Slightly in homage to Bob's now quite long running "biking what did you do at the weekend?" thread, it seems a shame that UKC doesn't have a climbing one! So how about it?
I'm newly arrived in Sheffield so have been managing to get out climbing regularly and have been enjoying bagging some classics that I've been reading about regularly on UKC for years! So this weekend:
Saturday, set off in heavy rain and low spirits to meet Tony in Cheedale. The rain sort of stopped as we were walking in, and we started seeing sunny patches raising morale. My kids greatly enjoyed the stepping stones through the river and the tunnels on the approach. Tony cruised a 6b on Max Wall for a warm up, I had vague thoughts of trying to lead it but actually found it really tough and slippy on a top rope so gave up on any thoughts of redpoint glory. My humiliating lack of performance was just amplified when looking down I realised that Andy Cave and Ben Moon were at the base of the crag chatting with the people on the next route. Being crap is always embarrassing, but being crap in front of your alpinism/sport climbing/literary heroes is worse. We then went to the Cornice for Tony to try his project, Bored of the Lies, and he got really close to sending it. I even had a go on top rope as he rested between goes and was proud to get to second bolt. Cheedale is beautiful and even though English inland limestone isn't really my thing, it was great watching people putting in huge efforts on the hard routes there. In the afternoon we went to Froggat and classic bagged until it started raining early evening. Favourite route was Broken Crack - much more my sort of thing. Bizarrely, I heard people speaking Finnish a couple of routes over - went to say hello only to find one of them was a chap I had sold a jacket to back in Helsinki about a month ago, before moving to the UK. Small world etc.
Sunday went to Baslow with the kids. Soloed a bunch of easier routes; my 8 year old had lots of fun top roping some of the slabby lines, then my 10 year old did his first ever trad lead (OK, I went up first and put the runners in) on Gully Wall; a depressing-sounding name but actually really good fun and despite being a Mod, climbs like a 'proper route'.
In reply to TobyA: My weekend started on Friday with a trip to the Lakes. All thoughts of proper climbing were banished by wave after wave of heavy showers sweeping over us, so we scrambled up Raven Crag in Threshwaite Cove. A short day on the hill was marked in true bumbly style by a trip to Ambleside to buy some offsets. Over the two glorious sunny days which followed I've experimented with arranging my expanded collection of wires in different coloured carabiner coordinated configurations so that I can grab that crucial brass no 1 when I'm pumped out of my mind on some slabby VDiff.
Went to Lawrencefield to do a half-day of easy stuff to get a friend back into climbing after a few years off. As she used to do mostly sport climbing, I thought she might benefit from some practice at removing trad gear on second, so I laced up one of those V Diff routes on Gingerbread Slab. Nailsbane maybe. 10 or 11 placements on a 10m route, possibly a record
Then Nova (HS), The Last Wet Wednesday (a slightly underrated VS in Roadside Bay) and an ignoble retreat from Quantum Crack resulting in a dubious bit of ropework.
Then my 4-year-old nephew turned up and it was time for "clambering around on little boulders", which was fun.
The weather held, apart from some very light drizzle a few times.
In reply to TobyA: I went for a potter along Baslow this evening. Beautiful, breezy and with a definite atmosphere of the last day of summer. Climbed some cracking routes - all the same ones I always do, I suppose, but I never tire of stuff like Don's Mantel and Hair Conditioned Nightmare.
We were rather taken by the Baslow cows. I'll be going back sometime soon, I did the first half (hard half?) or Renaissance, got to the breaks but found it disappointingly slopey, so wimped out traversing it right to the gully rather than going up to the top. I found it odd that this problem with a V grade is actually higher than all the routes either side of it!
Is Renaissance the lovely HVS slab? There are two lines on it, both 5b, and pure grit micro-perfection. Yes, the top breaks are slopey, but that's what it's about!
There is no logic to the allocation of route/boulder grades in any book I've come across. The BMC have had a good go, with sometimes using both with a 'dominant and recessive' scheme to give more of a flavour of what to expect. Might be a bit heath robinson, but in some places it works.
> We were rather taken by the Baslow cows. I'll be going back sometime soon, I did the first half (hard half?) or Renaissance, got to the breaks but found it disappointingly slopey, so wimped out traversing it right to the gully rather than going up to the top. I found it odd that this problem with a V grade is actually higher than all the routes either side of it!
Embrace the slopyness Toby, it's the epitome of grit, and not as insecure as it looks. Did you look at the problems on the 'Walnut Whip' at Baslow? Worth a look, and easier to find when the undergrowth starts to die back.
Saturday saw me flowing (er, probably appearing more like battling) up the layback crack on the Voie Bleue at Les Cheserys in the Aig Rouge. Super route; just a shame the ropes decided to jam in every available feature on the ab off.
In reply to TobyA: bit of a literary theme in this weekends activities
shamed by the Pavey Ark article in Climber,I convinced my mate to venture up the ghyll late on Saturday afternoon. Ignoring the guides exhortation to 'warm up first' my good friend set up off the uncompromisingly steep wall of 'Aardvark' E1 5c and fought his way through the difficult crux with a string of invective - if only he had followed the guide's advice.
My turn, oh no, the pies, so friendly and attractive in Gregg's now turned nasty. I have recently been reading Kirkpatrick's books and inspired by his love of hanging off stuff I cunningly aided my way around the difficulties to access the lovely, but poorly protected finishing slab. On reaching the belay my excellent companion suggested a horizontal abseil to the foot of my route 'Golden Slipper' there followed half an hour of sheer terror while suicidal sheep, steep wet grass and a unreasonably competent/confident partner pushed me close to tears. Eventually I flopped shaking onto the belay below the crux pitch of the 'Slipper' but this looked better, I'd been here before, great bubbly rock, slabby, reasonably protected climbing, off we go, climbing the steepening crack, wiggle a few nuts in, sideways in the well used slots, locate the best nobbles for hands and feet, reach the wall and pull out right to a cam slot, you're up. Relaxing on the belay.
Descend - travese left to the rap station, ropes black with algae and minging but there's 8 of them, something will be fine, rap to the rake and descend gingerly to the tarn in the half light - head torch for the last stretch through trees to car park, I need tea and ibroprofen, brilliant
I went to Redpoint in Birmingham and tried out some climbing after getting the all-clear from my physio and surgeon following a second shoulder operation this spring. No grade-hunting for me, just some good, pain-free fun with an excellent chum to get my muscle memory back. My shoulder held up very well, but my fingers were broken after just a couple of hours!
lovely 'last day of summer' at Stanage yesteday, along with quite a lot of other people. Everyone was in a good mood though, so the babble wasn't too wearing. Just did some relaxing easy stuff all day.
> Embrace the slopyness Toby, it's the epitome of grit, and not as insecure as it looks.
I find insecurity comes and goes with availability of gear, although of course roping up for a V1 would be to miss the point I suppose! I think the route to it's left is graded HVS 5b, so perhaps I should try that one with a few micro cams to get something psychological in the break before trying the top bit. Renaissance will have to wait for a day I'm feeling braver, have a spotter and don't have my kids asking me random questions as I wobble about on the crux looking at a distant mat through my feet.
MFB - as it appears from the pics that you are the National Trust Langdale Campsite, can I ask - does being an NT member mean anything for NT campsites? I suppose free camping is too much to expect? We joined as a family when we moved to the UK this summer and I'm doing my best to balance out the membership fee by saving on parking fees around the Peak District (as well dragging slightly bored kids around various heritage buildings - they have enjoyed the rope swings and the like though!) but want to do a Lake visit this autumn.
