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On the girdle traverse, Bowles, on a hot summer's evening in 1983
© John Stainforth, Aug 1983
Climbers: Gordon Stainforth
Camera used: Nikon FM2
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This, IMO, all told, is the best climb in south-east England. 500 feet long, with a central section that is at least 30 feet above the deck. It is technically very sustained (I'm not sure that it ever drops below about 'sandstone 4c', and some of it is 'sandstone 5b' +) The crux, about 10 - 15 feet right of this position is probably 5c, and serious, in that if you fall off those appallingly rounded, gymnastic overhanging moves you are going to fall flat on your back from c. 15 ft up. Not sure a spotter would be able to help you much. Not that we'd ever heard of that concept in those days! It took me about a year, I think, to put the whole thing together, and I think I did it just twice, or maybe three times.
Gordon Stainforth - 25/Feb/07