/ does darkness have to end the day ?

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TM_Horton - on 08 Oct 2012
Hey guys,

me and a friend are thinking of the possibilities of climbing after dusk, we live close to the peak and climb mainly at the roaches. were competent trad climbers and have experience in the mountains in shitty weather...

has anyone had good experiences from climbing after dark (on purpose) and if so how did you get on ? what are the main differences for you (apart from the obvious dark)?
leehawkins - on 08 Oct 2012
In reply to TM_Horton: a good head torch each and away u go
wilkie14c - on 08 Oct 2012
In reply to TM_Horton:
When the Lakes is in winter condition the place is alive with mid week night climbers trying to fit in a sneaky route on a school night. On a full moon its better than climbing in daylight. It is worth ringing and leaving a message at the covering MRT. Just where you are, what doing and until what time. Leave your number too. People can see lights on the hills and ring the MRT to report it. Tell them first and its no problem and they'll appreciate it.
andyathome - on 08 Oct 2012
In reply to TM_Horton:
'does darkness have to end the day'

Mais non, ma cherie....'
TM_Horton - on 08 Oct 2012
In reply to blanchie14c:
thanks dude really sound advice :)
TM_Horton - on 08 Oct 2012
In reply to andyathome:
hahaha LAD.
gethin_allen on 08 Oct 2012
In reply to TM_Horton:
only problem with climbing by headtorch is that when you look down you can't often see your feet or foot placements and you often bash your torch against the rock.
Timmd on 08 Oct 2012
In reply to TM_Horton:

My dad said shadows can look like holds in the dark while using a headtorch, guess that and losing gear are the main things, and route finding being would be trickier, and checking out objective dangers like balanced rocks above you (for instance) could be more difficult.
xplorer on 08 Oct 2012
In reply to TM_Horton:

Cragging at night - good fun

Multi pitch at night - nightmare
Bulls Crack - on 09 Oct 2012
In reply to TM_Horton:

I think it's one of those things, like climbing in the rain, that seems like a good idea at them time, you do it once or twice and then realise it's perhaps not that great?
victim of mathematics - on 09 Oct 2012
In reply to Bulls Crack:
> (In reply to TM_Horton)
>
> I think it's one of those things, like climbing in the rain, that seems like a good idea at them time, you do it once or twice and then realise it's perhaps not that great?

I generally agree. Not being able to see either gear placements, or footholds properly does tend to spoil one's enjoyment.

That said one of my most enjoyable climbing experiences was climbing Armorican in the dark deliberately. Much more fun than climbing it in the daylight I'd imagine.
Chris the Tall - on 09 Oct 2012
In reply to TM_Horton:
A couple of years ago I counted at least a dozen boulderers on Burbage on dry but very cold December evening. Given how cycle lights have improved in the last few years it's logical I suppose, but I'll keep mine on the bike.

P.s. strap head torches to your shins would be my advice !
TM_Horton - on 09 Oct 2012
In reply to TM_Horton:
well me and my mate are on for a night time raid on the roaches area... we've packed the red bull ... spoze the only thing left to do is just get out there tonight and see how it goes.

thanks for all the advice guys

Tom
Kemics - on 09 Oct 2012
In reply to TM_Horton:

I had a pretty traumatic experience climbing in the dark. Was sport climbing but kept missing bolts because I couldn't see them. Ended up smearing most of the route because I couldn't see the feet.

