Thursday, 13 September 2012

The end of the season... Billet The Kid (E5), Tormented Sole (E7), & No Expectations (E5)

With Franco returning to Manchester, our last ten days or so were a mixture of new routing and choosing the best place to get any climbing done depending on the weather. Generally very sunny, it allowed plentiful time out and about but perhaps not where we'd have liked. After quickly dispatching that 'sort-of-project', Weasel Arete, we decided we'd done enough new routes and we were best off focusing on stuff that inspired.

This summer has been a bit odd for me. Last year I managed two E7s but told myself this year I was only keen for safe climbing. Now for bog standard, non-strong climbers like me that means easier grades, as i'm still fairly sure i've yet to climb 6c on trad. Still there was plenty left to do which inspired for the both of us.

After Weasel Arete, we ended up checking out Tranmire, which affords some interesting test pieces but unfortunately we didn't have the time to fully check it out, so instead Highcliffe took up some of the slack on the extremely sunny and warm days, with a clean ascent of Moonflower (E4/5 6a/b) for me which was good as i've wanted to do it for years, having already done the direct. The next couple of days were less focused on us though, with the young upstart Sam accompanying us to the crags, we pointed him at classics and he dutifully ascended them in good style, with a ground up of Scarecrow Crack (E1), Stargazer (E3/4) and Moonflower Direct (E4). Excellent day out!

Sam also managed onsight ascents of Ali Baba (E2), Fever Pitch (E2), Mongol (E2), Yellow Peril (E3) over the next couple of days, with myself spending this time cleaning and climbing Yellow Peril at Beacon Scar and also cleaning and rehearsing No Expectations (E5 6b) at Landslip.
I had always looked on the wall left of Mongol at Beacon Scar and knew of Paul Inghams E2/3 that climbed the groove and crack system. It didn't get any stars and it looks a little eliminate low down but i decided to give it a good scrub while the lads were enjoying the superb Gehenna (HVS) and Mongol. After a right good scrub the climb was ready and I quickly despatched the line; tackling the groove direct which felt around 6a-ish. Good move and lovely high up. Better protected that the description suggests I think. Also the insitu tree is no more!

Similarly, while Sam enjoyed an ascent of Ali Baba at Wainstones, Franco and I ran to Landslip. I'd been on the line before on a strange evening with Richard and Phleppy, but didn't feel it on the day so backed off the idea of leading. However, with mid afternoon conditions feeling better than the previous attempt at dusk, It went with little issue. Several cool moves lead up a groove/blind flake system via shallow cams at half-height before some very thin feet allow some good slots to be reached higher up. Finishing leftwards towards the arete. Good stuff, glad we checked it out!

The summer ended with a quick headpoint by Franco of The Tormented Sole E7 6b ***, which climbs the arete of the Kraken Buttress. I had previously added a direct up the wall to the left, Billet The Kid E5 6a * which i really enjoyed climbing but it's not the 'main event'. Anyway, Franco managed a quick ascent and I managed to quickly link it on a Top Rope. I was stoked to try to repeat it in a session but we decided to head to Stoupe Brow instead... Would have been a tall order I reckon anyway. I just took the second!

Great stuff.