/ does darkness have to end the day ?
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)?
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.
'does darkness have to end the day'
Mais non, ma cherie....'
thanks dude really sound advice :)
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.
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.
Cragging at night - good fun
Multi pitch at night - nightmare
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 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.
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 !
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
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.
thanks guys :) all really sound advice !
will report back to this thread tomorrow ;)
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
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!
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
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 :+)
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.
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.
Horton you dribbly... I don't think it's safe for you to go to the shops at night without a helmet!!
We going night cragging next week? Maybe you've started a new craze ;-)
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.
as i told you over a tea and a fag earlier yes. dick ;)
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.
Then we escaped to robin hoods cave.
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...
Sounds very irresponsible to me...
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