In reply to TobyA: It's been cold and clear so I reckon the waterfall ice will still be there but yeah - it's getting a tad late for that. Mountain routes are in good fettle apparently, am hoping to swing the tools at the weekend if the planets align. More skiing failing that. Ho hum...
The grade logic is as follows: Renaissance has no sensible gear until the climbing difficulty eases noticably (unlike the protectable shorter easier routes either side); the 5b crux is at about 3/4m and the landing is easy to mat so its usually climbed as a solo, often these days above mats, so a boulder problem grade with a route grade in brackets (to keep the trad heads happy) seemed the best bet.
As for the original question: lazy holiday post lunch starts then spent the afternoons exploring some bits of Chair Ladder and Sennen, bimbling around on good stuff from VD to HS...everything has been really good (the only route we were a bit underwhelmed by was Pegasus as the start crack was wet (we went round) the overhang a bit artifical and the mantel easier than expected and the rest was easier than most of the VDs). Finished Sunday with a reprevive of Demo route, nearly 20 years after our previous ascent.
I had a great weekend in Pembroke going after those routes you always seem to put on the list to "come back to one day" and rarely manage to. Greased off Mother Night at Mother Scareys having nipped in before the tide cut us off which was a bit worrisome, belayed Sarah on Stargate and Test Case and finally climbed Tangerine Dream which is just a little piece of perfection!
Slightly regretted my decision to not bring suncream mind....
I'm amazed you are still leading grit on one end of the rope. Going off both ends cuts the need for carrying two ropes and allows all the benefits of leading on two,including making ropework much easier for the improptu escape.
> I'm amazed you are still leading grit on one end of the rope.
Really? I've kind of 'been there, done that' with a "folded" half rope (indeed the first ropes I owned were a pair of half ropes and I often just took one to the grit). I eventually got annoyed with the same colour thing ("slack on blue....no the OTHER blue!" etc )
Mostly climb on a single unless I have a meandering route in mind.
Also some less experienced seconds can't handle two ropes very well, and I was out on Saturday with a less experienced one. I avoid "folding" a single, again for handling reasons.
This pic was a one-off, this doesn't happen regularly!
In reply to TobyA: Some easy Soloing at Birchen Sat evening before a smug running away just before the rain come down.
Got my ass handed to me by a VS at Higgar Tor the very short and steep Sickle Overhang. Broke my seconds nail. Ran away to some pleasant bouldering/soloing at Stanage apparent North.
Presumably the nine-inch type used for some terrifying type of an excuse for a runner like on Braille Trail? It did get soggy suprisingly quickly on Saturday evening didn't it. I finishing was belaying at the top of Janker's Crack watching a brave second battling her way up Chequers Buttress which was getting slippier faster than she could move up it!
just work there Toby but as I'm lucky enough to get to some great spots often at times when no one else is about much I try to post the odd pic
NT membership - camping doesn't attract a members discount, unfortunately, so same price for all however you quickly recoup the cost of membership with parking in Lakes or on the other hand you can bask in warm glow of having supported NT in it's wide ranging conservation work.
Email if you want to sort out some camping etc or just turn up
I had half arranged to meet a team at Stanage Popular on Sunday but couldn't believe the number of vehicles there when I arrived. Did a four mile tour on the north end of the crag, photoing a few bit and pieces I had previously missed, for the new Eastern Grit,
Great pic Chris. Did you fiddle with the colours at all? I'm colour blind and don't see the heather as readily as the rest of my family for instance, but in your pic the colours really 'pop'. Looking forward to getting the chance to climb at the top end of Stanage, as I've not been up there before. I've been enjoying using your guidebooks to!
> Great pic Chris. Did you fiddle with the colours at all? I'm colour blind and don't see the heather as readily as the rest of my family for instance, but in your pic the colours really 'pop'. Looking forward to getting the chance to climb at the top end of Stanage, as I've not been up there before. I've been enjoying using your guidebooks to!
Fiddly? Me? Never! OK just a bit.
It was nice and quiet up there, only a couple of teams at High Neb and a couple more at End Slab - the Popular End was rammed.
Glad the books are up to the task - hope they aren't missing too many routes?
Well, didn't get anything done on Saturday due to being distinctly not with it after a large dose of anti-histamines the night before, turned out to be a nice day Yorkshire way :-/
Sunday was much more successful with a trip to the deeply esoteric Worlow Quarry for some obscure quarried grit steepness - bagged another E1 (though this one required a clean beforehand) though it was a bit of a path and the grade would probably be more appropriate for the HVS I had lead earlier that day. Some decent climbing if you don't mind the brooding atmosphere, occasional interruptions by lost Range rover owners (!) and cleaning the harder routes beforehand.
I also drink drank at least 20 cups of tea - that is a sign of a successful weekend.
Toby, this is a great thread you've started. So much better than those interminable 'your 500 favourite vs's on grit' lists. Sadly I can't add to it being too tired to climb at the WE (due to climbing all week!) Just thought you should know.
Saturday I decided to change the habit of a lifetime and believe the BBC weather forecast for rain clearing out of the western lakes by 11.00am which it did. So had a great day on Wallobarrow introducing a young mate to his first multipitch. At the moment my chances to get out climbing are on a par with my chances of getting out of a straight jacket while buried up to the neck in concrete, so I value any chance I get. Apologies to the couple who followed us as we took our time.
> Toby, this is a great thread you've started. So much better than those interminable 'your 500 favourite vs's on grit' lists. Sadly I can't add to it being too tired to climb at the WE (due to climbing all week!) Just thought you should know.
I did Dreadnought at Berryhead on Saturday which was as brilliant as I'd hoped it would be. On Sunday I set off up Preter before deciding that it was desperate and switching to Malbogies which was a total sandbag. Then we did M1.
A Lakeland revival trip up to eagle crag Borrowdale to do Faulkners Crack on Saturday followed by my first girdle traverse on Sunday on White ghyll. Despite there being about 10 people on white ghyll we only spent about 20 mins waiting to follow a couple on one pitch of white ghyll wall and shared a belay with two more people on a ledge for Gordian knott as they were going up the route above us and we went down the pitch they had just done. We ended up taking about 5h to do the 12 pitch route which felt like quite the adventure!
Right, it's sunday and it's dark - so what did you do climbing-wise this weekend?
Not strictly at the weekend, but last thursday - last day before my course began - I cycled from Sheffield to Birchen and visited it for the first time. Soloed 13 easy routes, then cycled back in time to get the kids from school. Saturday I was meeting Tony for another visit to Cheedale - the rain was bucketing down as I left Sheffield though. We changed plans and met at a cafe in Hathersage instead, drank tea and ate cake watching the rain fall. Tony did his shopping then, putting it off no longer, we went down to Cheedale for Tony to try his project on the Cornice. The rock was dry but unfortunately he didn't quite send it after giving it a couple of good goes. Next time! Mid afternoon the rains weakened a bit and we trying to decide on venue #2. We managed to drive back into the rain going up to Horseshoe, which all looked dank and soggy. A pint was the next plan then a speculative walk back up to Birchens as the rain had sort-of stopped. It was all a bit green and damp but I did Victory Crack which is jammy enough to feel secure. Tony next did Orpheus Wall after one fall. I found it utterly desperate seconding and had to cheat. We finished by me leading Nelson Nemesis in a bit of setting sun - the only sun we saw all day! Not too bad a day considering the dreich conditions. Today I managed to boulder a few problems at the Hurkling Stone up on the Derwent moors during a family hike.
