I've started these threads in autumns past and they have run quite well; basically share whatever you've got up to in the past week (not everyone climbs only on weekends)! Add as much or as little description and editorialising as you wish. Trad, winter (once the snows hit), sport, bouldering, even indoors if you want.
Someone was moaning about no "normal" climbing getting reported, or no trips reports etc. recently, and others seem to say there's less climbing chat on UKC then in days of yore (whenever that actually was) but I'm sure loads of folk, just as many as always if not more, are out at ticking routes so let's show them.
I had a great weekend. An old mate - the climbing partner who I've done all my biggest climbs with - was visiting from visiting from Finland (although he's originally from the UK). I haven't seen Dave in person since pre-covid. His flight got in at 5 pm Friday, I sent him a pin for Hidden Quarry (formerly Darlton 2) and told him to drive straight to the crag. It was still actually light as we met and walked in, but definitely wasn't light anymore when Dave was trying to clip bolt 2! Being a hardy old mountain man, he onsighted Sit Down Wall (6a) by headtorch. Turns out sport climbing in the dark is surprisingly doable!
Dave had his meeting with Eagle Ski Touring Club on Saturday, but Sunday we got out to Stanage. Plan A had been to go down to Cheedale to do the Chee Tor Girdle, but for various reasons we decided to go to the grit instead. Turns out this was a good thing because as I passed over half of the rack and ropes for him to carry I discovered I had forgotten my harness. This is the second time I've managed to do this in a month having not done it before except once about 25 years ago! So Stanage to home and back, is a lot quicker than Cheedale to home and back. Disaster averted we walked up to Stanage North, did a couple of easier routes at Crow Chin then Dave did the superb Right-hand Tower (HVS 5a) in a screaming gale! It's quite well protected if you take plenty of medium and big cams, but the moves up on to the top felt precarious and hard - it must have been terrifying when it was given VS in past!
Even went to see James Bond on saturday with the missus as well, so all round - a good weekend.
This week gone (on the nice sunny days) cleaning and preparing new routes in The Mendip Hills for the forthcoming guidebook.
Thanks for starting this up again Toby! I'd remembered your previous threads while reading the thread you mentioned; someone there suggested a "trip report" forum and I thought: well, we used to have something similar, but what was it called, where's it gone? I've missed the climbing posts over the last 18 months, we even have at least one regular top 40 poster who has nothing on his profile about climbing, no logbook or wishlist, and (from his posting history) apparently no interest in climbing themes at all...
Nothing except for two unspectacular indoor sessions to report for the last week, but heading for predicted good weather in the Elbsandstein from Wed to Sat. So replacing my knotted sling material tomorrow, and very psyched. Be back to you next week!
Nice one Toby, always enjoyed these threads 🙂.
Bouldering on Friday night at Burbage South. Decided to strictly keep the numbers low and just potter around, and it was brilliant! Good problem after good problem for about two hours (I had to get the lamp out). Sunday went to Turningstone Edge and climbed an HVS called (I think) Depression Arete. A mate climbed Amber Arete and then as another mate started climbing Natiomal Power the heavens opened. Sat in a cave for a bit before exploring Ravensnest Tor and then onto some god awful limestone quarry in the valley. Not much climbing but loads and loads of fun all day, and was still Brill.
Found a really funny rock carving too (on Cocking Tor aptly).
I had a good bouldering session at Cummingston on Friday afternoon. After not doing much rock climbing for about a decade I'm finally getting back to a decent (for me!) level. It's taken a while though. I'm planning to revamp my board in the garage and do some actual training over the winter to see where that gets me. Hopefully not just knackered elbows.
First time climbing outside since I spasmed my back in July (I missed summer). Went to Windgather and soloed a load of easy routes, in the wind of course. I appear to be creaking, it's going to take the rest of the year to get any semblance of strength and fitness back.
Got out yesterday for the first time on the new sector I'm developing. The one I thought would be around 6a turned out to be 6a+, the 6b+ was 6c+, and the sensationally good 7c was maybe 8a. Unfortunately I fell off right near the top of the last one. Twice. So I'll just have to enjoy it again another day soon 😄
A couple of days spent chasing elusive dry rock around Snowdonia, salvaged by two short afternoon sessions at Tremadog (Cream, Falcon and Vulcan)
... followed by a reminder of the fabulous weather and trad climbing available at UPT
> Turns out sport climbing in the dark is surprisingly doable!
