Thursday, 26 June 2008

Ravenswick- Dodgey Claims And Espionage

Me on 'Franco's Wall'

This time last week me and Dooge stumbled across a well-kept moors secret- Ravenswick quarry. The outcrop stretches over four buttresses and reaches a height of about 13 metres. Brilliant Limestone- solid, brilliant little edges. There were only about 8 routes recorded and me and Dooge couldn't believe people hadn't raved about the place. Admittedly it wasn't Malham Cove II, but for the moors it was a brilliant little outcrop and we did, what we thought was a first ascent of a 2 star E2 and various other routes, in the rain- it overhangs, so stays dry in the worst weather.

Then I publicised it's existence on UKC. I can honestly say (for once) my intentions were purely for the good of the crag but as always no one believed me and the claims came flooding in. At first a mate said he had climbed four of the routes- fair enough, so the first ascentionist were changed on Then some other geezer reckoned to have climbed almost every route there and said it was a pile of crap.
The 'Unconquerable' area
I was still not bothered about loosing all my first ascents, but someone slagging the place off angered me a little. I think it is one of the better outcrops of the moors- better for teaching climbing than anywhere else and there is a greater route selection than anywhere else around. Still, tis the way of the lakes and peak scene- to 'diss' our crags when their 'classic' Severes are in fact easy scrambles. ;-)

Never mind ey, I hope it will be published in the new definitive guide and maybe my stars will be reinstated.

A few non-first ascents we did that are good:
* Badger Crack 14m Severe *
*Right Unconquerable 13m VS 4c**
*Left Unconquerable 13m HVS 5a*
*Crystal Wall 13m Severe *
*Monograptus- Mod **
*Franco's Wall E2 5b**
*Bummelzug E3 5c *
We did a few more routes, but these were the classics of the crag. I can't recommend it enough. It aint the usual, 'tis awesome, even though it's a metre high and seeping like hell' but a really good crag with a 1 min approach time!

Wednesday, 11 June 2008

New Video- New Dimension E3 6a

Saturday, 7 June 2008

The Lakes- Two Eagle Crags, Bleak How- Bleak How Eliminate- E5 6a

We spent a day at Eagle Crag (Grisedale) and I took my dad up the classic Kestrel Wall- Severe. Awesome route in an Awesome position. We then scrambled off and me and Dooge set about on 'Horse Power'- E2. Nice line, but you need some small cams.

Post Mortem (Eagle Crag Langstrath) - E3 5c- A dangerous scramble up to the bottom of the route, claimed my rucksack- down, off the cliff. We then set out on the '3 starred line'. Dooge ran out a fair few metres over classic 5a rock- covered in ferns, grass, mud, general grease. He nearly lost it, especially when the 'eagles' swooped in, but he got to the ledge and brought me up.

Sg. Crag Slabs

I geared up and slithered- ramming a leg jam in the overhanging crack. This is how i attacked it- one leg in the crack, one off-width and the other limbs trying to get something on the grease. We had forgotten the large friend, so the only gear was one in-situ wire. The only problem was one of it's wires had rusted through so only friction was keeping the nut head on. I led on scarred and knackered- made my own fist jam out of a pile of chockstones and led up the green crux. I was slipping and the holds were buried. I eventually had to down climb the whole route- It was too steep to ab for the gear. A failure, but an experience. We abed off a suspect in-situ green sling and went for some food and a 'look' at Bleak How. We later looked through a more modern guide, that said a bird ban had been in place for 6 years- explained a lot about the filth. The 'Eagles' were probably peregrines. We didn't know though so shouldn't feel too guilty.

'Onsighting' Bleakhow Eliminate E5 6a

Bleak How Eliminate was awesome. It looked really easy from the ground, but the ryolite was like glass. A thin move, with a high leg enables a reach for a good lay-back and gear. Then I set about the crux. An odd sequence- swing on the layback to a mono, then more gear and a swing to an under-cut and a reach for good holds. I got some more gear in and then finished off the easier climbing. You have to be delicate and strong for this one!

Dooge Is Now Driving, so we should be off to a few more crags- the 'Espace'. lol

This trip made me think once again about what sort of climber I am. I failed on a mountain E3, but then again it was very green. I think I'll give Prana at Black Crag a go, before I make my mind up about whether I'm a micro-router or not.

Unfortunately slightly blurred. This was the crappist sheep I’d ever seen- mangy, half-sheared, a broken horn, scrawny and judging by the different colours, about four farmers owned it. Reminded me of myself really.