In reply to TobyA: I did my first sea cliff e1. The arrow at St Govan's. my best route to date. I'm just breaking the hvs grade so was well pleased to top out on this. I felt high on weed when I sat down at the top after. Happy days.
Headed to Wilton at 1pm after work but as we drove through Glossop realised that the weather gods had been telling fibs.
Ended up going to Idwal Slabs instead where I climbed some E1 at the top of the slab and mate did one of the suicide wall routes.
Not very often the weather in North Wales saves the day
Thursday - spat off seconding Titus Groan in white ghyll, its probably a bit harder than E1
Friday - middlefell butress
Saturday - back to white ghyll for Slabs route 1
Sunday - gentle early bike to stoolend with youngest, middlefell butress, bike to blea tarn oldest boy, paddle low wray to ambleside with 7 kids to celebrate oldest daughters birthday
Hosted Mum's birthday party Saturday so spent the day preparing for that. Today at Crookrise in stunning sunshine with the climbing club. Was belayed throughout by two beginners (one tailing the other) on several VSs, which I find hard enough already without two youngsters diligently pulling hard on the lead rope so I can't make the moves... That's my excuse anyway ;-)
PS Crookrise is ace. Probably the best range of easy to middle grade routes on Yorkshire grit with a cracking view.
Brilliant day at Trowbarrow. Started climbing 3 years ago and after loads of wall work plenty of outdoor top roping and some challenging sport at Australia Quarry finally lead my first decent length single pitch route. It was a glorious late summer day with beautiful sunshine in sheltered Trowbarrow. I scrambled up twentieth century schizoid man on Assagai the Wall. Easy climbing but bloody good fun. Lovely view from the top. Joyous day. Up and onwards. N. B. Was seconded by my 13 year old son who was completely underwhelmed and wants to climb harder. Vin
Yesterday bailed from a very wet Wilton to a very dry and sunny Lakes (the world has gone mad!)
Finally got Pluto lead at Raven, Langdale while my mate put in a sterling onsight led of the (hard?) E4 Armalite, which I surprised myself by seconding cleaning and without too much effort.
Had another go at Wilton today, hampered by me going down with a cold or something: lead Cameo again, and a very worhtwhile recently recleaned and excavated E1 called Deodar (sp?) whilst my mate had a go at various hard things culminating in Master Spy, an E4 a full order of magnitude hard than the previous days.
An excellent couple of days: it's great to be out with someone with so much psyche and climbing considerably harder than me - very inspiring.
Yet another route-checking couple of days in the Rhinogydd for the new guide, an all-too-common pattern for me over the past 9 months. Consequently, now on first name terms with quite a few of the local farmers. Continue to be very impressed by the skill and confidence of the first ascentionists who have soloed totally unprotected E4s and E5s above body-scything landings.
Eleven routes climbed and checked up to E4 on two separate crags; only 500 or so more to go! Also climbed 4 new routes and discovered an absolutely fantastic little sandbag in Cwm Nantcol - which has (fortunately) now been upgraded from the FA grade of Severe to a rather well-deserved E1 5b!!
Really nice day out at Bamford. Did Brown's Crack but failed at Samson's Delight. I'm beginning to develop a theory if something's less than ten meters and graded harder than VDiff then it's probably a sandbag.
Can I post about the weekend before this just gone? (here goes)
Long weekend in Cornwall. Finally got Astral Stroll done after having it on the 'tick list' for years. The sea had a big swell going and it even threatened to rain at one point but got it done. Felt pretty tough for the grade and a big chunk of the initial traverse has fallen off (but it didn't affect the high level approach).
In reply to BnB: Too right. I'd go as far as to say there are no sandbags left on any popular eastern edge crags below VS (in the BMC guides unless a route has changed recently: holds or gear placements have blown) as we climbed them all and got rid of them (there are not many in Rockfax either). By that I mean routes obviously more than a grade out.
People will find some routes hard but that probably partly because they are maybe top of the grade and/or because we all have different skill sets compared to a nominal average climber and/or even the best graders cant pin things too accurately iside a particlar grade or at a border. We may have also missed some reachy routes that really needed a health warning as some routes didnt get ticked by our shorter checkers. Back to the Bamford routes in question: Samson's Delight is at 4c more technical than BC and being off -balance (yet less sustained) is a very different style (BC spanks those who cant jam).
Incidently forgot to mention we had a look at Terriers Tooth last week its a real mess as the bottom 15m or so of the route has sheared off on a slab line above the tidal ledges. We met a party trying to gain the unaffected section and its not trivial. A smaller rockfall further left has removed the start of Mermaid.
> Too right. I'd go as far as to say there are no sandbags left on any popular eastern edge crags below VS (in BMC) as we climbed them all and got rid of them (there are not many in Rockfax either). People will find some routes hard but that probably partly because they are top of the grade and because we all have different skill sets compared to a nominal average climber.
Yeah, it's probably that. I found Brown's Crack relatively steady and thought Samson's Delight the living end. I've also still got the mental scars from Calcutta Crack at the Roaches, hence my suspicions about six metre sandbags - I always imagine a hypothetical JCM saying something like "how can it be HS? It's only six metres, you could jump off it..."
Western edges stuff is graded a significant fraction of a grade harder. We try and keep our personal view seperate on Offwidth and we think Calcutta Crack is HS 4b. JCM was a mid extreme leader and a bit of an iconoclast on the grading of sandbags (statements such as 'that HVS is way to hard to be E1' !) so not trustworthy in the slightest on the grading of such routes but often cuttingly funny.
> I'd go as far as to say there are no sandbags left on any popular eastern edge crags below VS
What's the method (trick?) for Orpheus wall then? I know that's not below VS, but it obviously a well know and loved route. I've now seen some pics of people getting their whole knee and lower leg onto the jugs which I didn't try - I had a heel/toe cam in - so might need to give that a go next time. But I've onsighted plenty of 5b routes and couldn't second it cleanly, and my friend who got spat off it on his onsight attempt has climbed 7c this year; so I can't imagine Orpheus is a particularly easy 5c move. Giving it HVS seems even odder in that light but grit grades seem a bit odd to me still.
The other part of my comment wasn't really specific to JCM - that was just thinking back to the "just jump off Valkyrie" conversation - so much as the possibility that people are less willing to upgrade short routes, regardless of the actual technical difficulty, because they're a bit embarrassed to be putting on a trad rack for something that size anyway.
Probably I'm just overgeneralizing from two or three examples.
Had a late start and wandered up to Burnt Crag on Saturday. My partner led Shifter and I fell off it seconding. Brilliant route but felt quite tough. Didn't lead anything as the E2 looked nails (as did the rest of the E3s) and the HVS looked disgusting.
Yesterday we made a bad decision to go to Chapel Head. It was far too hot and I ripped a tip open trying Super Dupont and bled everywhere, so that ended my climbing for the day.
took a recent swedish aquaintance to borrowdale for a van trip.....took her up some of the classics as her first introduction to rock. The more unconventional style of strapping her down with a gri-gri on multipitch routes seemed to work ok ;)
I was in Prague over the weekend, so had a drive over to Petrohrad for some bouldering on the Saturday. It is a lovely setting, great looking boulders in the forrest and we seemed to have the place completely to ourselves. I found the climbing quite fustrating and my rib injury was playing up a bit - we probably needed to spend longer there to get used to the style. Would like to go back again at some point.
