work for a long day?

Dave Warburton said...

From Leeds it takes about 1.5 hours to get to Guisborough. So it would actually be about 50minutes or so to get to the likes to Whitestonecliffe & Peak Scar. They have some excellent long pitches on wierd limestone, but are best at S-E1 sort of grades.

I reckon you'd really like Highcliffe, above Guisborough. Home to some great technical pitches, with a some of the best E1's, E3's and E4/5's in the area. You could tick all of them in a day I reckon... Needs a day to dry off after a deluge as it's north facing but is excellent to climb at this time of year.

Ravenscar and the Wainstones are well worth combining too, this as well is about 1.5hrs or so from leeds. Got some great little routes on perfect rock and also home to some longer pumpy routes and power fests at E1-E5, Ali Baba E2 and West Sphinx Direct E3, Satchmo E2, Fever Pitch E2 and Stratagem E5 being the most obvious.

I'll be around in the near future and we currently have a photographer up on't Moors getting some snaps for his collection/magazine use.