Monday, 7 December 2015

2015 - a year without blogging

I haven't blogged this year. Mainly due to the fact I haven't done a lot that I figured was worth blogging about. After a bit of headpointing to get going, I've been mainly climbing for myself - onsight and as i'm a poor onsighter this doesn't really stand out from the crowd... No significant Moor's FA's this time around and with maybe only a couple of noteworthy repeats.
However, I'm going to start blogging again I think. I've always tried to broadcast what i'm up to - as I know folks like to see what other people are up to and I usually get a video or two of interesting routes in the North of England. I like to get inspired by what others do, so this is giving back to the same community.

I'll attack the year chronologically which started with a Spring visit to Eavestone to have a 'look' at what was there and if there were any obvious gaps. I think there are. I filled one with a direct start to Dragonslayer (E5 6a **) which ramps the tech grade up to 6c, or Font 7a. The route doesn't really need a direct start, indeed it is far more sustained and 'traddy' to climb it in from the left - however the direct start was just asking to be climbed and fortunately there is an obvious jug from which to jump off, or decide to carry on. I headpoint soloed it in terms of style. - Dragonslayer Direct boulder problem

Another quick headpoint was Mark Rankines addition to Danby Crag, back home on the Moors. Repeating a route (or highball) at Danby, put up by someone not from the Moors, was a strange and wierd experience. The enticing slab that Matt and Sam had originally cleaned but subsequently never got around to climbing was bone dry in the early summer and went at E5 6c/Font 7a+ **. Hopefully it retains some sort of condition as it adds to the plethora of perfect boulder problems, highballs and routes at Danby which would be happy anywhere.

I've climbed a lot with a new partner this year. Katie. This has seen some great trips to crags and areas i'd wanted to get to but not bothered with. The highlight was a 3 day trip north of the border to Reiff, Sheigra and the Old Man of Stoer. We travelled up to the Lochinver Climbing Festival - which was a great little festival which i'm hopeful will grow year on year. Katie giving a talk about geology, I was there to share the driving and do some climbing. I'd always fancied Reiff and Sheigra. They look incredible. 3 days was just enough to get a few routes in, which probably all end up in my top 20 routes i've done. Crack of Desire (True Finish) E4 6a ***, Swirls E4 6a *** and the Old Man of Stoer VS 5a will all survive in my memory for a long time yet, for different reasons. CoD was totally wet, I thought it was just a bit of coastal ming at the start but it just kept going and I just kept fighting and somehow topped out.


Katie the swimmer!

A proper Scottish day out

A great place to practice your first Tyrolean...

Crack of Desire


Katie also took me to her stomping ground in Lancashire. Again, i'd always fancied nipping across to Wilton/Anglezarke etc etc but never got the psyche or partners. A day ticking off the classics at Wilton was a highlight for me, The Swine E3 6a**, Wilton Wall E3 5c *** and Max E3 5c ** was enough to leave me wanting to get back for more - with a better guide which actually has some of the starred 'mid E grade' lines which looked very good. I'm also pretty interested in giving Pigs on the Wing E5 6b *** a bosh as it looked 'do-able' ground up to me and is meant to be a good one.
Wilton Wall

The Swine

Back to the Yorkshire Scene. A summer headpoint ascent of Sutty's E6 * Stonequest at Chevin and a 're-discovery' of an arete also at Chevin were both notable. I say rediscovery, apparently its been climbed before but I'm somewhat mystified as the climbing on both sides of the arete is good - well worth inclusion in a guidebook and much better than some of the shite that makes its way into them - and also the fact the top had a soil, rock and grass cornice which makes me think it was never topped out. Anywho, I'll only be annoyed if it gets forgotten about as its a beautiful short solo feature.

Chevin Arete from Dave Warburton on Vimeo.

With Franco living in Newcastle and spending all of his free time working on his Key Heugh project, It was nice to meet up back on the Moors to a foggy, damp and disappointing day at Cringle Crag. The day was a success however with a headpoint FA of the pocketed prow which forms the right arete of Up From the Sky's. A tricky one to grade - 6a/b climbing far above the ground but with a potential swing into the wall below and with a 0.125 or whatever the smallest tricam is, i'm not convinced its any easier than E4... We gave it a low in the grade E5 as it felt pretty tricky - though climbing green rock in thick mist was probably a poor idea in retrospect.

Cringle Crag E5 6b from Dave Warburton on Vimeo.

Katie and I squeezed in a 6 day trip to Kalymnos as well, which was great. Better than I expected. The highlight of the trip was Katie fighting up a flash of the tufa-blob-perfection that is KalyNikla 6b *** which was brilliant. I did a lot of onsight 7a-7b which was I very happy with but I really need to start redpointing sport routes in the 7c and above sort of grade range....
Katie walking a great 6b

KalyNikla - tufa perfection


lowering off a 7a

The Late Summer and then Autumn approached but with no real 'big ticks' - just pleasant experiences on nice routes in the Lakes, Yorkshire and the Peak. Armalite E4 6a**, Porcupine E3 6a*, Deep Pre-Meditated Lines E4 6b*, The Lady E4 6c **, Deathly Silence E4/5 6b, Arrie's Ook E4 6a **, Mighty Oak E3 6a **, Scar Wall E5 6a *, Autumn Wall E4 6a **.