In reply to TobyA: Spoiler alert for OW: 'kneebar' on ledge, pull up into undercuts and udge up further until you can reach (using friction on trailing leg) and when you know how it all feels more 5b than 5c. You can also semi-dyno at 5c but I'd rather people avoid this as the cam placements are trashed already and don't need extra hammer. If a leader is not good at trick technical routes at the top of the HVS grade its maybe best to stay away until they get better.
In reply to TobyA: You are missing my point. The cam placements on Orpheus Wall are pretty trashed so it needs some tlc. I have no real issues with people trying hard and falling on non-damaged routes. Same as my complaint about Topsail earlier. The BMC guide specifically warns about pushing so hard a fall is likely on the damaged placements on these routes.
I'm not missing the point, I'm saying some people just turn up at a cliff and try routes based on the info in the guide. The rockfax also notes that the placements are wearing, although they looked ok to us (two secure yellows IIRC) and clearly worked for my friend when he did come off.
Then I'm dissapoined in you. If you knew the climb you would know how fast those cam slots have eroded. It isnt a safety issue on OW as cams have gouged a rounded profile reasonably deep in the break, its an issue of respect for the rock over yet another marginal tick.
Sounds good and Gazebo is one I'd like to do next time I'm in the Lakes. My partner for North Wales fell through (due to a speed education course!), but a late appeal for partners bore fruit and I ended up heading to Gower.
Got on Sport stuff near Southgate on the Saturday, followed by a fantastic swim in the sea. Bit of pub time then sneaky wildcamp in a beautiful secluded location (pitched late and broke camp early). In the morning headed to the new Sports stuff on Mermaid Wall at Rhossili. Brilliant mid grade routes straight off the golden sand. Got a bit too involved in the climbing and ended up having to wade out of the cove in waist deep water - entertaining! ...sport climbing felt adventurous for a change.
Thanks to all those that have recently equipped this area, top work. Once a few of the barnacles and mussels have gone from the starts there will be a host of multi star classics in the F4 - F6b+ range, star worthy in their current state, but will improve with traffic - get down there!
> Then I'm dissapoined in you. If you knew the climb you would know how fast those cam slots have eroded. It isnt a safety issue on OW as cams have gouged a rounded profile reasonably deep in the break, its an issue of respect for the rock over yet another marginal tick.
In reply to jon: Solo it. Boulder it. Headpoint it. TR it. Get beta for the sake of the rock. Bear in mind if you intend to try and onsight it that the moves are not obvious and the damage is serious and so consider that in your choice, and if in doubt about your ability to unlock weird bouldery grit 5c consider leaving it until you have improved. If you assessed honestly and still fell maybe back off as the very worst damage is done by those falling again and again or worst still moving around on the cams and grinding away at the rock whilst trying to dog it. There are rare occasions when the cumulative impact of the trad UK lead on a mid grade route is the most damaging game to play and this is one.
Conversation between my girlfriend and another nearby belayer:
Him: "I've never seen this many people at Bamford!"
Her: "Yeah, I wonder what Stanage is like?"
Him: "It's a gritstone edge about 7km long and 12m high, but that's not important right now..."
Well you do seem to have taken on something of a father-figure role for Eastern grit, so perhaps I shouldn't be surprised, but do check your spelling before telling people off!
More seriously, if as you say it is not a case where the placements are becoming more marginal from wear, then I'm not really sure that OW is any more of a case of people not respecting the rock than any other route on Birchen (or the popular bits of Stanage/Froggat etc). One of the things that has struck me most about the classic routes on grit I've done in the last month is just how smooth many of the cracks are from the passage of thousands of feet and hands (and some cams/nut as well I guess). Lots of the cracks I climbed on my first visit at Birchen are super-user friendly because they are so well traveled. The grit up on the tors above Ladybower is much rougher, and more as I remember grit being 15 years ago when I last climbed regular in the Peak.
In reply to TobyA: Disappointed about spelling comments too (it wont change either as I have a life and won't properly proof read my posts here ;-)
There is no noticable change in polish on any popular grit route I've known in the 25 years I've been climbing them; from talking to older climbers most of it has been on Stanage say since nailed boots and I've even found polished rock under a foot of turf at Laddow. Ladybower was always rougher less well travelled rock. A few crags which have become more popular have cleaned up and a few of the opposite are getting overgrown. The only big changes on grit are either from cams: a handful of routes where cam damage has broken the harder surface layer and is eating into the grit matrix (most noticable on cruxy Birchen classics but its impinging on harder rock on the even more popular routes at Stanage as well now if you know where to look) or if a moron tried to protect a thin flake with a cam; alternately, damaged boulder problems from over-brushing , dirty feet or climbing on soft damp rock.
I'm no father figure: I just know the routes and care about minimising damage to the rock (as any self respecting climber should). OW is rare as its very cruxy on particularly soft rock and the damaged rock not so easily avoided by lead climbers ( but I can see a time where we will be talking about banning cams at Birchen if climbers don't change their habits). I'm just as pissed off with those morons lacking the entry talent polishing Downhill Racer on a top-rope or groups abseilling (clumpily in big boots) down hard slab routes that rely on pebbles (like the Barriers in Time slab).
I'm just back from a couple of hours at the north end of Burbage, things like 20 Foot Crack are so polished, even with carefully cleaned shoes before setting off up it I still had some foot slips so decided not to top out without a rope and climbed back down. It's hard to believe that polish isn't cumulative, because there are less attractive routes nearby with less sheen to them.
It may be hard to believe but TFC was one of the first routes I ever did and I've never known it not to be polished. I acknowledge it must be cumulative (so getting gradually worse) but these days we dont climb in nails or as much in the wet/with dirty shoes.
Went to Pavey on Saturday. Did Cascade and Astra. Astra was brilliant, really enjoyed the two swings around the ribs and loved the run out!
Late start today due to a poorly pet rat. Ended up back at Chapel Head and back on Super Dupont. Conditions were still smeggy but no finger ripping this week. Can now do all the moves but the idea of linking it all together seems completely beyond me!
To Birchen for some of the most bewildering grades on grit. How a sustained 5a+ start with no gear until 8m rates VS I don't understand... Nice environment though, pretty walk-in, nice view, excellent range of routes.
Had a wander up to Kinder Scout on sat, missus decided we didn't need to follow a bearing walking across edale moor, discovered we should have done so, found a tall tuft of peat, triangulated, found our way back to the decent, went to the pub, devoured a huge plate of pie.
Sunday spent almost a full day at the wall, trying to train for better endurance; Leading as many routes as we could back to back, not stopping till we fell, then switching.
Nice one! Not sure if strictly speaking getting lost on Kinder counts as climbing though. ;-)
Saturday, I drove with my family up to Brimham. I had been tipped off by a friend on facebook that there were loads of bilberries up there - she had made a number of pots of jam from her picking last weekend. My wife being of Nordic peasant stock has a genetic urge to pick bilberries to help survive the winter, so wanted to go. She said she'd belay me on a few routes in return. I did Birch Tree Wall, which I've wanted to do for a couple of decades having seen it in one of the first climbing mags I ever bought. It was actually pretty terrifying I found. Pretty shoddy gear on the traverse needed lots of old school gear fiddling jiggery-pokery to build something equalised that MIGHT work, then just a couple of shallow micro cams above. Not actually very hard, but scary as. After that I shot up Right Hand Crack, which was much more my cup of tea! Good jams and good runners. Finally the whole family, even the missus who rarely climbs these days, seconded me up Lichen Slab, which was jolly nice. We found loads of bilberry bushes but no bilberries and I thought I was going to be in trouble for compiling a dodgy dossier on blueberry-intelligence, but on the walk back to the car we hit the mother lode. Bushes covered with them, so in about 45 minutes filled up all the lunchboxes and the like with about 4 litres of little buggers. Wife will now just have to find some Yorkshire moose to shoot to keep her Nordic-nature totally content.
