Jordan Buys has made the long-awaited second ascent of Hasty Sin Oot Ert Hoonds? (E9 6c) E9 6c at Cam Crag - Wasdale Screes in Cumbria. First climbed by Dave Birkett in 2007, the route tackles a steep line just to the left of Birkett's photogenic prow Nowt but a Fleein' Thing (E8 6c) E8 6c.
Following his recent second ascent of Talbot Horizon E9 6c (UKC News Report), is Jordan doing the rounds of unrepeated Birkett routes? He told UKC:
'Cam crag has been on my radar ever since the Birkett film 'Set in Stone' by Al Lee and after an abandoned trip to Hoy in Scotland this summer I found myself in Wasdale for few days with John Roberts and Mike Hutton. Feeling a bit uninspired and tired by our visit up to Tophet Wall, we took a rest morning on the shore of Wastwater, doing all the normal stuff people do in heat waves: swimming, reading and sunbathing.'
The group hatched a plan to go for an evening walk up to the screes and scope out the line, with the knowledge that Dave MacLeod had been up there recently. Despite the long walk, Jordan was sold:
'Turns out it’s a right slog but well worth it. I gave the E9 a quick brush and liked it a lot. The next morning saw us back there, but boy was it hot. The cold air coming out of the big holes in the cliff and meeting the scorching air coming up the hillside did weird things with the conditions, making it all feel pretty slippy. I vowed to come back after not having done 45kms of walking in 30 degrees in the preceding 3 days of my next visit.'
To add to the adventure and save some valuable energy, on Wednesday Jordan approached the crag by canoe, sailing across Wastwater with wife Naomi. Unfortunately, they were about to cross the lake without a paddle (or even a boat):
'Going in a boat just needs doing, doesn’t it, so we hunted one down last minute but unfortunately it was not en route to the Lakes, and we didn't have much time to plan as this next visit was pretty spontaneous. Luckily I'd just been in communication with Al Lee who mentioned he had an inflatable canoe that we could borrow, last used when he had taken his son across Wastwater. But when we picked it up he dropped the bomb of there being no oars...'
The next morning Jordan and Naomi called into The Outward Bound centre after sleeping on Wrynose Pass. With much pleading and Naomi being recognised as 'that lass on the cover of the new Lancashire Rock guidebook', two paddles were lent to the pair with the words 'Who are we to get in the way of adventure...?'
'So with Naomi as helmswoman, we loaded up, paddled across and slogged up the screes, only to find suboptimal conditions in the gully. The fog had soaked everything. In the brief good weather window I top roped it and then we quickly got back to the boat as the fog reappeared and returned the paddles.'
Two days later, Jordan picked up Adam Lincoln and returned to Wasdale, this time with a better forecast but no real paddles. Not one for giving up, Jordan made his own:
'Two old mop handles, badminton rackets (in their covers, obviously) and plenty of gaffa tape did the trick.'
'I'm sure we got a few funny looks.'
As for the climbing, Jordan described the style as 'right up [his] street.'
'The climbing is ace, it's got a sustained 15 move sequence on small undercuts, sidepulls and crimps but with big slopey footholds. The pegs have seen better days, but I managed to place a ball nut low down to back them up. Dave Birkett famously locked down hard to place the second wire on the lower wall, but I just climbed past the placement and slotted it in later as the moves weren’t too hard and there was no way I was reaching that far with my tiny arms.'
'I'm glad I took lots of absorbent lady products and gaffa tape, as two holds seem permanently seepy from above.'
Jordan is enjoying his recent run of good form on trad routes, adding Hasty Sin Oot Ert Hoonds? to Talbot Horizon E9 6c on Scafell East Buttress and Muy Caliente E9 6c at Stennis Ford, Pembroke.
'I've unfinished trad business all over, I just need the weather to play ball. I was meant to be sport climbing now but this is way more fun...'
Jordan would like to thank the people at The Outward Bound centre for the paddle loan.
Read a UKC interview with Dave Birkett.