/ Getting sandbagged
Following on from the other thread, let's share tales of being sandbagged by someone.
Here's my getting sandbagged tale: at the end of February we had some nice weather and I went to join a couple of mate's at Raven crag Walthwaite for a couple of hours climbing before it got dark.
They had been joined by a friend who was visiting who I teamed up with. After a couple of routes my two mates decided that it was time to go to the pub whereas I was still keen to climb another route. I asked my climbing partner if he was up for another route and he said ok as long as you lead. He then suggested I do a really good VS up to the right of Hardup Wall.
With no time to loose I put my headtorch on my helmet, checked my partner had a torch and set off traversing up and right towards the route he'd recommended. As I got closer I began to doubt that it was a good VS climb and began to question him incase he'd made a mistake. No that's definitely the route was the reply I got. So I find myself in this corner and there's loose rock and vegetation at the bottom which I trundled down the crag and I managed to get a couple of ok wires in.
By this point I know that it's not the route he thinks it is, but I'm looking at it thinking I reckon I can climb this, it looks adventurous. So I set off up with some awkward bridging avoiding the loose rock and a one point doing a thumb sprag that involved spragging a loose rock in such a way that I was pushing it into the crack and holding it in place. A bit further up I managed to get another bit of gear in and stopped to access the situation. Climbing further up the corner wasn't a good idea because it was completely broken and loose so I traversed out left onto the face without too much difficulty, but there was no gear until I'd topped out and made a belay.
I then belay the sandbagger up and when he reached the corner confirmed that it was not the route he'd remembered and was most impressed with my lead. Anyway we still joke about this sandbagging, but hadn't worked out how it had happened. Before writing this post I decided to double check with the ukc database and the penny dropped, my partner had climbed Walthwaite crack, which fell down in 2006 and I'd climbed the scar it had left behind! I'm not sure what grade I climbed, but it was certainly adventurous and harder than VS.
I feel that I have grown as a person and as a climber from the experience which I'll remember for ever!
I once recommended Gardener's Pleasure (HS 4b) at Rivelin to a mate whose lead grade was probably just about pushing HS, after enduring a second of it a few years earlier. Mate did not have fun, mate thought he was one move from death for most of the middle section, and mate eventually had to demand I stop constantly tittering at the bottom of the crag while he was having a meltdown*.
Backfired in the end though - had to second it again!
* - he had good gear, I'm not that cruel.
Beware of recommendations from Pat Littlejohn!
September '83 I was scrounging a lift back from Pembroke from Jon de Montjoye, he wanted to call in at Pat's shop in Cardiff and whilewe were there asked for a recommendation for a good local route. Skywalker (E5 6a) at Taff's Wells he said, a pleasant E3...
Well Jon had to be given a top rope to escape and he was climbing well at the time, I note it's now given E5 and according to the logbooks no one else has repeated it since.
> Well Jon had to be given a top rope to escape
That in itself doesn’t necessarily mean it wasn’t E3, of course...