Fish and chips for tea in Knaresbourough on the way home - I had never even heard of Knaresborough before but it seemed a ridiculously beautiful town, currently full of TdF fun stuff too - the kids enjoyed spotting yellow bikes all over.
Sunday, myself and son no. 1 went to Stanage Plantation to meet a mate and his son. Didn't have that long but got some problems done. Tried Crescent Arete for the first time, but decided not for me. For some reason I had always thought it was UK 5a, but it's a lot harder than that! Breaking your ankles in front of an audience of kids seemed a bad idea. Perhaps I'll try harder when I just have a mate spotting sometime. Then back to Sheff for all the kids to go to Sheffield Lego club in the afternoon!
I did my first M-graded route! Artificial (at Redpoint) and on a top rope and with AlpKit FigFours, but still an "M" (M4). I've used FigFours a few times at Nottingham Climbing Centre but at that time they were grading everything with UK tech grades there and had not set any specific routes for FigFours.
This M4 felt about the same as climbing a UK 4b or 4c route at Nottingham. That is to say, much harder than just climbing it with hands
I finally went to Fairy Cave Quarry expecting a dangerous choss fest and found that it's actually a great venue with an incredible variety of routes. Led three routes at VDiff and thoroughly enjoyed myself.
Had Burbage to ourselves on Friday, if that counts as the weekend. Will do soon, as I retire this week! Did the Grazer, clean, Big Chimney arete, and seconded Peter's and Dover's Progress (separately, not some weird link up!)
Yes, Mast Gully Buttress. Had to rely on hearsay from someone who had climbed it as to absence of low down gear since I never got off the ground!!
Certainly there is gear higher up. But the crux surely consists of the initial three slaps to reach the better hold (pre-gear). Serious ankle breaking potential. Possibly worse.
We all thought Stoker's Hole overgraded at HS. Though there was some debate over the correct line. Also, while I took my time working out how to balance onto the starting block of Wonderful Copenhagen VS 5a, the route from there was a walk. Severe 5a with a problem start would be appropriate in my inexperienced eyes, so possibly HS 5a.
Nice place and will be going back. Hopefully with stronger arms.
I did the 9 edges endurance in the climbers category on Saturday. A very enlightening experience - well a bit more than that but I'll stick with the positive points.
For those who don't know it's a race from Ladybower to the Robin Hood pub following Derwent, Stanage, Burbage N and S, Froggatt, Curbar, Baslow, Gardom's and Birchen (about 35k? a bit more for climbers who need a detour to go to Gardom's and a bit more for us who made 2 navigation mistakes). There's a runners, a walkers and a climbers category. The climbers have to climb a route of their choice on each edge. I think there were 3 groups of climbers in the 300 participants...
Our objective was to start at 8:00 and finish before 18:00. I had estimated about 5 hours of walk/run and 4 1/2 hours of climbing. Well, the least I can say is that it has been very sobering.
We managed to finish at 18:00 but our standards of climbing went down with the day. We started with a Severe at Dovestone Tor after 6k or so. Easy, until we found funny to drag our bags up the crag, and lost 20 minutes faffing around getting the bags unstuck. 5k later, Stanage: we solo a Diff route to regain a bit of time. Then Burbage N, 20k in. We start struggling on a S, immediate disco legs, my mate can't lead and I manage to butcher my way up... 1/10 on the style from the jury. Burbage south, another solo/scramble (Moderate - we're starting to feel pretty weak). Then Froggatt, Curbar and Baslow: solo, then another couple of scrambles, Gardom's will be another scramble and Birchen only a boulder problem.
Well, at least I think we kept the spirit of the challenge if nothing else (honour and dignity were lost along the way earlier in the day)... After 35k of walk/run, the last edges felt pretty horrendous, even though they were extremely easy climbs.
Despite reduced climbing gear the bags felt very heavy at the end. we'll need to go from "reduced" to "minimal" next year (and forget this bloody Eastern Grit which felt like a ton at the end). The other limiting factor was the amount of time each climb took us. Well not the climb itself, but the approach to the crag, the choice of the route (need to work on that), and the way back to the path.
Very funny day out for a climber, it actually resembles a good day of mountaineering more than I thought. We'll need a bit more organisation for next time but I can only highly recommend the challenge for other climbers.
Headed to Beeston tor on Sunday and did The Thorn - a proper cracking route, lovely exposure on the crux pitch. Wanted to do pocket symphony too but the blisters from Saturdays cyclocross race put paid to that. Finished the day at Adlery doing the pleasant HVS slabs and practicing footwork.
As I said if you look it has pro to stop any ankle break and the BMC says the start is V1 5b.
We downgraded Stoker's Hole from Chatsworth VS and its one of the easiest HS climbs there it goes past the hole if you move across and get siderunners its way easier. Wonderful Copenhagen is V0 5a the VS is for the tricky bold wall at the top (whioch you must have missed).
In reply to TobyA:
Give it a try, it was quite funny. If you are a decent climber it shouldn't be a problem to finish earlier (we really lost a lot of time faffing around), the walk itself is easily manageable with a bit of perseverance. Mostly flat except for the ascent towards Derwent and Stanage.
Were you the gentleman in a green helmet on Handy Wall Hole at Dovestone Tor (or around there) who disappeared up the route in a puff of smoke? Either way that's a clever strategy, I will probably try to solo next year as well.
Went up to cloggy on Saturday and led Longlands climb. Quite possibly the worst route I've ever climbed. Won't be climbing that again in a hurry. Initially set off to do white slab but there were already 3 teams on it unfortunately. First time at cloggy though and definitely will be going back!
Sunday, headed to Dinas Mot and climbed Plexus and Super Direct. Just WOW. 2 of yhe best E1s ever! Especially Super Direct. I led the traverse pitch on pitch 2 which I was brilliant. Again, definitely going back there.
I've not heard of a broken placement and neither has a mate I just asked who almost lives there. Its on the left and partly sideways facing so quite a few miss it but every move from that point is a grade easier and at 4m up you are on VD terrain. Its given V1 now for a reason and is pretty easy, cf the supposedly equivalent yorkshire F5 problems.
Agree with you on this Offwidth. A tricky boulder problem start that if you fluff up you just jump back down to the ground, followed by gentle padding in diff/vdiff territory.
Sometimes easy routes are bold, look at Jitter Face at Stanage. A serious proposition for someone pushing there grade, but if you're climbing HS you're not going to fall off.
> (In reply to gribble)
> Were you the gentleman in a green helmet on Handy Wall Hole at Dovestone Tor (or around there) who disappeared up the route in a puff of smoke? Either way that's a clever strategy, I will probably try to solo next year as well.
No, no green helmet and not a gentleman. Soloing is defintely the way to go. One year we tried just VSs, now it's solo anything that looks fun!
> Nice one! Not sure if strictly speaking getting lost on Kinder counts as climbing though. ;-)
Tenuous link, I wanted to have a decco at Kinder downfall, as if it freezes this winter, I'd like to have a crack at it... In spite of growing up in South Yorks, until this year I have remained more or less totally unfamiliar with the peak.
