Sunday, 17 February 2008

Half Term- Pavey Ark, Scugdale, Round Crag, Wainstones, Ingleby Incline

An invitation from Ian Jackson to the lakes was not refused. We hitched a lift with Ian Moore and arrived in the ClevelandMC Hut for tea and a late night drink. We were woken early by the, what could poetically be described as pattering, but was in practise the thumping of tiny feet. It was the third weekend of the month- Youngsters weekend, when members bring their children to the hut. It was good as it got us up early and we drove to Borrowdale.

On arrival at Langstrath we realised it was freezing and it wasn't going to get any sun. So off we trotted back to the car and an eco-friendly trip to Langdale was made. Pavey Ark was sighted with a brutal twenty minute walk from the bottom and we were climbing on 'Astra' by tenish. We retreated as we witnessed the fall and death of what we believed to be a person. A huge bang, obviously a body- too loud for a rucksack and too dull-a-thud for a rock bounced down the rock and then plummeted the final 200ft down the entire length of Pavey. As it ceased it's movement at the bottom it exploded narrowly missing walkers and showering them with blood and body parts. I looked in horror at Dave as we tried to understand what had happened. It was some distance away and before it landed we had caught a glimpse of red- a rucksack?

Cries of 'Jesus' and 'Shit', as people thought of what to do next were quickly brought to an end by the announcement of those showered, that it was a sheep. This impacted on me and Dave strongly as we realised what a fall might mean to a Human. It was made even worse later when on the down-climb we passed the empty corpse with body parts 50 metres apart and then sighted two lamb embryos. I had always thought that the horror of a fall would have been quickly ended by a smashed skull, infact this was far more brutal. Dave refused to butcher it for meat though, so it went to waste. We travelled back after a few 800ft solos and an HVS and after some food returned to the Moors.

On the Sunday we went to Scugdale once more to 'finish it off'. We planned to finish New Dimensions and then work Grand Master Flash. This didn't really come to anything as Dave tired us out by making me climb Finger Jam and Elimination- E2 6a/6b respectively. They were good routes and I nearly finished 'New Dimensions'- getting the hold above where I have my hand in the Picture. I couldn't quite finish it off though and am determined to completely focus on it next time.

A trip to Round Crag proved 'un-fruitful. An attempt at an onsight of Telescopic resulted in failure. We retreated off time out as well. We blamed it on sore fingers and general fatigue and resided to bouldering for the remained of the afternoon. A few F.As of easier routes were made.

On the Tuesday of half-term we ventured to the Wainstones. We had alot on our tick list, but were intending on focusing on West Sphinx Direct. I took the lead and scrambled up to the first crux of it. I managed to place a good tricam that I then returned to the bottom to weight. Dave insisted on me also placing some wires, so I agreed. All this took some time and as I was ready to go for the crux move a hoard of imbecilic 10 year olds entered the popular picnic area below. I went on regardless and attempted this difficult route with the jeers of 'I dare you to commit suicide' echoing from the camp below- helpful. I snapped and found myself swearing at the wee snipes. I completely lost my concentration and also realised the move was pretty tricky. We retreated and I then attempted and failed Sesame. Me and Dooge then went round to the north crag to clean and climb Psycho Syndicate. I abseiled down and brushed the crud and lichen off. We then bouldered around on the first move and now have the start to the E4 6b wired. Another poor-quality trip with little achieved, but alot of experience gained.

It was all rounded off by an awful trip to Highcliffe. I wished to have a go at Moonflower. I walked the eight or so miles only to find it sodden. I returned damp and angry. An unexpected opportunity at Scugdale was swiftly taken and a fine ascent of The Shelf was made. Dooge took the normal route, whilst I played around on a slight variation which was 6bish. I tried over and over again, until I finally hung the top crimp. By this time an audience had formed and my sense of achievement was enhanced. A great day, despite the wind and rain.

(The Needle at the wainstone, via an HVS solo)

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