Thursday, 11 October 2012

Round Crag - Repeats and more...

Round Crag appears to be my 'go to' crag for a psyche shot in the arm. I've not been for a while and only really fancy Scut de Scun ai (E7), mainly as I dislike the landing of Pippi (E6) which can be attempted highball style (lower section anyway). Anyhow, recently Sam and Matthew plugged a couple of gaps with some good looking solos.

Vampiric Recession, E3 5c*, climbs the wall right of Vampiric Obsession (E5). It always looked worth doing, but I had not bothered with it and was pipped to the post by the lads. They also established a quick solo up the left arete of the unclimbed northside area of the pinnacle; this arete is Idle Ignorance, E2 5c.

Arriving at the crag I warmed up, then soloed Idle Ignorance. It's a short solo above a hole-ridden landing. I climbed up to some crimps then rocked rightwards around the arete onto a smear. I was pretty stuck in this position and sat here on my toe for some time above the much lower ground away from the ledge. Bricking one's pants, I stood up and finished the climb off. It felt E4 5c! I knew I must have climbed the route differently to the lads as they'd not mentioned it being quite so necky... I quickly set a rope up and re-shunted the line, this time staying left of the arete. This made more sense actually and I was a bit miffed I didn't climb it 'properly' first time. A dodgy landing and probs E2 5b/c, however a pad would make this a good little highball so worth a punt I reckon.

Now fully happy the lads were not infact sandbagging, I quickly abseiled down to check the top of Vampiric Recession. Matthew had a comment on this blog saying something about "pulled on loose heather which came out but another solid part held!". I decided to see if I could clean the top, but unearthed a decent bush root and also a couple of blocks which are solid. Good! I cleaned the holds, including a few smaller very dirty holds which obviously weren't used on the FA. Starting from the ledge, the route is instantly serious in feel. Some nice holds lead to a standing position on the initial hand holds and then, a rather cool crux at height leads into the root and rock top out. E3 5b I thought for this, as a couple of the little footholds made the top easier than doing it without I reckon? I'm not sure though, I suppose 5c is pretty easy (overall) but if this was 5c I think it was E4? Nice route, I'm glad it climbs well and that the lads got it done and dusted.

My shunt of Idle Ignorance had reminded me of the small crimps and holds on the wall to the right. I've cleaned this wall on a couple of occasions, but never really got around to sorting holds/sequences/figuring out where to start! I usually thought about starting from the gully below and in the centre before trending left. Another option was to trend leftwards across the slab from 'Heel...'.

However, on this day, I realised there was a series of moves to be made starting from the grassy ledge of Idle Ignorance. Stepping off the block, you teeter into a hanging corner before making some powerful moves utilising a couple of crimps, one positive and one slopey. A quick foot step through, left to right, then a re-step through right-to-left on an inclined hold, makes up what is the crux move onto a smear. Cool! From here a final insecure move leads to the nicely angled slab to the top. I was surprised by this little chop route, as I had tried to pull through the roof direct, further to the right and was annoyed that nothing climbed this wall. Admittedly, nothing does climb the centre of the wall, so i'll see if anything can be done to rectify that. I don't think it will be that good, but it's a local crag... The new route is probably E6 6a. It feels similar to 'Battle For Tripoli' and also probably my most quoted route 'Ginny Greenteeth'. The move is tricky but it isn't 6b, I don't think. Even so i'm fairly sure the route is 'only' E6, even if it is 6b...? The route might be able to start from below, I didn't try the other day as I enjoyed the sequence across from the ledge... Feel free to go and do it from the ground! :-)

So, a couple more lower grade Extremes at Round Crag, which although not *** are well worth attention for Moors aficionados. My new route is just another chopper, if it gets flashed I apologise for shunting the FA... Not decided on a name yet but as I'm currently looking for a job, it might be one of my last new routes as a jobseeker... (HOPEFULLY OF COURSE!) but we'll see.

Black - Octopet (E4/5), Green - Honey Arete (E5), Small Red - Vampiric Obsession (E5). Blue - Idle Ignorance (E2) and Right-Most Red - New Route (E6)

Friday, 5 October 2012

Clemmitt's additions and Psycho Syndicate

Sam and Matthew have been busy, finally climbing the once-pegged crack at Clemmitt's found just to the right of 'Yellow Brick Road'. Franco, Twig and I had jokingly claimed the line and called it 'Welcomed Back to the Beaver Pack', after looking at the route in the pouring rain. We estimated a grade of E4 6b for the crack in full.
Sam and Matthew climbed the crack flash, climbing from a tree up the crack to the rocking-but-solid block and making an excellent move to the arete at E3 6a. A brilliant addition and better for ignoring the overhanging start by stepping in from the ledge. The upper crack remains though, so I gave it a quick shunt and it indeed does climb at about E4 6b. A shame that its eliminate to go direct, as you can move left at 6a, as otherwise it would be excellent. Still worth doing I might do them both on lead in the future.

Sam and Matthew also quickly dispatched a slab to the right of the crack. I gave it a top rope and agreed it was worthwhile climbing, which starts with an unprotected 6b move, before decent but tricky to place gear and an exciting 6a safe finish. E5 6b for this route I think they gave it and I agree.

Yesterday, alone, I wandered up to the Wainstones to see if my recent board training and mental thinking about Psycho Syndicate had made a difference. I have elected to shunt this line as I was a bit scared of jumping off higher up as the ground is uneven and is probably about as hard, technically as i can climb. Anyway, I quickly found I was much stronger than last time I tried and found I could indeed make the moves which I was delighted about.

The start is a tad reachy but you soon find yourself on a foot ledge with hands in slots. From here Franco made a move up using a mono pocket and high step. I found my finger was unable to fit in the slot so I decided to try it another way. Martin Parker had posted beta on Franco's blog so i decided to try that. It felt like it would work on my last visit. Martins method is to gain a poor left hand sidepull/undercut, which you can get 3 fingers on, but you end up pulling on just one (which is currently wrapped in tape! Ouch). From here I found I had to get very 'straight on', rather than sideways as i'd have expected, in order to get my right foot to step through on to an edge. I had failed before on this not trusting my shoes but here with a newer set i found the move much friendlier. A powerful stand up to a mono/ or two finger razor edge if you crimp the outer part of the hole before and technical foot move and heel use. Scary. A powerful and bold feeling cross through leads to the top. Wild!