In reply to TobyA:
Found myself at Back Forest near the Roaches on perfect grit in perfect solitude. After being dropped by the missus, I tucked both our skirts in and managed the first VS's of the year, which was nice. Slept in the van and was up on the Roaches early doors the next day, meeting a lot of lovely people up there too. A rather pleasant weekend.
Up at 5am, got to seathwate by 8am, lugged gear up to sprinkling tarn. Stashed gear and bombed round to bowfell.
Climbed Bowfell buttress, first multi pitch route with my bro. 3 teams on the route already so took our time and enjoyed it from top to bottom. Brilliant route and climbed fluidly but slowly alternating leads. May try moving together on it next time in preperation for next alps trips.
Back to sprinkling, set the tent up and feasted on bangers, chilli, potatoe cakes, chocolate and tinned fruit salad washed down with the beers we left to chill in the tarn all day!!!
All topped off by a huge lie in on sun morning followed by lots of coffee and bacon sarnies.
I was in glen croe on saturday trying to figure how to climb again. On sunday i did bludgers revelation again on the Buachaille and it was awesome, much better than the first attempt when i scared myself all the way up it so was in survival mode for the whole of the flake pitch and didn't enjoy it at all!
Was at a Climber's Club meet this weekend - unusual in that it was on my 'home turf' (the Yorkshire Dales) - a great meet, despite me ending up at the same venue both days (and there not being a BBQ as advertised!)
Another E1 onsight, which I was quite pleased with, and lots of classic limestone HVS action. Shame it wasn't sunnier (and clear overnight for an attempt to witness the Aurora)
I went to Wales. On Saturday, in at times swirling clouds and a bit of drizzle, Tony and I went to Dinas Cromlech. We climbed Noah's Warning first which went pretty smoothly, so we went back round and Tony shot up Cenotaph Corner. I'm following Steve McClure's advice of life being too short to keep "saving" routes for another day; so happily seconded and was pleased to find I didn't think the crux was desperate, so will try leading it next time. Then after a coffee break at the Slate Museum, we went into Vivian and did Mental Lentils. Some one years ago had told me it was great. It's quite nice climbing but feels more like an OK sport route than one of the 'proper' trad slate routes. https://pbs.twimg.com/media/ByFl834CIAA9mQG.jpgarge
Today, with five adults and seemingly large numbers of children, we went to the Sidings in Australia and did a bunch of lines in the sunshine. My older son (10) in particular had a great day and cleanly seconded a 6a. It suddenly seemed to click with him and he wanted to try hard and do technical moves. When I watched him put his toe on a thin edge that he was pushing down with his thumb on and rock over on to it, we decided that slate might be his forte! https://pbs.twimg.com/media/ByFk34tCcAA2T-r.jpgarge
Had a very enjoyable day climbing a couple of low grade routes on the East Face of Aonach Dubh on Saturday, then took our climbing sacks for a wander over SCNL as part of our pre winter hill fitness training programme
Went to go bouldering at slipstones on Saturday but treated myself to a lie in and it was drizzling by the time I rolled out of bed.
Sunday I got up early and drove over to the lakes and scrambled up pinnacle ridge in amazing weather. Met 3 blokes at the crux corner and enjoyed some banter with them before finishing up completely alone on the summit enjoying a pasty. The day as a whole reminded me of everything I love about climbing and the outdoors life in general.
Continued my unplanned month of West Country HS/VS classics with a visit to The Dewerstone, doing Central Grove and Fly on the Wall amongst others. Last weekend it was Wrecker's Slab, and the previous weekend Doorpost,with a visit to Sennen (Demo Route wasn't done by us that day). Next weekend a visit to Baggy Point, maybe Lost Horizons or Kinky Boots?
In reply to Nath93: Nath, I'm truly jealous. Enjoyed your pics on FB.
I had family at the weekend so Sunday climbing was on Monday. Does that count? Continued my program of leading all the soft VSs in the North in a bid to kid myself that I'm steady at VS. Gargoyle Buttress at Stanage was the pick having warmed up on Black Hawk Hell Crack and Manchester Buttress (brilliant routes). To finish, seconded Lancashire Wall which had me wondering if I could lead HVS, and then Queersville, which answered that question for me right enough!!
Saturday was taken up with a BMC meeting, ended up grabing a couple of hours indoors as it had been pouring down where we were... however I was later to learn that it had been predominantly dry in the nearby Central Lakes.
Sunday I made full use of the amazing weather to head up to Dow and tick of Leopard's Crawl (truely thought provoking!) and do Murray's Route (I did the direct last year).
I expect that will be the last mountain crag rock climbing I'll do this year... which is a sad thought.
I was meant to be in Pembrokshire this week, but my climbing partner's car died yesterday meaning he had to head back home with it in tow: home being no-where near where I live so I'm waiting for him to get sorted and let me know what he can do this week. Trouble is, the weather's breaking down and only somewhere like Pembrokeshire will remain dry.
Hmmmm, I did follow the Rockfax instruction after surmounting the perched block: "finish up the centre of the wall above trending slightly rightwards". Involved a fluttery move out right and then up the wall. Didn't find it particularly desperate but it wasn't an arÍte either. Interested to know which I did...
In reply to BnB: If you trend right and do the top wall finish its proper VS, not soft (the soft version is the block, the wall direct above and the arete) and the variant grade is a sandbag in Rockfax. Having looked, the lines are slightly wrong in both guides...always missed that.
In reply to BnB: My first genuine onsight HVS (previous ones were with beta or soft or sandbag graded as VS) and with an inexperienced belayer I'd only met that day. Sometimes when you are going well its just a head game
Indeed. it's only two hard moves really, the one off the rib which is pretty awkward and the big pull through the roof. I found both pretty intimidating on second I must say. The first must be the harder of the two on lead because of the lateral departure from gear as you move up.
In reply to all: OK all, who did what then? The cyclists are off and running once again with their weekend reports so let's not let the side down.
For me, Saturday was a family non-climbing day - I visited Doncaster for the first time! Sunday, myself and TRip went to Curbar. The weather was glorious, much better than the forecast had suggested - I even did a few routes with my shirt off I was getting so hot (apologies to any innocent bystanders afflicted by that sight). I did Bel Ami first which was jolly nice. Tom then led Green Crack very smoothly; I seconded OK but thought it gets tough where the jams run out. Next I tried Maupassant and was doing ok until I tried to offwidth the final section rather than just layback it and stand up. Opps - but my top cam was good. Tom then led it on my gear showing me how it is done, meaning I had to then go up and do it all again seconding - which I just about managed. Tom then had a shot on L'Horla but couldn't quite work out the moves. I soloed some Vdiff to the right to go up and release his rope after he had abbed to get his gear out. Tom did Kayak which was scary enough just to spot then belay him on. I messed up seconding first go and slipped off. It went quite smoothly on my second attempt but one of those ones I have no interest in trying to lead! Then we went down to the far end of the edge, where neither of us have been before. We did a quick solo of Dog Leg Crack before scooting round under End of the Affair (not quite as spectacular in real life as I had expected but looks terrifying all the same) for me to try Sorrell's Sorrow. This went ok despite the butch overhung start which isn't my cup of tea - lots of nice fist jams the whole way up and made feel better about blowing Maupassant earlier. On the way back towards the car I led Little Innominate which was great fun and packs a punch for its little stature. Nice to see on UKC its get's HVS, but really I'm not sure what is wrong with the VS 5a Rockfax grade.
