Thursday, 14 November 2013

Dovestones (Raven's Peak) - The Great Santini (E4) and Full Throttle (E4)

A crag i'd seen from a school bus years before I was into climbing. I remembered the unusual angle and its position across the 'ravine'. The whole position felt epic. I then drove past the crag a year or so ago while at Uni and was hit by a huge wave of deja vue. Anyway, I didn't make it to the crag during my undergrad years however, my second coming at University provided me with that opportunity.

I picked up Will from Bingley(!) and drove via dark grey cloud and a stiff breeze to the crag. It was certainly windy. We warmed up on August Arete (E1 6a) both getting it second go in the howling wind. We both then also climbing an eliminate wall at about 5c.

The main target was The Great Santini E4 6a and Full Throttle E4 6b. Based around the same line on the main and tallest part of the crag. I led up placing gear, traversed out to a friend, pulled up via crimp and was in the process of standing up when I totally lost my bearings/crimp strength/balance? Anyway, I fell off. Will flashed the line on my gear and after ANOTHER stupid fall, I too completed the line. A great climb and a nice soft touch at E4.

Will and I then looked at the brilliant looking bouldery arete which provides the start of Full Throttle, before the climb joins the crux of The Great Santini. Will flashed the boulder problem, truly in his element on these technical but protected moves. I struggled with the start, blaming my down-turned footware/the wind/conditions. Eventually however, I made it up to the crux, via 'the reach' which felt like the absolute end of my reach on the day (though i'm sure I was climbing badly!) and then proceeded to fall off The Great Santini...

Allowing the frustration to totally take hold, I got angry and a bit upset and ended up cruising up the line with no difficulty and wondered what the frigg had been going on before. Conditions, definitely conditions...

Two great routes, well worth dropping in for - Full Throttle is up there with the best routes on Yorkshire Gritstone that i've done.

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