Is much more enjoyable if it's a route you know, onsighting is pretty goddam hard in the dark.
JamieSparkes - on 09 Oct 2012
In reply to TM_Horton: I've intentionally climbed quite a few routes at tremadog in the dark. It's great fun and puts a nice new feel to routes that you may have done before. Suggestions would be to drop the grade considerably so that it's fun, take an extra layer just in case and make sure you know where the descents are beforehand!
mikie c - on 09 Oct 2012
In reply to TM_Horton:when we lived in holyhead we used to climb on the mountian, as we know the crags well and the descents.we clinbed in cwm idwal on a very dark night and a massive spot light would have been handy to find the right crag (it was more luck than judgment that we found our crag).i would suggest that you tie your head torch to some thing so you don't drop it and start off with a climb that's easy as the rock and hold do look different in torch light.we climbed a bunch of VS's in H'head on beautiful calm nights.it beats watching the tele.so go for it and be safe.
TM_Horton - on 09 Oct 2012
In reply to TM_Horton:

thanks guys :) all really sound advice !
will report back to this thread tomorrow ;)
LiniebarClimb - on 09 Oct 2012
In reply to TM_Horton: If its not too late, may I suggest battery powered fairy lights wrapped around your harness... (as well as a headtorch obvs). Night climbed with these in Gower - not only do they look pretty (yes, I'm a girl) but you can also see a helluva lot more around your waist as they are non directional...
Rockhopper85 - on 09 Oct 2012
In reply to TM_Horton: get a big high powered beam torch, or battery spot lights. We also have a fire going sometimes, but our rock is whilte limestone and lights up a treat.
wilkie14c - on 09 Oct 2012
In reply to TM_Horton:
If you decide you'll be spending plenty of dark time this winter on the rocks then maybe look at something like the coleman powerhouse lantern. These are the mainstay of beach anglers everywhere and don't half belt out some light. Nice and easy unleaded petrol and a cold pie can be heated in its silver foil tray just by plonking it on top
BenTiffin - on 09 Oct 2012
In reply to TM_Horton: Had some amazing experiences. Coral Sea at Trowbarrow with one head torch and a second who had a leg in a pot!

Night time ascents of Idwal Slabs in summer and Devils Kitchen ice routes were particuarly great experiences on a cold, clear evening.

Bivying on top of Snowdon in the rain after several pints in the Heights however was not the best idea!
Mark Collins - on 09 Oct 2012
In reply to TM_Horton: Last year me and a mate spent several very cold and dark evenings at Brownstones with head torches. It was great to be honest, but had to keep moving through the problems to stay warm. Would be a much tougher ask to do trad climbing in the depths of winter like that.
TM_Horton - on 10 Oct 2012
In reply to TM_Horton:
Hey Guys !
Me and my mate went out tonight ! we were cragging from 7pm till 1am! i think ive found my new favourite form of climbing :) we got 6 trad routes done between us at the roaches (skyline and upper tier) and 3 boulder problems at newstones.... simply epic night... i had a standard petzl tika (worked very well) and my mate had a shitty energizer head torch...(didn't work so well) but wow VS took on a whole new dimension! FYI moths look like pebbles.

i love the idea of the fairy lights... will suggest this for next time hahahah

also a pie warming petrol lamp sound too good to be true !!! that is on my Christmas list for sure ! hahah
johnj on 10 Oct 2012 - 88-104-142-170.dynamic.dsl.as9105.com
In reply to TM_Horton:

Hello, I did a few years service with the royal engineers attached to royal marines 59 commando, in the 90's. What i really wanted to do was the RM Mountain Leaders course, but due to circumstance wasn't possible, but part of their training is a selection of Cornish Granite I think upto VDiff at night no lights in big boots, I like your style like new wave old school or something :+)
LiniebarClimb - on 10 Oct 2012
In reply to TM_Horton:
Seriously fairylights rule... evidence here: http://instagram.com/p/OzjuPrgNYy/
Glad you had fun!
Simon Pelly - on 10 Oct 2012
In reply to TM_Horton:

We planned and climbed the Devil's slide/Lundy at 2.00am in the morning with only a full moon to light the way. Excellent fun.
johncoxmysteriously - on 10 Oct 2012
In reply to Simon Pelly:

Hah, I've done that - in an unplanned post-pub kind of way, and enlivened by an occasional poster on here dropping his wallet. I've also done a snow-choked Puppet Crack at Chatsworth after the pub for a bet, and Bosigran Ridge on a few occasions. My university club used to have a tradition of doing that upon arrival at Bosigran on a Friday night before the usual meet, and the same with Merlin at Tremadog.

