My first delves into mixed climbing have proved ridiculously successful, considering I always considered myself to be a rubbish winter climber. I've attempted 4 winter routes on lead in total- my first a FWA which turned out to be about V 7, the second Bowfell Buttress, the forth an Epic Gully called Chock Gully in Grisedale and the third we ended up abseiling off the second belay due to a bit of a storm and it being totally dark.
The previous write up of our lakes trip describes this route as 'an obvious inspiring corner next to Bowfell' (we tried it the same day as Bowfell) and it was. the climbing we did was ace. On our return and Dave purchasing the winter Guide for the Lakes it turns out it was a grade VIII. This not only made me chuckle, but also brought back all the memories of how at every step with our climbing 'the moors crew' has put adventure above experience (and sometimes safety) and amazingly it turned out ok.
I don't really know what i'm talking about, but I get overpowered by a desire for epics and adventure whenever I think about past experiences and future challenges. I still don't understand why we always end up jumping on routes way above us and having semi-successes. And in regard to 2009, what a truly brilliant year. I mean the most superb year anyone could ever have (happiness-wise). I haven't made a huge amount of progress (E3-5, IV- VI, F6c+- F7b), but as an adventure it's been foykin cool.
A few Highlights:
*(seconding Luke on the) Whitestone Traverse FFA- HXS 6b
*The FFA of the main face of Roseberry topping- E5 6a
*Lakes winter on various epic pitches
*Spain Sport Climbing
*Linking the Danby arete on a top rope (H8 6c ish)
*I actually quite enjoyed my indoor routing (and falling)
*Landing properly on my face whilst trying a Dyno
*Figuring out Desperate Den onsight (E6 6c)
*The arete at Ravensdale is honestly Fantastic (E5+ 6a)
*Taking a factor two onsight new routing
*talking bollocks to people and having a good laugh
*Climbing Winter routes on the moors!
*Trying the big pitches of the lakes hills.
*Ticking all the Hodge Close Back Wall over a couple of days.
*My first Visit to Gogarth
*Climbing blitzkrieg, not being able to set up a belay, then down-climbing it all!
The targets for 2010
The main target for 2010 is to get technically good enough, fit enough and experienced enough so that I can do something bigger in 2011.
This will probably mean:
*Solid at E6
*I'd like to do a Scottish VIII before the winter's over
*A lot of Mileage in the alps- E5 or E6 above 3,500 metres would be pretty cool.
*And as a bonus- Magic In the Air onsight- i'd be lying to myself if I didn't say I was super- psyched
We'll see how it pans out. Objectives always change and you always get better at things you thought you wouldn't. Maybe we could tick four of the eights this year?