Moorland bouldering

Moorland bouldering x2

Scar Wall E5 6b*, Baildon Bank from Dave Warburton on Vimeo.

My next blog should be more focussed. I'm considering what I want to do, what I want to achieve and what I feel I 'need' to do on the Moors for reasons beyond just my own climbing enjoyment.

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

The 2014 Moors Round Up

A brief round up of this years additions to the North York Moors.

Grey Earths Scar (Goathland) AKA Mallyon Spout:
Pussy Riot SS (7a), Money For Nothing (7a), Mikail Khordorkovsky SS (7a), Midnight Sun (E5 6b) and Arctic 30 (6a). There is also at least one hard, excellent project.

Glaisdale Rigg Quarries:
A few nice bouldering additions, plus Kingmaker (E2 5b). Then the 'Hall Wall' provided some of the best highballs on the Moors with Ivanhoe (E5 6b), Franziskaner (E6 6c), Gnaedl Maedl (E6 6a) and Top Wizard (E6 7a) which is just around the corner. Still a couple of projects left.

March saw the first forays to what would become Maidens Bluff.... a huge find for the Moors this year.

Maidens Bluff:
Jugendstil (E5 6b), Archaeopteryx (E6 6c), Jungfrau (E6 6b), Iron Maiden (E6 6c), Plasticman (E7 7a) & Splice The Mainbrace (E5 6a).

Maiden's Topo
Hillhouse Nab was fully worked out with the addition of Present Perfect (E7 7a), Pretertium (E7 7a) and Penthouse Perfection (E7 6c). All these climbs are short bouldery solos above a less than ideal landing. The perfect rock is well worth a visit though.

Kay Nest was finally given a proper visit. The addition of Harbinger (E4 6b) and Man on the Edge (E5 6b) were a start of things to come at this sleeping giant of a crag. Later in the year the hanging slab was nearly fully developed with the additon of Flashpoint (E4 5b), Blaze of Glory (E6 6a) and Trailblazer (E5 5c). Very bold stuff, but ultimately steady slabby solos.
Man on the Edge - Kay Nest

Elysian Fields
Our love-affair with Danby continued with Elysian Fields (E7 6a), Infinity in a Grain of Sand (E9 6c) and the super hard 'Jesus Project' getting ticked as Fly Agaric (E8 7a). Later in the season the addition of an excellent highball comparable to the best on the Moors and elsewhere 'Anubis' (E6 6b) was the best of the action. Two super bold solos Powerslave (E6 6a) and Ebola Tombola (E7 6b) were notable... Finally the Warburton brothers added the forked crack of Amun-Ra at a grade somewhere between VS 4c and E1 5a. No successful repeats yet...
Fly Agaric

Thorgill was dragged kicking and screaming into the modern day with the additions of Wheat From the Chaff  (E6 6c) (Haha Fiend) and Parochial Master (E7 7b) as well as the bold, but steady and maybe E4 Turbulent Cascade (E6 6a).

Smugglers Terrace was finally given the attention it deserved with numerous additions to its buttresses; namely:
The Basstard (E6 6c), Porpoise Economy (E6 6b), Ai No Barramuni (E4 6a), Marbled In Stone (E2 5b), Thanks for All the Fish (HVS 5b), Krill Zone (E6 6c), Leviathan (E6 6c), Clew Garnet (MVS 4b), Babel Fish (HVS 5b) and the first efforts on the 'Fox Holes' buttress with three routes between VS and HVS the best argubly being the right hand side of the sandy tower which gives an interesting HVS 4c - Hard of Herring.
Plaice Lost in Time - Smugglers Terrace

Development slowed down somewhat towards the end of the year with poorer weather, less time and less people around. However, notable additions were made thought mainly previously described (At Kay Nest, Smugglers Terrace and Danby). However, one of the best offerings to the Moors yet is a bold, dynamic and technical arete which is easily a match for Magic in the Air. Sanctuary (E6 6b) climbs the left arete of the impressive and as yet unclimbed Eskdale Wall. Plenty of projects left here!
Triptonite - Tarn Hole

A very satisfying year. What lies in wait for the next year? A taster:

Kay Nest
The Old Aid Line ~ E9 7a
Arete E8 7b
Grooved Arete ~ E7 6c
Cracked Slab to Arete ~E4 6b
Roofed Grooves 1 ~ E3 6a
Roofed Grooves 2 ~ E2 5c
Roofed Grooves 3 ~ E4 6b
Project at Kay Nest
Smugglers Terrace
Sole Direct ~E8 7a
Illusion Wall ~E9 7a

Glaisdale Quarries
Webesque Project ~E6 6a
Flakes Project ~E5 6c

Landslip Arete ~E8 7a

Prow Direct E10?
Prow Crimp Project Font 7c+?
Prow Right Side ~E7 6c

Eskdale Buttress
The Walls - LOADS but all 6c or harder...
The Arete E4 5c?
Finger Crack E1 5c?
Eskdale Arete + Buttress

Stoupe Brow - (loads of time needed here)
On Crack ~E7 6b
Barry E8 6b?
Futuristic Arete E11?

Maidens Bluff
Sunrise Wall E10?
Futuristic Herring Gull Project E8 7a (classic!)