I dunno, any climbing in the dark is easy enough as long as you don't need to see a long way ahead to routefind.
Last weekend I climbed mainly sand-dunes...
(It didn't go terribly well...)
We had a good weekend with Sari (and she also had a good week). Weekend prior we visited a new "local" bouldering spot, that was rather busy. I managed to tick majority of the routes there, but for Sari one really sweet 7A was close. So she took any day off, and went to finish it.
Then on Sat, we visited the mega-släb of Nalkkila and Sari rather casually ticked Ota mut (7b) followed directly afterwards an even more casual send of Mari (7a+). I got to work on my grigri self-belay (lead) techinue on a few of the easier lines to setup top-ropes for the kids to climb... I did not die, which was good.
And since Sat was Sari's day, I got to d ore stuff on Sun, meaning I managed to tick Lopen Uupunut (7B) and got my years tally of new 7th grade problems to equal my age in years (the games we play, eh)... actually I had hit the minimum target like a week or so ago, but that was with the guidebook grades... some of which certainly were not in the 'Bleu 7th grade register... yesterdays Lopen Uupunut made made my own opinion also equal to 41... And my 7th grade problem per climbing day ratio seems to also be around what I have wished (~1)...
So all in all, I'm reasonably happy of this season and last week(end), and I might even have a few more days left.
> Found a really funny rock carving too (on Cocking Tor aptly).
Disgusting vandalism, the perpetrators should be hung by the neck from the nearest belay point
If there was a belay point at Cocking Tor the vandalism would be just as bad as the carving 🙂
The carvings on this particular piece of rock are mostly 1800's and this one looks just as old to be honest.
> (It didn't go terribly well...)
Firstly, at least you were there. Dunes is one of the types of terrain I'd like to have a go at but I think the micro-navigation they require would see me making all kinds of mistakes.
But, how comes you were amongst the fastest on the short penultimate leg and the run in? Either you've got good natural sprinting speed, or you'd not been running fast enough beforehand to wipe your legs out sufficiently 😁
With apologies for the stalking.
We had a mini adventure on the Souter at Fastcastle on Saturday. For a half-day out before the rain started, it had a bit of everything.
This morning, I read this thread and thought "I must remember to reply to that thread later."
Today we went up to Scugdale where, in a small twist to the tale, we ran into your mate Dave and surprised him with our thorough knowledge of his weekend's activities. Spooky.
> Today we went up to Scugdale where, in a small twist to the tale, we ran into your mate Dave and surprised him with our thorough knowledge of his weekend's activities. Spooky.
Haha! But how did you know he was THAT Dave? As opposed to any other Dave who just happened to be bouldering in Scugdale?
He mentioned that he'd just arrived from Finland. That seemed to narrow it down somewhat.
> 13-14 looks like you didn't know exactly where you hit the high fence, others seem to have gone to a nearer, more certain gap.
Absolutely correct, I just ran in the rough direction towards the fence but hadn't realised that I was running into a dead end. Rookie error (which I avoided on day 2).
> 17-18 - we've all done that ☹ so frustrating when it happens
Very frustrating! Strangely there were a few of us all looking in the wrong place - which convinces you that 'can't all be wrong' (sadly not true!) Lots of people seemed to be a bit lost around that area. When I saw someone walking backwards down a sand-dune, still studying their map then I realised that someone might be having a worse time than me...
> But, how comes you were amongst the fastest on the short penultimate leg and the run in? Either you've got good natural sprinting speed, or you'd not been running fast enough beforehand to wipe your legs out sufficiently 😁
I'm trying to run at the speed my brain can orienteer. In the recent past my legs have been writing cheques that my orienteering skills can't cash. I'm trying to slow it down to avoid the big errors. Running speed isn't my limiting factor at the moment...
> With apologies for the stalking.
No need to apologise - all advice is very welcomely received!
This has been a good start, we've got as far north as the Moray Coast, as far South as the Mendips, as west as Tremadog and as guano-covered as the Souter (guessing by reputation!).
Midweekers, report back and keep the psyche high! McHeath, knot those slings well and put lots of them in! I've heard terrifying stories of them not working particularly well, at least when beginners in that area try placing them. Climb safe!
I sent my first f6b boulder problem at Cademan Woods last Thursday, just before a heavy shower soaked everything.
The Power of Juan (with footblocks).
