Tuesday, 30 June 2009

The Whitestone Traverse Goes Free! HXS 6b

Just a quick post, before a proper write-up and lots of pics.

Me, Luke Hunt and Dave Warburton got on the traverse today, climbing left to right in a single push in an onsight style. The first four pitches weren't without interest with some seriously cheesy rock. I led the 5c/6a Blitzkrieg pitch (with a lovely peg threaded with an RP) and luke then managed to free the aid pitch, with a massive reach and cut loose on to a sloper. It went at around 6b, with a cruicial foothold snapping off and flying into the abis on his successful attempt- making my second even harder. After I led the relatively straight-froward, but loose '5a pitch' (5b+) we then simul climbed to glory and mini-eggs. I wanted to escape off at nightwatch, but Luke (still fresh) insisted on finishing up Jurrassic Scarp, an ace finish to an amazing route. A brilliant end to over a years-worth of torment; with many tales to be told (and slightly exaggerated upon) down at the pub. ACE!

Videos of falling blocks to come!

Friday, 26 June 2009

A Sunny Week in the Lakes

A week off meant a drive over to the lakes. We managed to get an ascent of Triermain eliminate (E2) in before it got dark on the Monday night and met up with Luke, Miles and Tom at the CMC hut. From here we planned Tuesday’s assault- Dow.
Dooge chose Pink Panther (E2) to warm up on, but got a bit lost and i ended up taking over. Following his line felt like hard 5c with a huge run out you'd be lucky to stay off the ground with- later we found we'd combined various routes and added our own little traverse as well. Luke was psyched for The Shining Path (A safe but very hard E5 6b). It was massively sustained and fingery and Luke managed to get up it with one short rest, no doubt fatigued from his attempt at Bucket City at Dove the day before.

Day three was Reecastle Crag, which is a nice big lump of barrel-shaped Ryolite. I had a little tootle up 'White Noise' (E3) which was nicely sustained and then we turned our attention to Penal Servitude (E5 6b). It was disappointingly bouldery, but Luke managed it after a little trouble. Good lead. Then I dragged everyone to Black crag for an en-mass barefoot solo of Troutdale and a look at the soft, but epic Prana (E3 5c). I was climbing well and cruised up singing 'The Vengabus', Ace!Thursday meant the departure of the Manchester Trio and me and Dooge chose to have a nice day at the Slate quarries, both leading Darklands and An Alabuse and I had a plod up Rim Fisher, with an interesting crux. It's either about 6b straight up the crack or a crap move left. I did a sort of combination. Darklands is about E1 and needs some bolts chopping, would be ace sans all but 1 bolt. Epic week, beautiful weather, no really hard routes climbed, but definitely solid at E3. :)

Monday, 15 June 2009

The Last Moors Classics Fall

Climbing Mongol the other week meant there was only a couple more routes left on my 'mega Moors-classic ticklist'- Warrior, Gym Junkies, BBC and Black Mamba.

On Saturday we wandered up to ingleby at a steady pace in the blazing sun. The imaculate butress of Gym Junkies met us with a pleasant cool wind and we racked up. Expecting an Epic E3 6b struggle I soloed up and place a bomber size 0 cam and nut 1 in the bottom of the crack. I had a good look at the route from the ground and got on it proper.

The pull over the roof was pleasantly straightforward, but I soon realised that a left hand in the good hold meant the crux would be really badly balanced. So I came back down a couple of feet and got the good slopery thing with my right, crossed through with my left then swung out right to a crimp with my right, popped my foot up and got established.

Jamming up Cosy Corner HS

I was slightly worried. That move was not 6b, I was in a precarious position and could only find shite wires. I popped one in and wondered how hard the next move must be to be 6b. I semi tugged the wire, wishing it to stay in and it seemed to stay, so I moved on. A bit of a step up and i reached the top.

It was a bit disappointing. I was expecting a nails and safe 6b, but instead got a runout 5c/6a. Dooge then led it and agreed it was nowhere near 6b, but not massively safe either. I abed for the gear and found a bomber size 1 peanut slot, that is quite hard to find, so perhaps Tony Marr worked it on the F.A?

bomber Tri Cam placement

We then went over to try the epically tricky 'Love or Confusion' -E4 6b. The start (that some have described as V7) went with some difficulty as you have to hang off a blunt arete and pop for a crimp. I then managed to use my long reach to place a size 4 cam with one finger in the obvious pocket to protect the next, smeary but easy move. From there It looks well hard. I managed to down climb, but the top move looks insanely hard, mantelling onto a crimpy sloper. Love or Confusion climbs the blunt left arete, tis good

Then High Crag called. The last Mega Classic- Warrior. Dooge took the Sharp end first and battled his way up the crack, quite impressively. Bomber cam after bomber hex followed through the slightly awkward, but not too pumpy crux. Leading to a damp top-out. My turn followed and it went quite well, battling through the thick midges; undercutting and jamming to glory.

We descovered some boulders south west of tarn hole as well. Some really good slabby problems of about V6/7+ and a couple a bit harder. There's a good roof jamming problem at about V4 and a cool dyno which is quite hard. Might be worth a look if you can boulder quite hard and tis only about a 30 min walk in.