Super day out in the sunshine overall - cheers Tom!
I had a very pleasant easy solo up the rib to the right of North Gully on Tahquitz on Saturday morning. 1000 feet of VDiffish slabs and laybacks, beautiful morning with the first chill of autumn, the trees just starting to turn, you know the sort of thing.
Friday night went cragging with head torches rather than venture to the wall. First time I've deliberately gone out leading stuff in the dark (rather than finishing stuff in the dark as is the norm), did several VDs and an HS at the Dewerstone, all routes I've done before but doing them in the dark added a whole new dimension. Will be going again this week.
Saturday family day (on the beach, warm sea and found a massive starfish, kids happy with that one).
Sunday a few hours of exploration/cleaning/bouldering on Dartmoor.
On Saturday, after a lot of humming and hawing we left the climbing gear in the car and went for a scramble up Curved Ridge followed by a delightful walk out to Stob na Broige. Glad we did, Rannoch Wall was full of weeping wet streaks. Winds were much lighter than forecast. The Ryder cup persuaded us from travelling up the busy A9 to the drier conditions further east.
In reply to TobyA: Went to Wintour's Leap yesterday to climb on the fly wall. Did a few VS's and then started heading up Flies Rise, a two pitch HVS.
I lead the easier first pitch, with my mate planning to lead the harder second pitch as I've not climbed much this year.
He had a go and pottered about a bit at the crux before deciding it was too much and I lowered him back to the belay. We pulled the ropes and I had a go. I clipped his last bit of gear just below the crux and headed on up. 5 metres of hard climbing and I was through the crux and found a nice slot for a cam. I went to place gear only to find my gear loops empty - we'd forgotten to swap gear after the unexpected changeover!
There was no way I could down climb, and a fall would have been very bad. I quickly committed to another two difficult moves on thin holds and found my self on a small but stable and comfortable ledge, with a small tree the diameter of a fist at my chest height.
I had a long sling with me at the back of my harness so I put it round the tree and clove hitched one of my ropes to it.
I then lowered the other rope to my mate who tied on some gear and I hoisted it up.
I placed some solid nuts, took a few minutes to compose myself, and climbed the easy last 5 metres to the top.
The guide book gives this climb HVS 5b though on UKC its 5a. In my mind its definitely 5b - the poll for the route on here also confirms it at 5b. This is the top of my grade outdoors so I'm very familiar with the difference between 5b and 5a and there's no way that was a 5a move!
In reply to TobyA: Sunday had a stroll around some familiar bouldering and then a brand new bit at Helsby in the Woods. Really promising. Foot popped and strained a vulnerable shoulder, so packed early. Wandered along to the main crag and bumped into 80s legend Phil Davidson and mate. Great to see him back in action.
A Dream of White Horses - Fantastic. Not done much climbing this year and very little trad so it was a great adventure. Plenty of rope faff, going off route, down climbing and general incompetence. Thankfully the climbing itself is easy, especially as the last pitch looks so improbable from a distance.
We managed our 10 rock type challenge on Saturday. Started at dawn at Helsby on Flake Crack, finished in the dark on Extraction, Craig Bwlch y Moch with some madcap driving, soloing and running uphill to obscure crags in between. Pleasant surprise of the day was Craig y Tonnau in the Moelwyns, awesome beginners crag with funky rock.
This is more of a 'what did you do during the week' kind of post!
I was meant to be heading to Pembrokeshire with a friend last Monday, but a blown turbo in his car and subsequent tow back to his place (in a different county to me!) rather put pay to that... :-/
In consolation I grabed a couple of routes at Den Lane (damn awkward top outs even with the lower-offs!) before rained stopped play on Tuesday, a day trip to Langdale (mainly White Ghyll) where it was still summer in the sun and definitely tending towards winter in the shade, a quick MTB circuit in the rain on Friday (oops, sorry, wrong thread!) and a spot of Dales limestone on Saturday complete with one new route (ground up, needs a bit of clean!) and another E1 onsight (ran out of time to give it the direct start it deserves).
> (In reply to Dave Garnett)
> Sounds lovely. Isn't your normal stomping ground the Roaches? I don't remember anything a 1000 ft high near there! ;-)
Yes, I'm back to rainy Staffordshire this week but I was working in Fremont and Carlsbad last week and managed to nip over to Idyllwild to stay with friends and grab a morning on the mountain before flying back. Well worth it it, excellent dinner and memorable bite-sized mountaineering. It's not the quantity, it's the quality!
In reply to all: Come on then everyone, what did you get up this weekend?
We went Aldery Cliff first thing today and sort of did Nettlerash, although I went a bit right at the top to follow a crack line all the way to the top (finish of Broken Toe?). This gives a really nice 30 mtr pitch, and my 10 yr old son put in a sterling effort storming up it second with my mate Tony just behind him third doing a great job of encouraging him along a pointing out the odd foot hold he might need not having much reach.
Then we made our first visit to the post-industrial delights of Harpur Hill. We did a little grade 4 at the bottom for Olli to have a go on (he pronounced it easy) than went up to Papacy Buttress. Tony and I both sent Coral Seas which was pretty nice, although some of the reaches low down defeated the shortest member of the party. I then tried to lead Seven Deadly Sins (HVS 5a) next door. I was really enjoying it until getting to what I take is the crux, this slightly overhung bit past the amazing jug at the top of the flake into the thin crack above. I had a huge battle trying to get a finger-lock or -cam to stick in the crack and eventually somehow popped off surprising myself by ripping my top runner (a cam obviously stuffed in the crack with too much haste and too little care!) and ending up three or four metres below. I ended up walking around to the top and abbing to get the gear out (something of trial in itself with the one stake I could find being well off to the side of that buttress). If anyone has beta on that route, I'd be interested to hear. I'm pretty certain I was trying and pulling much harder on Seven Deadly... than on the crux Coral Seas, but still fell. And I was definitely on the line shown in Rockfax, which makes make me wonder a bit about the 5a grade. I have fallen off HVSs occasionally in the past (indeed I managed it off Maupassant last weekend!) but normally I can do them... :-/
After this mountain out of a molehill we went down a level for Tony to try Cairn which he dispatched on his first proper redpoint attempt - very impressive, with a hands off rest from a kneebar at one point and some excellent heel-hookery involved! I did the 5+ to its right which Olli also seconded with little sign of struggle - he'll be burning me off sooner rather than later I reckon!
(p.s. I found a rock shoe at Harpur. See Lost and Found if you think it might be yours.)
Nice. I did my first 'proper' solo hill walks in the Rhinogs when I was a kid, really must get back sometime. My impression (almost certainly unfair) is that most of the routes done there recently are relatively short unprotectable E5s. Am I totally wrong?
In reply to TobyA: re SDS -if you look in Peak Limestone the topo line has changed from the one in Northern Limestone becoming more direct. The NL line seems to agree with the description from the 87 definitive (latest!).
The older less direct line apparently had a lot of rope drag unless using double rope and there appears to now be an E1 going up this old bit. Presumably it's all meant to be about HVS 5a as that's the grade since Nunn's bumper book of interesting grades.
It's still on my to do list and I suspect I will just go whichever way looks easiest when the time comes
Went to Pule Hill and soloed a few easy routes that I'd not done for a few years, had forgotten how nice some of them were.
