Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Gorple, Scout Hut Crag, Hawkcliffe, Stanage & Eastby - A Recent Roundup!

Jacob is strong at the moment and we decided to wander up to Gorple to give Eternal and Carmen Picasso a look. I was happy to look and either play on a TR or give it a bash GU on Eternal. Unfortunately it was far too windy, it was ripping past the crag. We decided to walk all the way back to the car and save the day with a afternoon hit of Scout Hut Crag.

I reckon Scout Hut Crag probably saves the day for lost Widdop and Gorple days and sure enough it was dry and the friction was fine. We all warmed up flashing or getting second go the classic Needle of Dreams (E4 6b *** / Font 6c) and then quickly turned our attention to the harder twin on the left, Strone Road (E4 6b / Font 6c+). Jacob and I onsighted the route, which I thought was host to some great holds and moves, with Will and Huw getting it shortly after. Two great short solos/highballs down and with plenty of energy left Jacob quickly lead Loogabarooga (E3 6a ***). I however couldn't turn the lip safely so I didn't bother. I didn't like the gear and it felt greasy. Jacob was still keen so we pointed him at 'Lie Down Dave' E3 6b** which he cruised and I repeated this very short, but very fun sloping top out. Job done, day saved.

The next day was humid. It didn't stop Jacob flashing Cindy Crawford (Font 7c ***) at Ilkley but myself and Billy chose Hawkcliffe. I fancied looking at the Pigeon (E6) and Stepmother Jag (E4), as ive only a few of the harder routes left to try after getting Blood on the Shamrock, but also wanted Billy to do Squirrel Crack (E1 5b ***). We warmed up on Syrett's Slit (E1 5b*) and then I tried to climb Crack of Dawn (E3 5c *) which I couldn't do! I took a couple of falls and sacked it off. This felt nails?! I bouldered out Stepmother Jag and found I couldn't quite reach the bottom of the v-groove - a bit more height i'd get it but I wasn't strong enough at my dimensions.... We warmed down climbing RIP (E1 5b *) as Squirrel Crack was wet. It's worth mentioning that RIP is a terrific little climb, well worth popping in to the crag for the E1 leader. Squirrel, RIP and Syrett's would be a good haul at E1.

A crisp, sunny Saturday was forecast and a plan was hatched to head to Stanage Plantation with a stack of pads to ground-up things. I don't usually like popular crags, time for them when i'm old, but anyway I thought this sounded 'goose' and filled my Volvo with other peoples bouldering mats.

Unfortunately, people didn't really fancy grounding things up and started doing things like Captain Hook, Green Traverse and what-not. Shame, being at the crag with like 17 pads or something and not putting them ALL under things. Jacob and I managed to get hold of about 10 and proceeded to try The Unfamiliar (E8) ground up (unsuccessfully) and instead turned our attention to Ullyses Bow (E6). We were joined by Matt Ferrier and both Jacob and Matt managed to get through the crux at the top of the big arete with myself not committing, being unable to gain enough purchase on the arete, so I took the big jump. Fun jump, wish i'd done the route...

Not To Be Taken Away (E2 / Font 6b)

Sun setting loveliness above a stack of pads.

I finished up with some nice solos, Big Air (6b+), Not to be Taken Away (6b) and Satin (6b+) and thoroughly enjoyed my day in the Peak, I might return, its not far from Leeds.... Rivelin is close, Wharncliffe too.

Billy on Big Air (E6 / Font 6b+)

And finally, I managed to get back to Eastby to ground up Dead Babies E5 6b **. I'd tried this a few weeks ago and fell off slipping on my bouldering mat and narrowly missing a rock. I decided i'd head back with a chum. Anyway, I didn't have any friends, so I went on my own. It was a warm, sunny but only 75% humidity at about 5-6oC. It wasn't perfect but it was nice enough. I warmed up on the pebble slab of 'A Pair of Teeth' which is a pleasant, bold-feeling outing which is well worth seeking out at about font 6b I think? The arete then went with little issue. I fell off first go landing on the rocks(!) and smashing my elbow. I mopped up the blood and then went again before it seized up, this time not missing the foothold and, after standing below the last move for 5 minutes, managed to top out without standing on the important pebbles!

Dead Babies E5 6b ** - Eastby Crag from Dave Warburton on Vimeo.

I then quite quickly worked out the 6c direct, which if your tall or start off a pad feels 6b, so i did it without and sure enough it adds a fair pull from the ground which is probably 6c? Not sure, I don't climb many. Worth doing the direct, it adds 3-4 moves to the arete at about Font 6c+? and you get the rest to chalk up before the E5 / highball 6b+.... If I was doing the guide I put it in as E5 6c ** with an option to step in from the right at 6b.

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