Not bad for an old geezer Power of Juan (With Footblock) (f6B)
I don't climb much at weekends...but on Friday afternoon I got out for a quick session at Burbage West. Ticked Famous Grouse (f7B+), having had a few goes at it recently. It's got a couple of really hard moves at the bottom before a few V0 easy slab moves to top out quite high. Was pleased to be able to do it in pretty hot, sunny conditions - that bit of Burbage West is a real sun trap. I've managed quite a few 7B-7B+ problems on grit through the summer months, so I'm feeling quite optimistic for the coming cooler temperatures of Autumn.
Had a session in the cave of dreams, tried a new route/link up, got soaked , came down, did some laps on the roofs, convinced some rained of sport climbers that dry tooling was the only type of climbing worth doing, one of them was convinced, had a go on our gear and loved it, then bolted and cleaned a new route
Do you have a recommendation for a Masson dry tool route for someone (me!) who is a pretty experienced ice and winter climber (I think I've only not used crampons one winter in the last 28! Up to Scottish V/VI and WI4ish), but has never tried pure dry tooling? Basically which of the easier routes there have the friendliest bolting for getting started? I have a clip stick and no the quarry from sport climbing there. Cheers!
youve done well given the weather! its gone from summer to full on autumn virtually overnight. looks like you had a good time at tremadog. if you think the approach to Vulcan was bad, you should have seen it 6 weeks ago before I pulled loads of the ivy and thorns off it and tried to get the worst of the dirt off the ledges! I agree, scary in the damp with next to no gear, suspect rock and no friction (coupled with the brambles!). it does wander right before going way back left though, it's easy to get lured too direct, shame we didn't catch you!
Good effort on the gardening! Surprising how little traffic Pant Ifan seems to get these days!
Jake and I had spotted that we seemed to be following in your footsteps on our mini-break. Sounds like you and Rachel are going well! Hopefully catch up somewhere warm and dry over winter
Did the event use existing designated routes/paths or, it being orienteering, was it u to competitors? I'm just surprised given that its a SSSI,SAC etc but no mention of dune habitats/conservation on the event info as far as I can see?
Plenty to go at there now, we have done a lot of development over the last 18 months or so , resulting in lots of friendly style routes to go at. All of them are well bolted and we have replaced old bolts on existing routes and added "proper " lower offs . There are routes of M3 and upwards starting on the buttress to the left of the approach path in front of the main area , then routes of M5 on the left of the main crag so just work your way along, they are all good and I expect well within your capability. We have nearly finished a definitive guide to tooling at masson which will be available as a download for a small fee, which then goes to the continued development and re equipping of routes there. I go regularly so if you fancy it I'm happy to meet you out there. Drop me an email or text (07581151203) if you are keen.
> Did the event use existing designated routes/paths or, it being orienteering, was it u to competitors? I'm just surprised given that its a SSSI,SAC etc but no mention of dune habitats/conservation on the event info as far as I can see?
Good question - to which I don't have a definitive answer. Like almost all orienteering events it was a 'choose your own route' event. There was a small 'out of bounds' area marked on the map (i.e. no access whatsoever) plus a fence which was only allowed to be crossed at existing stiles. In my (short) experience with orienteering, events only happen with the permissions of the land owner (especially a big event like this - British Long Distance Championships). Events are usually organised by orienteering clubs local to the areas (in this case Devon and BOK) following negotiations with the land owners, and including any special conditions that the land owner requests. I'd be very surprised if this hadn't happened in this case - but I don't have any details (as I was just running as a participant and have no contacts with Devon or BOK clubs).
Interestingly, the dunes are apparently still used for military training;
> Braunton Burrows is still used to train personnel for amphibious landings, but its main use today is for military drivers to practise their off-road driving skills on the dunes and sandy roads. Additionally, it's used for dismounted infantry training and dropping equipment from aircraft.
I was pretty poorly last week, and still coughing and sneezing my way through this week so I haven't cycled to work once in the last 14 days! I got home last night and thought the weather was so nice I'd go for a quick mountain bike ride before it got dark, but my partner said she was thinking of taking our youngest up to Higgar Tor for a walk, so I changed plans, grabbed my rock shoes and went with them. I walked along below the East Walls where I've not actually done any lines, soloed, led or bouldered. But as the guide suggested would be the case it was both green and wet. I was a bit surprised how wet as it had been a lovely day an although it has rained a fair bit over the last week or so, we've had a very dry summer (if not particularly sunny and warm) in the Peak. But going round the corner into the setting sun the rock was dry and clean. I even found a couple of easy routes for quick solos that I haven't done before - including the comically short Freya's Corner (D). I love climbing, all climbing really, but even I had to laugh at this small scrambling boulder problem calling itself a route!
