Saturday, 22 March 2008

UKC Article Dash

I was asked a few months ago by the editors of UKC to write an article on Moors climbing. I got to work pretty quickly and finished it in a couple of weeks, at about 2,400 words. The deadline loomed- with only a week to go and I still needed pictures of Ingleby and Highcliffe. I planned on the Monday to go to both places what ever the weather. I needed photos and there was no alternative. When I was woken at 2 in the morning by hail being smashed against my window, my heart sank and I crawled back under my reindeer hide. I woke to snow and trotted down to the train. Lewis Dale and 'Mini' Cooper-who I had pressed for the expedition were waiting on the half-an-hour late train for me. We got to the wind-blown hell hole of Ingleby in good spirits and set out on a couple of verglassed routes. A heart-in-the mouth moment was had on Cosy Corner as I slipped and managed to quickly grab a break that was covered in snow and ice. It didn't feel 3 stars! We grabbed a few pictures, in the worsening conditions and then ran back to the train for a good training session on Dave’s indoor wall.

On the Sunday we ventured to Highcliffe. The snow had set in and Highcliffe crack was badly iced up. I sent dave up Scarecrowe crack- E1. It went well untill the crux move was gained and a cloud of mist and a gust sent spindrift in to his eyes. He battled on and I got the picture I needed.

With Dooge's new-found confidence in the day he moved on to Stargazer- E3 5c. He managed the initial traverse but failed to get much higher.

The plan for the monday was Raven's Scar. We had to get a shot of satchmo and the only way to get it was to get a train to battersby and then walk the 15ish mile round trip to Raven's Scar. I wasn't looking forward to it, but was determined. An early call to Dave in the morning crippled the plan. He was busy and most probably did not look forward to the hellish walk for no reward. So I waited untill a call from Luke Hunt- eager for some Moorland action invited me to Camp hill. I took the oportunity and Ian agreed to pop along. Dave then decided he fancied a local trip and joined the three-strong party. So we set off, Luke on his new 125 CC Harley and Ian, me and Dave in Ian's 125cc Corsa. We arrived to a snow flurry and this put Ian off some what. We bouldered around and made our usual solos then trying a new variation on Cling Wrap- without the lay-back flake. The conditions were good for friction and we had a good session- later retreating to Dave's bouldering wall.

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