Nesscliffe Mega Arete Falls to Ed Booth

Ed Booth on Local Rite (E7/8 6c) Nesscliffe, Shropshire., 145 kb
Ed Booth on Local Rite (E7/8 6c) Nesscliffe, Shropshire.
© Patricia Novelli
Nesscliffe, the huge sandstone quarry in Shropshire now has a new and hard route from local activist Ed Booth. His route is called Local Rite, graded at around E7/8 6c and is a three star climb, tackling a striking 35m arete for its full height.

Ed had a bit of a race for the fist ascent with fellow Nesscliffe devotee Nick Dixon. We got in touch with Ed for the full details on the route:

"Basically one of the two huge aretes in the quarry hadn't been climbed from the floor because there used to be really dense tree cover meaning the bottom stayed grotty and damp looking, and the rock in the bottom half appears very poor and soft. It had been looked at but was always too damp. Nick Dixon climbed the top half of the arete [Rite Time] from a hanging stance at a small foot ledge where you can get a really good rest that's not quite hands off but is a total recovery. The top arete is brilliant and on great rock and has a really cool technical crux at the top protected by pegs. You get full exposure up there too! Nick thought when he did Rite Time you would have to do the bottom half with ice axes to get to the top half which would have been a funny route but he just decided on the top bit.

Last year we had a day with the BMC and local council where we chopped a few of the trees down in the quarry, opening up the bottom arete. I noticed a bit of chalk on the bottom half which transpired to be Dave Birkett's during one of his visits. Unfortunately he's been out with a shoulder injury or he probably would have got it done before us!

I have been skemming different parts of it for the past year, and really got serious a couple of months ago. The bottom arete has a scary few moves up a groove which traverses you out above a big drop before you can clip the first peg around the arete in a crack and then you have a hard move to barndoor yourself around the arete and get established into the crack and then climb up the pumpy crack which Nick says is Strawberries-esque. That is the lower crux, which once in the crack is pretty safe. You then bail up on big moves on big pockets like Ceuse but a bit sandier and so reach the ledge on Rite Time. You de-pump here for about forever and then launch into that route and hope the rope drag and fatigue don't spit you off the top crux 33m up the awesome 35m arete."

Both Ed Booth and Nick Dixon are Highsports Ambassadors.

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