Sunday, 16 March 2014

Birk Crag - Harrogate: A chance to repeat some new additions

I like to repeat peoples new climbs, whether they are bouldering or trad, if it's in my 'grade' range!! The weather was beautiful, I only had half a day and had been at Bridestones the day-previous and was aching somewhat. I decided i'd drop into Birk Crag, near the garden centre in Harrogate. I must admit, I am a tad odd when it comes to climbing - i'm just as happy ticking at pretty esoteric crags or Kilnsey/Malham etc. I chose this venue as it was only me and i'm feeling a bit skint at the moment so the 15min drive was good - only 2 minutes past Almscliffe.

I wandered down with a single pad and a shunt rope. However, I arrived to a pleasant looking wall with the grade E6 6b **. I lobbed my pad down, did some pull ups on the sloper and then set to looking at the holds, giving the ones I could reach a good chalking. It looked like a cool rock over, a Moors sort of move. Swing low, right heel and sit with big left flag. Pop up twice on sidepulls and I was soon at mono pockets... Sweet. A quick solo up the top wall, with a drop knee finish and I was done pulling through the roof at the top. The clean rock leads up the main wall, though the right arete is totally in reach tho it's wet through and green as fuck - perhaps it's always like that? Anyhow, E4 6b for my money as even without a pad I think from the tricky moves the flat landing would be 'ok'. The start felt like a tricky, excellent font 6c+, however the previous day i'd been bouldering with Will Hunt who is a sand-bag personified! So perhaps my opinion was skewed!

I couldn't look at the other E6 as it was wet, though it's a tad eliminate at the top where the crux is, but it looks like a bold move. I'd certainly recommend 'Centre Stage' as either a boulder problem or as a slightly defined highball donning blinkers and ignoring the arete to the right. Good stuff.    

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