Had a really good day at Brigham. This has been my year of trying to conquer VS. I started climbing last summer and seconded many of the Yorkshire and (a good selection of the) Peak classic VSs. This year I've been trying to lead (some of) them. I am by no means "steady at VS" but I seem now able to approach them without that feeling of intimidation that comes with steep walls, flakily protected moves, overhanging cracks, climbing above gear etc. I'm still shit but not shit scared and that's real progress. Led three classics, a short and steep 5a and a few easier routes in lovely weather. Real feeling yesterday of summer's last outing but a lovely day to finish on. Bring on the winter.
A first yesterday, have trad climbed on the leaning block at Higgar Tor, but never been bouldering. Went out without a guidebook and one of the ticks was a V5 straight off which I'm really pleased with as have spent most of the summer off climbing. Really nice weather too.
Just had a brief sesh down the wall on Sunday afternoon to relax before my OU exams today... Of course I set out up routes at the top end of my ability level flying up like Ben Hur, until about 5 routes in something happened inside my left shoulder leaving me in great pain partway up an easy but heavily overhung route... I'm a bit concerned about that, it seemed to stop soon once I took my weight off it bunt not good... Once my Exams are over I'll be able to worry about it to my hearts content
This weekend I went to Neilston Quarry without much hope for the rock being dry. It was still seeping when we arrived in the morning, but it dried quickly and I did a few routes including the rather fun Curving Crack (HVS 5a) which was excitingly slimy at the top. On Saturday I went out and bagged An Caisteal, but didn't go up the adjacent Beinn a' Chroin due to the horrific wind and a soaked walking partner.
> It's still on my to do list and I suspect I will just go whichever way looks easiest when the time comes
Cheers Michael, the way I tried it probably the obvious way as well as the line in the book. The line of the E1 is just a metre or so to your left. I had a look at it, but it also looks very hard at that height. I fell off literally at this point https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BzNvG4vCAAA3zet.jpgarge There is very little for your right foot, and while one hand is on the amazing jug, you lock on that and scrabble your other hand around in the crack desperately trying to get fingers to lock somehow which I couldn't do. I'm not super short (5'9" and half-ish) but a lanky git might be able to just grab the edge of the ledge above the crack!
So - this weekend: Friday, my mate Jody came over after work and we rushed to Burbage. I led Pulcherrime, which I wimped out of soloing a few weeks back - probably not a bad thing it turns out as its trick at the top. We tried another route but with no success in the last of the daylight then I led Detour by headtorch which made it more exciting than it perhaps would have been otherwise. We then did a bit of bouldering by the light of Jody's amazing mobile standing lamp.
Saturday began with a wonderful cloud inversion as we drove up to Stanage. We went up to High Neb for the first time but found it was heaving, so started climbing at Crow Chin (also busy) and not quite as good as I had hoped so after a few routes went along to Marble Wall. I really wanted to do Terrazza Crack and really gave it a good go, but only managed it after a slump onto some gear and a rest. Jody tried next and found similar! It's one of the harder HVSs I've tried since moving to the Peak area I reckon. After that we went round the corner and did First, Second and Richard's Sister, all of which are good and not easy for their grades either! Next Jody led the bold little route Kitten and I led the rather fun Cosmic Crack. I finished the day with a quick solo of the very nice Heather Crack on the Travesties sector. 10 routes in all which left me a bit achy!
No climbing today but did go for a family walk over Higgar to see yet another great cloud inversion looking down into the hope valley.
That's a great part of Stanage, especially when high neb is busy. terrazza crack is hard for the grade and most people get spanked by it, so I wouldn't feel too bad
Stanage is the crag that keeps on giving!
In reply to TobyA: Saturday had a lie in then attended the awesome walls sheff first birthday thing, as documented elsewhere, really not for me...
Sunday got up early, sorted gear out, made pancakes; at this point i discovered missus was feeling unwell so we were going to give up on the day; however by one she was feeling much better so we plodded up to stanage north end.
Slowly worked our way along the crags doing a bit of this and that and teaching her to place protection wherever we could spot ground level features which were unoccupied until we reached High Neb which was the Highlight of my day.
Led Boyds Crack (Just like soloing it but you build a belay at the top) and then spent quite a while belaying as my missus struggled with the offwidth and eventually got her leg stuck and required me to hoist her up and hold her weight whilst she extracated herself.
That done we had a bit of a potter for ten mins and had a crack at High Neb Buttress which was a debacle... I took an age to get up the first few moves and place protection, started to make (slow) progress and eventually decided that it was going to take me too long to get up it... So Down climbed and cleaned the gear which gave my missus kittens ("I Don't think you can do that move backward").
Stopped just long enough to chat to another couple who told us that Boyd's was not a Mod (as per On Peak Rock) but HS... I'm not convinced, it feels awkward but climbs straightforward enough if you just ignore anything your mind might have to say and climb it.
I then cursed myself for not finishing High Neb Buttress all the way back to the car, and grabbed an early night for a 3am start for work today.
On saturday me and my mate nipped up a damp and misty North Buttress on the Buachaille, returned to the car via Stob na Doire and the Lairig Gartain. The drive up was murky, damp and dreich, thankfully things started to improve as we approached Rannoch Moor. With a nice early start I was back in da hoose for 1600
In reply to TobyA: To Ilkley on Saturday for a short afternoon's cragging. Left a red 6 wallnut (yes, the really useful one) in Walewska and if anyone can get it out of that slot then they truly deserve to keep it. Then ran out of cams at the hand traverse and went bold for the top-out. Highly exhilarating. Followed that with Blucher at my onsight limit (a paltry VS 4c, well 5a on a good day) and seconded a couple of easier quarry classics. Given the questionable forecast it felt like a great afternoon stolen from the rain.
I had to do uni assignment work virtually all weekend, but took enough time off on Sunday to pop out to Gardoms, meet a very old friend from Scotland who is down visiting, and do Oread, a nice little VS crack that I don't think I had even heard about before. I also had to lower my no.1 son part way down the cliff so he could have his photo taken reading a book - it is "extreme reading" which is a competition they are doing for school, he better win after the super-belay I built!
A rather attractive if ridiculously blowy day in the Peak on sunday.
So nobody updated this thread last weekend, despite the cyclists updating theirs! Surely routes got done? Last weekend I did some at Gardoms on Saturday before the rain started, then soloed a couple of easy ones at Rivelin on Sunday before it got totally dark.
This weekend I wasn't really meant to go climbing, but went to Burbage North for a quick visit on Saturday afternoon as the sun was setting. I soloed 10 routes, all easyish ones, although it was cool and breezy so the friction felt good and confidence inspiring - I did 20 Foot Crack for instance, which had felt too slippery for me to solo back in the September heat wave. Today we finally got a bike rack sorted for our car, one that can take the whole family's bikes. So no climbing, but with my kids we rode a good chunk of the Monsal trail, and we stopped to look down on the wads climbing on Raven Tor before going for hot chocolate and cakes at the cafe van in Miller's Dale car park!
I made the slog to the rarely frequented Brown Beck crags On Saturday hoping for the predicted sunshine which came not. Not the wisest place to go on your own but pottered up a few things and didn't break anything. Sunday I joined the hordes at Almscliff and made marginal progress on one of my boulder projects.
Friday - ineffective bouldering of easy indoor circuit which somehow did not feel easy due to plenty of fatigue having built up from numerous pool freediving sessions in the week (including two new personal bests woo hoo)
Saturday - deep freediving in a cold quarry followed by very ineffective bouldering of a whole 4 problems at The Roaches
Sunday - deep freediving in a different cold quarry followed by very ineffective bouldering indoors where I managed two more soft-touch V3-4 problems (probably V2 in "outdoors money")