Epic weekend, proper tired.

One of the moor top boulders- tis better, taller and harder than it looks.

Friday, 5 June 2009

Moors LGPs

Edit 2013: This is massively out of date and inaccurate. I've only kept this for amusement. The first two routes were climbed at E8 and E6!

With the recent good weather and a lot of time on my hands i've been visiting quite a few crags around and about and have noticed quite a few cool-looking routes. A lot of them aren't that hard, feel free to try them (onsight though).

Danby Crag-

The arete left of Bastile E4/5? 6b?

It looks like it'll be the best line at Danby (not saying much) with a flake that looks like it will take small wires just below half height and a couple of pockets to use on the right of the arete. Only seen from bottom

The Scoop just to the left E2/3? 5b/5c?

An interesting set of moves with very little gear. I tried to onsight this recently, but I ended up falling off about half way up and taking a 30ft whipper onto the belay, landing in a holly bush. Not the best line.

Beacon Scar-

The wall left of Mongol E4+/ HXS

A chossy set of cracks leads its way boldly up the wall, poor rock. The grade is a complete guess, viewed from the bottom.

The Wall right of Gehenna E5 6b?

Some good gear low down (mid tricam, rock 4 and odd 0.5 cam in shite rock) protects one hard move to a good hold, then there is some runout 6aish choss to the top crack and good gear. A fall from the chossy stuff is touch and go ground clipping from 40ft.

other crags-

The good line for locals- you know where E8+ 6c+

epically hard and desperate, aparently small cams protect. Richard Waterton says it's hard so probably not worth trying.

The wall- south of Beacon Scar E7+

A bit of a death route, either protectable with sky hooks or a peg, ethics ect.....

Looks hard, various people say it's 6cish, various finishes, direct or left, left is aparently harder?

Roseberry Face E4/5? 5c/6a?

This one isn't too much of a secret as you'd have to be from the moors to be mad enough to try it. Quite sustained and nice moves, up to a couple of 'stopper moves' I haven't done. Protected reasonably well with Tricams, although there is a mega run-out.

Unclimbed Arete - Round Crag E3 6b- apparently?

Adam Van Lopic reported this grade after top roping it. Seems very odd for the route, the start looks like the definate crux, but a fall from the start would result in serious injury. Probably more like E3 5c or E4 6a.

Whitestone Traverse E2 5c A1

a ten metre section that needs freeing. It could easily be done at a lower level, but in keeping with the origional line would be proper hard horribly lose 6a/b protected with gas pipes and a gas pipe belay.

So there you go the 9 moors LGP, i'll update it if I find any more.

Have fun!

The Peak- The Snivelling Shits E5 6a

Arriving in the Peak late friday night and getting up early saturday morning, slightly cold in Burbage car park, we looked over the Peak. Burbage to our left, the faint beginings of Stanage to our right and the perfect hill of Higgar Tor directly ahead- We were meeting luke at millstone around 9. We were twitching with excitement though, so packed up the espace and drove to millstone, arriving about 6.30.
My aim for the trip was to do The snivelling shits, a very slabby route with painfully small holds. As a bit of an anticlimax I got on the route and through a series of about four, slightly sketchy, really cool moves reeched into the solitary pocket, sybolising safety with my number 4 cam. The nice people of UKC later informed me it wasn't onsight as i used a mat (mainly to keep my feet dry off the dewy ground) and as I had read the guidebook, which told me what size cam protected the top 4c moves. I'm happy with a highball v4 flash though, cause it was ace. :)
With painful fingers we met luke, equally twitching to get onto some E4s and E5s. He had his eye on Pool Wall at Laurencefield, so after a little bit of soloing, with Luke soloing Bond Street (impressive!), we left Dooge and Twig to do the classic Millstone routes.
Pool Wall is the Direct start to Suspense, a steady E2, with a pollished, tricky exit. Pool wall traverses out onto a wall and climbs via a faint line of crimps and a pocket, to join suspense just before this pollished finish. I was belaying, half attentive to jump into the pond if Luke fell from the run-out crux, half not wanting to lose my onsight. Luke ended up popping for a hold mid crux, scaring us all, but cruising the route. Nice to see someone climb a proper E5. With the sun shining ever-harder, friction routes were off the cards, so I tried Life assurance. Arsing about at the crux for a long time, I backed off- leaving it for another day. Luke cruised Boggat left hand and had a quick look at Balance it is, with an even quicker retreat. By which time it was late and we were hungry, so we retreated to our bivis. Day 2 met us with even more heat, a tactical crag choice of Bamford let me and Luke nip up Jet Runner and have a look at 'Trout' before the sun boiled us out. The traditional arsing around on gargoyle Flake was had, with a lot of ridiculous posing and then off to Froggat we went. Luke taking a few whippers off Strapadictomy and the E1 proving hard enough in terrible conditions. A little sesh on Artless unlocked the crux flashing it above a mat, but saved the top moves for another day and promptly downclimbed. A really good trip despite the lack of ticks and I now have even more on the ticklist!