Saturday, 15 October 2016


Popped back to a crag I'd been saving for a 'dry week followed by cool temperatures'. It arrived on Saturday which was fortuitous, though it was a really soggy Saturday. A horrid heavy dew. I still managed to get some folks keen and we lugged the pads in. I didn't think it would go to be honest, Sam and I kept falling off the last move, its a reachy little 6c+/7a number, but it went with the last effort before the toys were thrown out the pram.

A heavy dew cannot be-sodden the soul from Dave Warburton on Vimeo.


Short and sweet this one... I've had a few 'semi-nemesis' over the years, mostly things i've looked at and not got on or things i've been on and not finished. This year saw the slaying of a few of these routes.

1. Metal Guru 7c at Kilnsey. It took a session to work it and a second to come back to tick it off. Tricky pocketty crux and a route i'd tried in the past. Glad to do it, an old school number and Fawcett route. Great stuff.

2. Stratagem E4/5 6b, Ravenscar .... SHOULD HAVE FLASHED THIS! Fell out of a jam at the top while chalking up. Went second go ground up. Many many years of ignoring its existence as i thought i'd get shut down...

3. Terrorist E4 5c, Wainstones. I belayed Franco on this years ago and never fancied it. Though it always narked me as its a proud little line on the Sphinx. I want to climb it all! Anyway, one way too hot, greasy day I just about managed to get up this line with Francs belaying. I was wearing newly resoled shoes with zero sensitivity, the rock was iron-rich and very hot, and the crimps were laced with green, damp lichen. It was a close run thing - fear inducing.

4. Mutton Dagger E3 5c, Giggleswick South. I've driven past this crag lots of times and never bothered dropping in. Anyway, a quick tick off of this and 'Fine Speeding' E5 6a climbed pretty much all the ground I fancied. Didn't do the layback on Broad Sword but one to go back for.

5. Black Knight E6 6c, Wainstones. Franco has always been psyched to do this sans pegs. Probably hasn't seen a second ascent, I was less impressed with the route really. How wrong I was. A great sequence was found on a top rope and a couple of tri cams were pushed into the peg scars, and thus, a brilliant, brilliant route it is. Magic.

Black Knight from Dave Warburton on Vimeo.

6. Powerplay E5 6b, Yew Cogur. Another crag i've not got around to getting to and a route i've thought "that sounds good". Too many years forgetting and remembering about it. Anyway, a birthday route this year with Matt F and also boshed the classic 7b Cruising for a Bruising. Stupendous rock.

7. Ch-Ching E6/7 6c, Ravenscar. Franco did this a few years ago and I fell off and slashed my back on the boulder. Never wanted to go back... But I never forgot about it and I was feeling strong and bold so thought it was worth a re-match. It's a brilliant super highball Font 7a but the E6 6c grade is warrented I think? Brilliant pad party route.

8. Wellington Crack E4 5c, Ilkley. I really have avoided this route. But this was the year to put aside the egotistical fears and just get on it. It's full of large holds and jams, more gear than you can shake a stick at. I did get pumped and I thought i was off at two points when I was on shit feet in my soft anasazi's as i needed a bit of an edge. Great stuff, worthy classic.

Randall's Cringle Crag Classic from Dave Warburton on Vimeo.

Smuggler's and Maidens

The Moors....

Back to the Moors for a bit of new routing and old enemies. It started with a couple of new routes at Smuggler's Terrace with Katie, and a re-acquaintance with Maidens' Bluff. Katie and I popped in for an afternoon and ticked off the big groove which has been ignored for years. It took me a day and a half of cleaning mind you, but Katie dispatched the VS 4c quickly and I added the E2 5c up the arete and wall to the right. Good additions yet again.

As for Maiden's, the gap between Archaeopteryx and Futuristic has always been 'worth a look'. I abbed and brushed the line and found some pockets and edges. The typical Maidens cleaning work began, tooth brushing the holds and features. Some really don't inspire me confidence and others begin to take shape and 'clean up'. Both becoming less sandy and solid. It took a few sessions to work out the sequence and a bit of supergluing to stop the holds from shedding too much. But all in all, its another great highball, on good holds for the wall. The line is just a tad steeper than the walls to the left or right. It went at a similar grade to the rest of the routes to the left, probably E6 6b/c. Not sure on a name, dubbed it Jihad It Coming for the time being.

00003 from Franco Cookson on Vimeo.

Catching up on 2016 Part 1

2016 has seen a fair bit of climbing and saw the ticking of a few classics and a few FAs. It was a nice change from my Moors-centric years previous and it was brilliant to finally get on a few 'wish list' routes.

Chalking >= Climbing from Dave Warburton on Vimeo.

The spring saw ascents of grit routes Calvary (E4 6a) and Psycho (E5 6b) at Stanage and Caley. Two routes i'd thought about doing but never really bothered with. However, there's only so much esoterica you can do before you need to do the routes everyone else does. It's weird. They're great routes, but i've certainly done plenty of forgotten, or unfashionable routes and boulder problems which are equally as good. Also ticked a few pleasant routes like Carnage (E2 5b) and the first pitch of Mulatto Wall (E3 5c) at Malham.

During this time Katie also did her first real headpoint, Ephedrine E4 6a at Caley. A pleasant route on pockets and smears. A just about paddable landing and no reachy or hard moves really. Katie liked the moves and as a result was happy to take the risk. Only a few TR's were required before she got her first taste of the subtle mix of danger and difficulty. More to come i'm sure!

Katie and I also had a great three days in North Wales, with some Holyhead, Rhoscolyn, Gogarth and Ogwen routes. The best being Dream of White Horses (HVS 4c) which we inevitably did wrong, as its a classic. I enjoyed it, it was probably about E2 5b whatever we did, but a bit of a shame we got it wrong. Nice being the only people in Wen Zawn though on a golden sunset evening. I also got on Warpath E5 6a down in Rhoscolyn. It was swelteringly hot, rank, but I was pretty psyched and it went without much issue. Scary abseil to get the gear mind you!

Tumble E4 6a. A route I have wanted to do for years. I'd pulled onto the start years ago and it was damp so i retreated. This time around it was a cruise, a climb I seriously enjoyed. Very glad it was wet a few years ago, as i doubt i'd have done it back then. Brilliant line, sustained and one of the few routes that truly lived up to its expectation, to be honest, it probably surpassed it. Also did Nimrod E1 5c while we were up there. A classic E1 of the Lakes which I think it certainly deserves. Tricky customer?

So a year of ticking classic routes and not really grade chasing, a pleasant change...