Then my son and I scrambled up one of those narrow faults that Higgar seems to specialise in - at 4 he fitted in much more easily than me - I'm sure they are getting narrower? I means that's the only logical explanation isn't it.
Anyone else been out?
Right, come on folks - lets be havin' yer... What did you climb this weekend? Let's not let the nattering nabobs of negativism who moan "no one talks about climbing on UKC anymore" win!
This morning I took up Neil's kind offer higher up on this thread to go drytooling with him at Masson Lees. Packing ice climbing boots, monos and tools last night along with a clip stick, grigri and sport draws felt pretty weird, but not as weird as putting the boots on at the crag this morning! We started with Neil blasting up The Warm-Up (M6) (spoiler alert: it isn't!) I seconded and just about made it up with numerous rests on the rope and some falls! After lowering off a pumped and sweaty mess and collecting myself a little, I actually managed to onsight lead a newish M3. Neil powered across one of the amazing M10 roof routes - I got pumped just belaying and watching! I then tried the M4+, but even being told where all the hooks were, still only did it with one rest. I will "send" next time! Then Neil did a short M6 at the same area, and I just about managed it on a top rope with again a few falls. Bloomin' 'eck, dry tooling is hard work, and also not really like ice climbing or UK mixed, at least at the sort of grades I've done - up to Scottish V. My arms and shoulders are sill a bit knackered now! Cheers for putting up with my whimpering lads.
After two seasons blighted by lockdowns etc, i went down to the Avon Gorge yesterday afternoon and we knocked off M1 and the first pitch of Ffoeg's Folly.
M1 was my first E point for two years, so well pleased with that, especially as my long time climbing partner said i looked like i had a grade in hand.
As it was only 5pm, there was just time for s single pitch (FF p1) before a pint in the Nova. It made for a cracking afternoon, considering how little we've got out recently.
And i keep looking at FF p2. Carpe Diem, as the saying goes. If not now, then when?
Took the eldest child to New Quarry and mucked about on the traverse there for a little while, just an amazing experience to see him exploring the vertical world and working out how to use that style of rock that's so very Avon, side-pulls, under-clings, thinking between the footholds. Shout out to Bald Eagle for lending us a pair of rock boots : )
Then we headed over to Main Wall to have a look around and went up Easy Route (M) in our trainers till we got to below the little bulgy wall below Easy Slabs. I had a little fit of the parent tremors when I realised how high we'd got suddenly. Lovely to give the young one a little tour of a place in our city that he'd never been to but where I'd spent so many hours. On the drive in I was telling him about how when he was a baby I'd put him to bed then nip over on a summer evening for a quick fix at the New Quarry, and now here he is wearing a pair of rock boots the same size as mine! Suprisingly emotional.
The whimpering is all part of the fun, was good to see you getting stuck in and embracing the dark art! We got the new route done this afternoon White Lines (M6) a d finished by nipping up CHOOSE LIFE (M8)
I expect you will be regular at the crag of dreams now !!
Did a round of the classic problems at Bridestones (West Yorkshire). The no guidebook thing is really working a treat there.
Nice thread! I was on Shangri-la 7b+ https://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/crags/cheddar_gorge_south-240/shangri-la-36032 in Cheddar. Gorgeous day. Fab to see loads of teams on Coronation Street (I must do that again) plus a team on Crow (I really must get on that. Climbing with the excellent bristoldave. When I got to the crag I was totally frazzled from overwork. First burn and I had nothing in my arms, struggling on even the easy sections. Years back I had been on redpoint but in the interim I had forgotten the crux moves. With some key beta from Dave I got all the moves on the second working go. Too tired to have a proper third go but filled with the joy of it all. I love climbing so much - it is so good for me, truly my happy place. Another great day on the rock. The fact that I didn't tick the route that day was totally beside the point. I floated back home afterwards, ready for the work fray again...
Nice thread! I was on Shangri-la 7b+ https://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/crags/cheddar_gorge_south-240/shangri-la-36032 in Cheddar. Gorgeous day. Fab to see loads of teams on Coronation Street (I must do that again) plus a team on Crow (I really must get on that). Climbing with the excellent bristoldave. When I got to the crag I was totally frazzled from overwork. First burn and I had nothing in my arms, struggling on even the easy sections. Years back I had been on redpoint but in the interim I had forgotten the crux moves. With some key beta from Dave I got all the moves on the second working go. Too tired to have a proper third go but filled with the joy of it all. I love climbing so much - it is so good for me, truly my happy place. Another great day on the rock. The fact that I didn't tick the route that day was totally beside the point. I floated back home afterwards, ready for the work fray again...
