Howl Psyche FA (E7 6b**)Me and Dave were both tired today, with aching tips and general body fatigue. A 'relaxed trip to Danby' was decided on to refine our projects. I'd taped my fingers up a lot to prevent further wear, as climbing was becoming almost impossible. This made The Vulcan arete impossible so we got to work on the Twin Aretes buttress, where two unclimbed lines remained- The direct to the otter wilderness route and The groove to the left, which I had taken a large factor two whipper off a couple of years ago with no gear. Neither routes had any gear, so it was time to get our bold shoes on.
Dave shunted the direct to the otter wilderness route a couple of times and said he felt sorted for the solo. I had had a look at this, but was put off by the crux, which is quite pumpy and relies on a heel hook on a smear- Dave insists this is bomber, but I have my doubts. Long story short, Dave went for the solo and cruised the line. the camera ran out of battery mid-route, but luckily I had Dave's camera as well- quite fortunate as I don't think Dave would have wanted to do it again! Great solo from Dave, the fall is horrific-about 20 metres through some trees and onto rocks and the moves are tricky.
Keen to complete the development of Twin aretes Buttress I had a look at 'The Jungle Groove'. I had taken a massive fall off this at a CMC meet and hadn't got on it again since. It is just to the left of 'Howl Psyche' and traverses into the top of this route at the top of the groove (at about 8 metres). The move onto the sloping shelf on 'Howl Psyche' is really gripping, about as terrified as i've ever been, relying on gastons and smears to get onto blind holds. I opted for the lead as, whilst there is no gear, the bottom moves are quite tricky and a factor two is better than falling all the way down into the caves. I've obviously already soloed the 'Otter wilderness Route' (E5 6b**) and shunted 'Howl Psyche' (E7 6b**), so I knew where the blind holds were and the top intimately. Ground upish, but a true onsight of this would be about the scariest experience in the moors! Alas, I had to choose a belayer instead of a photographer.
Grade, Grades, Grades.... Howl Psyche is harder than 'Fresh Arete' (E7 6b) and The Moors E5s and E6s we've done , so E7 to lead. I certainly wouldn't fancy a lead! Dave suggested it was easy to headpoint, maybe H6, but doing it ground up would be insane. Similarly, Onsighting 'The battle for Tripoli' would be ridiculous- it was bloody scary when I knew where the holds were, but onsight would be out of this world- almost E7 6a!
The day was finished by the discovery of one of the best boulder problems we've ever found- a great arete (Video to Come). These brilliant days are becoming something we expect now... I love the moors! :)