Always good fun, in a Type 2 kind of way. A full-on deliberate cragging session, though, is something else - good effort to the OP.

I've never done it with headtorches, I don't think - seems slightly contrary to the spirit of it somehow, and fewer people had them in 1980. Still, I expect they come in useful.

jcm
add6598 - on 10 Oct 2012
In reply to TM_Horton:
Horton you dribbly... I don't think it's safe for you to go to the shops at night without a helmet!!
P.s
We going night cragging next week? Maybe you've started a new craze ;-)
Chris.Allott - on 10 Oct 2012
In reply to TM_Horton:
I had (in the 90's) the happy experiences of climbing with a chap who we christened "The Midnight Cowboy"...
He would happily second all evening...working himself up to do a lead climb.
Usually just as darkness fell ( with a thump in mid summer) he would announce the climb he wanted to lead...normally several grades above his comfort zone.
After groaning and drawing straws ..followed by head torches...the rest of us would start to pack as the unlucky "winner" would see the "cowboy" up his climb...or more usually not..which involved a lot of gear extraction in the dark.
I would not recommend the recovery of gear and overextended climbers in the dark - over going to the pub earlier.
TM_Horton - on 10 Oct 2012
In reply to add6598:
as i told you over a tea and a fag earlier yes. dick ;)
TM_Horton - on 10 Oct 2012
In reply to Chris.Allott:
the "midnight cowboy" sounds like a bit of a character :D

by the end of the night i felt pretty comfy on sighting VS 4c/5a... (the exposure merely disappearing into nothing beyond my head torch beam)

i dont think i will be "pushing" my grade in the dark any time soon... however last night felt for me like starting climbing all over again...literally that level of psyche where you want one more route and after that another one... but then you realise its 1am... and you have a f*ck load of uni work to do the next day haha.

... Cracks are great in the dark (also with the gear placements being along the line)...overlapping smears however became a bit of a pain due to the lack of definition from head torch light leading to sort of guessing where to put your feet... sorted this problem by using SMALL donkey ticks of chalk as i climbed past possible smaller foot holds.

GREAT FUN.
Calum Nicoll - on 10 Oct 2012
In reply to TM_Horton: I remember fondly belaying a friend on a wet flying buttress direct, in a pitch black winter's night. For some reason, his headtorch wasn't able to easily light up the holds (maybe he didn't have one), so I alternated between belaying and looking at the picture in the guidebook, while trying to describe the route and where the next hold might be. Then it started to rain, and we decided to multipitch it and set up a hanging belay. Banter.

Then we escaped to robin hoods cave.
Matt Vigg - on 10 Oct 2012
In reply to TM_Horton:

Have bouldered at Font in the dark (too hot in the day) with a headtorch and someone else pointing out footholds with another headtorch, worked surprisingly well. Also did a 7a sport route a couple of weeks ago in the dark (plus headtorch) and it was quite hard but pretty cool. And I once did a route down at Compass Point in Bude in the dark with headtorches, after the pub obviously...
andy.smythe - on 11 Oct 2012
In reply to TM_Horton: Ive done some sports routes in oz which were flood lit from below. Was wierd, shadows made it very difficult to find holds
Rigid Raider - on 11 Oct 2012
I used to night mountain bike every Wednesday through winter but I've never night climbed, deliberately at least.
Dafydd Llywelyn - on 11 Oct 2012
In reply to JamieSparkes:
> (In reply to TM_Horton) I've intentionally climbed quite a few routes at tremadog in the dark. It's great fun and puts a nice new feel to routes that you may have done before. Suggestions would be to drop the grade considerably so that it's fun, take an extra layer just in case and make sure you know where the descents are beforehand!

Sounds very irresponsible to me...

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