Just a day hike this weekend as we were busy Saturday, so on Sunday we went up Bschiesser from Hinterstein in the Allgäu Alps, 1200m elevation gain, bright sunshine, no cloud to be seen all day except below us where a dense layer of fog covered southern Bavaria...
I still cannot believe that I can honestly type the previous sentence, moving back South was the best idea in long time!
> Got out yesterday for the first time on the new sector I'm developing. The one I thought would be around 6a turned out to be 6a+, the 6b+ was 6c+, and the sensationally good 7c was maybe 8a. Unfortunately I fell off right near the top of the last one. Twice. So I'll just have to enjoy it again another day soon 😄
Well not quite the weekend (which was spent with my daughter) but on Friday I went back and got the redpoint.
Back there this afternoon to bolt a harder one
Finally got back onto my beloved Elbsandstein for three days last week, staying with Tony and Sarah Whitehouse at the Freitaler hut in Bad Schandau. The rock was still wet on Wednesday so we had a fun session at the Yoyo wall near Pirna.
Glorious weather and dry rock on Thursday; we went to the Hintere Sächsische Schweiz and warmed up on Nordwand and Nordpfeiler (IV). One knotted sling and a good thread in 20m - it was great to get into the Saxon flow again. We then went round the corner to get to grips with the big challenge for the day, Südriss (VI). This is an unforgiving hand/fist/arm crack with a single ring at half height; above the ring there are no more possibilities for protection. Tony started off, but had to come down after reaching the ring - he'd broken his little finger while running three weeks ago, and its new angle made a crucial jam impossible. I took over the sharp end and got to a position a few metres above the ring from which I could neither climb up nor down, so after a few attempts accompanied by rapid fading of strength I took my first biggish whipper on sandstone, meeting Sarah a couple of metres above the ground - thanks again for the catch Sarah, and I hope your nose has recovered! We then got a toprope on the route and all three of us climbed it without any problems before retiring to the pub.
Friday was the best. Despite the sun and blue skies we somehow managed to start off on a cold, shady, windy and slightly damp tower hidden among the trees. After three routes we moved to the Tafelberge, high up and sunny with fantastic views of the Elbe valley. Here I finally got around to leading my first Saxon VIIb, Andacht (VI),wall climbing with two nice rings and a reachy crux from high smears for the feet. The amazing sandstone friction did its job, and I was dead chuffed to get the clean onsight. So on to its partner route at the same grade, Abendmahl (VI), very different in style - the first 10m exhilarating overhangs on huge jugs and flakes to a big thread and then the ring, followed by a tricky wide move left before tackling the sunny slabs to the top. Again clean and onsight - I couldn't have been happier.
I'd have stayed longer, but I had to get back to Berlin for a special date yesterday - running the 25km von Berlin together with my friend Nino, whose 81st birthday it was. We've been running it together since 1993, we'd broken the 2 hours together years ago, but this time neither of us had been able to train much and we were only concerned with reaching the finish before the cutoff time of 3h 15. We needn't have worried; we ran steadily at 7:30/km and reached the finishing line in 3:07:03. Again, perfect weather - cold, sunny and windless - so that was a fitting end to a great week.
Thinking the wet weather on Saturday might have deterred people from the high crags I had a meander up to The Napes.
Unfortunately I was disappointed in that the crag was full of Edinburgh Uni Mountaineering club students plus a bunch of other parties who possibly had the same idea as me!
Luckily everyone was very friendly and accommodating and after a short lunch I re-enacted Walter Parry Haskett-Smith's on-sight solo of the Napes Needle although lack of foresight meant I'd not dressed in tweeds nor was I wearing big boots.
Then off up Needle Ridge and home in time for tea. A great day out.
Great thread resuscitation Toby.
This week I enjoyed my flexible working to go out to Portland on Wednesday with Duncan, as the forecast was mint (and correct). Did a warm up and then tried Road Rage 7b+. Have hardly done any climbing in the past month due to being ill so it didn't go particularly well but I've been wanting to try it for a while, it's always good to see what you're missing. Which in this case was almost everything! Still great to be down by the sea and enjoying the sunshine.
A well-revived thread!
