I'll start by saying: my current form is taking the piss. I had a brilliant session a few weeks ago getting West Sphinx and Sesame. A trip to the Ben proved I had luck in living- not only climbing well and the trip today was incredible. We arrived at the Wainstones for about 2 O'clock and I made Dooge belay me straight
(Click to make the pictures bigger)
away on Ali Baba- I was determined not to get psyched out. I trotted up the E1 groove of Sesame rather easily and was surprised at how, what had seemed 'cutting edge' a few weeks ago was now a gentle stroll. I got a bit knackered threading the chockstone and then got a little put off by the hollow sound of the flake. I had a rest on the jugs though and got ready for the ‘E3 bit’. The climbing was forgivingly simple though- jug after jug of powerful reaching. I got to the last jug and gazed up at the last impossible metre. The wall was blank and was headed by a roof. Jesus! The rope trailed to my chockstone, way beneath me. Bloody hell. A fall would probably not have been ‘a decker’, but bloody big. I was glad we were using Dave's ropes.Then, out of the beautiful moors light a crystal of quartz twinkled. There it is! The hold. A pinchy crimp out right aloud for some higher feet and then a blind- trouser browning reech for a slap to the top. Sorted! Or was I? The top was awful, a weird conglomerate irony thing that was just slopey. I traversed a little right and managed to get enough for a bold mantel. Done it!
A few bellows across 'the rocks' were heard, but it was a little disappointing.
Two or three stars? yes! But it was by no means as difficult and epic as it looked from the ground. It's one of those routes you just need to get on, ignore the intimidation. I don't understand where the 5c comes into it. Although very hard to figure out when onsighting, the top move is 5b at most. It is nicely sustained and very Pumpy, the gear is bomber (if not run out), after the initial solo, E3 5b?- harder than West Sphinx anyway.
Dave then lead the route with a little encouragement and then went about leading all the routes I had previously led- Jackdoor Wall, West Sphinx Direct, Sesame. I soloed all my usual stuff. Dooge then went for the Bulge Direct. I couldn't really be arsed and didn't want to push my luck with Woden.
Jason Wood truned up a bit later so we got some pictures and had a boulder about.