Sunday, 6 April 2014

A Blowy Blakey Project Sesh

It was a windy Saturday. The weather has been pretty iffy recently, with low cloud clag and occasional drizzle. Either way, we knew if the wind picked up then Hillhouse Nab would clear up straight away and to there we ventured with a couple of mats each.

I 'found' Hillhouse Nab last year while oft wandering around Blakey after driving home from work in Scarborough. I soloed the exquisite (if i do say so myself) arete which went at about E4 5c ***. Pretty bold but not very long and after the start all on fairly decent holds. It's a strange buttress. Perfect moorland sandstone, awesome holds and moves and it would certainly 'just' be a bouldering venue above flat pasture - but alas, it's perched above steep ground.

The concentrated gem that is Hillhouse Nab

On my first visit I also shunted the arete into the hanging scoop - I wanted this line and also was aware of a direct which I made a mental note of thinking would be right up Franco's street. Last month, it was apparent it was right up Cookson's street, when he soloed the main wall starting just left of centre and attacking it with lank and guile. Present Perfect E7 7a *** was born and he noted that a super direct was also available.

So we both had projects in mind as we approached. I was more interested in Present Perfect than my arete to groove climb, but I quickly found it super reachy and crimpy powerfulness... I couldn't do it. So while Franco slid off down the hillside a couple of times from the nails start of the super direct I shunted the top section of the groove. A strange transitions between overhanging and slabby, on smears for feet and crimps for fingers. Enjoyable climbing to say the least.

I managed to do lots of moves and but felt far from wired. However, it's a strange line to shunt and Franco was asleep after completing his super direct; which adds a 7a/7b move to the start! Fucking nails! I couldn't top rope it either as a result, so I decided i'd just go for it and hope for the best. I new I could do the crux so provided the starting moves didn't impact on my strength or unchalk my tips then i'd be OK...

Up the arete for a couple of metres before stretching left to juggy crimps. The feet are fairly abysmal, so toe hooking around the arete bounce out to another flat crimp... I near fell off this move but it wouldn't have been too serious. From here you replace your toe higher up the arete feeling quite horizontal and go for a sloper with left...'Fall through' to get your foot on a smear, deadpoint a sidepull crimp and then stand up from over hang to slab to reach the top off a very insecure smear. Woops abound.

Hillhouse Nabbb from Dave Warburton on Vimeo.

Committed through the roof heel-hooking a smear

We left and bumped into Sam Marks and chums on the walk back to the car. We decided to go and take a look at the Duck Roof. A project of Sams, which we'd visited a couple of times but i'd yet to pull on at all. Franco had always been fairly close and it was a bit of an annoying route which we wanted to tick off the list of Moors FA's still to do! With our four pads plus one additional small pad, Franco carefully climbed the slightly damp roof taking a few jump offs. I also got involved for the first time and surprised myself with the reach through the roof. Unfortunately though, i was beyond total stretch and so was completely immobile when trying to reach through to the higher crimps... Too hard basically! Franco nailed it on his 3rd go a solid ground up effort with no cleaning, at a grade of E6 6c **... Safe to jump off, but don't fall!


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