I've just moved from Lancaster to Huddersfield, so have swapped volcanic Cumbrian rock for grit. It's exciting to have new places to explore, though I'm finding grit a little humbling!
After 5 days of working followed by 6 days of moving, cleaning and unpacking, on Friday I finally got outside for a bit of fresh air and time to myself. I headed to West Nab with my bouldering mat and took a look around. I really enjoyed the sunshine and the rock, though I was beaten by some of the harder climbs. The best problems from that day were:
Paul's Wall (OTM Problem 45) (V1) - nice holds, excitingly highball!
Archaic (V4) - a bit of a tight line, but great runnels and a weird move to get established
OTM Problem 72 (V1) - enjoyable, easy but exciting arete
#poorkarl (V2) - good steep moves on big holds
I made progress on Archery (V6) but got freaked out by the commitment on my own and it remained unfinished. I also didn't know about the flake sidepull beta until I logged it, and was trying to commit to a direct version. I also did about 4 versions of Hours of Practice (V6) but none of them the very tight V5/6 line. Eventually, I'd lost too much skin on the crimps.
On the Saturday I had to buy a fridge, but then headed for a little wander with my partner up to Blackstone Edge. The north crag looked grimly impressive; the south crag, short and inviting. I soloed a few easy lines, including More (S 4a), Another! (f4+), Who? Me? (VS 4b), Rubbery (f5) and Foot Business (f5). Pleasant. On the way home, looking out toward Rochdale and Greater Manchester, we saw a swoop of white: an owl, a barn owl! It flew low among the tussocks, dropping to attack something, hopping up again to float against the hillside. We watched it quietly for a while, kneeling down as it keeled around and flew closer then further, passing before us with its flat little face and great wings.
On Sunday I went to Brimham to meet a fair sized group of friends. It was great to be out together - t-shirt weather and grit excitement. I warmed up by almost falling off the surprisingly tricky crux of Rough Wall (VS 5a) (HVS in my book). I was then completely shut down by the first jams up Minion's Way (HVS 5c) and limped off after a while, tail between my legs. E1 5c and a bit knacky in my mind. We went over to the area near Lover's Leap to do Birch Tree Wall (VS 4c) (a bit bold without a massive cam!), Central Crack (VS 5a) (HVS 5b IMO), Right-Hand Crack (VS 4b) (VS/HVS 5a), and the right-hand crack of Parallel Cracks (VS 4c) (HVS 5a again). Proper sandbags, in short - far harder than Cumbrian VSs and Blackstone Edge VS/HVS - but really enjoyable and fun when approached with a bit of humility. It was great to familiarise myself with grit and crack climbing and do some routes that necessitate sustained jamming. I finished off on Right Wall (VS 4c) (VS 5a?) and soloed Lichen Slab (VD) after giving up on the utter horrorshow of President's Progress (HVD)! It was a really great day for giving me a taste of the pleasure of a day out gritstone climbing.
A bit tired today
Good thread, motivating to read about everyone's exploits.
Had a great couple of days in lovely weather. Climbed with friend Alex who I hadn't seen in a while so good to catch up with him. My crappy old VW Bora broke down on the way to Cheddar but we managed to limp to below Burmese wall. I love the routes here, the rock is so good. Did a few sport 6s then got on Burma Road, an old E2. So many plants where there should be holds! But great fun all the same and the middle of the top pitch is brilliant technical groove climbing out in space. Then back to fail on an old project, Brazilia 87. Completely baffled by the crux on this. A mixed day nicely rounded off with a pint of Potholer while waiting for the AA recovery truck.
Then in contrast a smooth drive to Portland in Alex's BMW and a fabulous day at the Trad Free World area of Wallsend South. Every route here is top notch. The usual grease had gone, conditions were perfect and Halfway to Heaven was my best lead of the year, bridging up that groove in the top as the sun came out. It's been with me, on my mind, all day
A contrasting couple of days on sun-kissed limestone in the Durance Valley: Day 1 reminding myself how harrowing a runout sport route can be when it's polished to a fine sheen and there's sweat pouring into your eyes; and Day 2 sampling the delights of a newly developed crag where you can still smear with confidence and relish the joy of a pocketed slab!
Beautiful weather in Devon visiting my folks. Dad has hook-shaped fingers from arthritis but still good for climbing.
Christened the new Culm book with Half Mast at Higher Sharpnose. Good adventure stuff with multiple abseils to get down and 300ft of slab and arete climbing to get out.
Miles of incredible coastline to ourselves.