Wednesday, 13 April 2011

End Of The Blog For Now


My recent fall at Tintwistle really made me question why I climb and I think I've answered that in my own mind pretty well- because I want to explore magical routes, whether these are by first ascents or repeats. Despite this I have got a lot of stick about being a self publicist, which I can understand- I blog, I post on UKC and I am generally pretty vocal about what I've been up to. But this is more publicising the amazing routes and places I've explored than trying to big myself up. Never the less I find comments that challenge my motives behind climbing hurtful, not because they make me worried about the real reason I climb, but because if anything did happen to me I know my lovable chums and relatives would start to question whether I was climbing for acclaim and them thinking I was maimed or killed for showing off is not something I want.

The best way I can prove I really am not bothered what people think about me is to 'retire' from the active reporting of my explorations. I hope that I have entertained and perhaps enthused some people to get out there. I will continue to explore and blog on a private blog which will not be visible to the public and I apologise for my selfishness to anyone who really enjoyed reading my blog. (If you really want to continue to follow me then you can become a 'friend' or something and can see what I'm up to.)

I will most likely return to the land of bullshit one day, but I am enjoying my climbing more than ever and as Mick Ryan would put it 'living the dream'.

Happy Penguin Greetings,

Franco x


Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Clemmitt's- Exploration

Rockout Font 6a+
Today was the second day spent at clemmitt's this week. After a morning run down to Oak Crag we were blown back to the car a little grumpy due to the horribly cold wind. The new problem 'Mighty Oak' looked good, but it was too cold for the really sharp holds. It was time for somewhere sheltered and warm, It was time for Clemmitt's!

It was a great crag choice as the forest was tranquil and warm, whilst we could watch the heather being blown around on the top of the hill. We worked our way through the problems: me doing the problems I didn't try last time and Rebecca enjoying herself on the easy slabs.

We then went up to Jake's problem which is on a large block of really nice Moors sandstone. With the one mat we had, we simultaneously worked a direct on Jakes problem, which was a dyno to a sloper, and worked a traverse of the boulder from right to left working its way along the obvious juggy flake to a difficult slopey finish.

I had tried the direct before and it took about 10 goes before I latched it, giving a good Font 7a. Rebecca then did her problem which was her first ever new route and a good one at about V2. Just as we were about to leave the boulder, I noticed a large juggy hold by the start of her problem, on the right hand side and a decent hold on the lip of the top overhang. It was going to be a massive dyno, but I got to work on it. It was actually quite straightforward (about Font 6c), but probably the best problem I've done in the Moors- definitely going to be a future classic and on some great holds.
Agony Font 7a+?
Whilst Rebecca pottered about on the lower boulders I went about trying Lee's sloper problem, doing it with a sidepull at about V5, but i think the real challenge is to do it without the far left sidepull, which would be hard.

A walk round to Lee's latest boulder, which he has uncovered from the undergrowth had an obvious rising traverse line on it on small, poor holds. I spent a while working it and managed it eventually, topping out up a flake, which doesn't have to be the end- a possible extension would be about a grade harder. Today's effort, probably Font 7a+.
Sam's Problem Font 6b
The final challenge was a second go at a route which I'm thinking of calling 'agony'. It's a difficult move to a poor crimp (painful) and then a wild throw to the top. I got the top and held it, but had dabbed on the way up, so can't claim it. Not the best problem, but quite hard. Again Font 7a+,maybe Font 7b, but perhaps it just feels hard because it's so painful.

Some pictures of the good stuff are needed!

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Scuggy Exploration- Something in Them Woods...

Rebex enjoying the sun
Since the demise of my bike I've had to be rather cunning in my attempts to get to crags. Time to get some driving lessons I think....
Today I managed to persuade Rebecca to drive me to have a look at a project in return for a nice day out at Scugdale. It was a beautiful day, the rock was warm and it was a really lovely day doing brilliant routes, which I haven't done for a long time. Scugdale is such a great little venue and Rebecca enjoyed her self.
The Nose (V2)

Once she was a little tired I marched her back down to the car and then through some woods to search out one of the more esoteric buttresses in the moors. The objective was what I remembered as a short, bold, one move wonder in some woods.
Stewker - E1 5c (V2)

I was amazed to arrive at the crag to find Steve Ramsden and his mate already on it. I never thought I'd have to queue at Snotterdale! After he showed me the beta I realised that it wasn't going to be the quick afternoon ground-up/headpoint I thought it would be.
Hidden in the Woods: A Good line- I promise!

A cool route and my anti-style. I nearly linked it first go, but then didn't get the last move at all on my subsequent attempts. We only had half an hour before Sunday lunch anyway, so tootled back after re-checking out the right-hand quarries. I don't think I'm that interested to be honest. It's a great line in a nice esoteric venue, but very slappy, bold, slopey and body tensiony, which is everything I'm bad at. It's also pretty hard! Font 7a/F7b+ seemed to be the consensus, but doesn't mean much when you start to look down at the tree's you're going to land on. Good luck to Steve, will be a nice addition to the moors if he gets psyched for the solo.
An unclimbed hanging crack- looks E2 6aish

Saturday, 9 April 2011

Clemmitt's Crag Bouldering

Lee on 'Off the Rails'

Since my little tumble I haven't really been up to that much serious climbing, mainly bouldering about and learning to slack line, which was fun.

Today I returned to the moors with the girlfriend to meet up with Lee, Sam and Lee's mates at Clemmitt's crag. I had seen a few pictures of the crag which made it look really good, but I kind of assumed it was Lee's great photography skills making a poor set of boulder problems look good.

There are actually some real gems!

First off was some unclimbed problems on the left hand side. I managed to flash a problem that Lee was trying due to being able to reach past the crux and pop again, which was a bit of a cheat, but gave a great little V5. I then nearly managed a harder problem to the left, but fell whilst stroking the final jug. That should offer a great little Font 7a+.
Full Breakfast- Betaguides.

After getting excited on what I knew were the less-good boulders we headed over towards the wood, where Lee had been digging..... Wow! I was amazed. I had tipped Lee off about the possible potential of the place, but had no idea that it would be as good as it is. Great effort for Lee developing it all.

There were too many problems to go into much detail, but I repeated the excellent off the rails, flashed Full Breakfast, Smiling arete, Jake's Problem and many more.

It was basically a great day out bouldering around font 6c/7a, with a few new problems added to a great crag. The circuit there is really good at this grade and there is definitely stuff to do into the Font 7s. A few harder things too.

And what a day! I wandered all the way back to Castleton in the evening sun, true paradise after a perfect day with good friends. A real day of that immediate enjoyment you only get with climbing.