Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Whitestone Traverse Description

48. The Whitestone Traverse 309m HXS 6a/6b *** 8-12 Hours
A brilliant and serious route, weaving a line of weakness through spectacular rock architecture; with most pitches being as dangerous to second as lead. This is a girdle traverse of the main cliff. It can be climbed right to left, although the best situations are gained by climbing from left to right. The pitches in and out of the black mamba cave can be climbed with aid to give an E3 5b A1, but you won’t be free from the traverse until you climb it without. The spectacular crux pitch will not only test your nerve, but also your agility; with technical moves on loose rock.

Start at the far left hand side of the cliff, where a grassy ramp leads down the last buttress. Pitches are given a 1-5 loose rating, 5 being most loose.
1. 25m 4b
Gain the ledge in the middle of the face and follow this to a tree belay (3)
2. 25m 4c
Climb the crack above, past a threaded wooden chock to a difficult mantel. From here scramble onto the grass ledge and traverse across to an airy belay (Loose Belay) by a good peg. (4)
3. 35m 5a
Climb down the spectacular 'Pygmalion' via a series of ledges, with good gear. Follow the grassy rake across to a thorn bush, where it is possible to down-climb for 4 metres (Last Post) until a difficult traverse rightwards into the crack of Clutcher is possible. Hanging Belay in the Crack (4)
4. 20m 6a
A bold hand traverse across an obvious line of good holds leads to a small ledge right of the arĂȘte. Place very poor nuts in blitzkrieg and thread the peg out right with the strongest wire you can fit in (maybe possible to thread with a sling if you take a nut key). From here make a series of smeary moves down to a good edge to the right. A wild lunge on to the belay rounds off a brilliant pitch. (2)
5. 12m 6a/6b
Place a high runner in Black Mamba, before swinging out right on to a good hold and ancient pegs, from here make a massive move to a sloper on the arĂȘte and mantel onto the spectacular belay. (3)
6. 20m 5b
A series of harrowing moves allows the impressive white wall to be followed along a series of ledges. Trend downwards towards the Detached block to belay. Poorly protected with pegs, which are relics of a bygone era . Sport Climbing on a Moors crag! (4)
7. 15m 5a
A difficult move down allows the thorny groove to be reached, follow this until it is possible to break right across the Ivy wall and up the Arete to a tree belay. (2)
8. 25m 4c
A move up and right leads to the Great Slab, which is followed to a peg belay, with excellent views. (2)
9. 13m 4c
Climb the crack below (which gets more solid further down) to a tree belay. (3)
10. 12m 5a
Climb up and right to a sandy crack, with a long reach to better holds and a belay in Garbage Groove. (3)
11. 15m 4b
Climb easily round the ledge system through a tree to a good belay. (1)
12. 17m 5a
Descend some easier grass ledges to pleasant, but difficult moves along a band of ‘Doggers’ to belay in Gauche. (2)
13. 25m 5a
A brilliant and tiring pitch climbing through all the classic Whitestone HVSs, either belaying in The Nightwatch, or risking the ropedrag to follow the break around the corner to a poor belay on Jurrasic Scarp. (1)
14. 20m 5b
Climb the top pitch of Jurassic Scarp. A spectacular finish to the longest route in Yorkshire. (3)

FA Chris Woodall, Ernie Shield..1963.(Climbed from left to right, in stages over several weekends)
First single day Ascent- Chris Woodall, Malcolm Farrow 1965
FFA Luke Hunt, Franco Cookson (aid pitch freed third go) 30th June 2009 (7.5 hours)

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