Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Die By The Sword (H7 6c**)

I set out on the wall right of the 'Moose' on lead today. I was apprehensive, really feeling the mental scars left by Tintwistle and it took a fair bit of mental power to overcome the feeling that I was very much unnecessarily taking myself into a position of danger. The low gear (effectively a belay at the bottom of the route) is good, which meant that there was scarcely any danger of death, but a fair danger of a bad fall into spikes and cracks. I had briefed Nick (Dave's Brother) on the necessary course of action in the event of a fall- up until the crux, just hold the fall; from the crux until the top, run like hell and jump off the lower cliff.

Nick was in the right spirit and before I knew it I was reaching out of the very bottom of Bastile (HS) and traversing up towards the sloping shelf. From here you can shake out and get ready for the crux, check your feet are clean and precariously place the left on a good smear and the right in a blind and tiny pocket. You can now reach a very positive and very small crimp with the right and pop into a left pinch, hoping that your feet stick and you don't fly backwards onto the rocks and ledges.

Once stable you then launch your feet onto the ledge with the 'woodlouse attack move'. It's such a funny move and you end up all bunched up in the middle of this wall facing a massive fall. Now you can turn the pinch into an undercut and span for dear life to the good crimps and a few more scary moves lead to safety. Short and sweet!
I had originally thought this was going to be H8, but I realised I was kidding myself by not using the crack which you climb out of at the start for very low gear and a running belayer. Due to the steepness of the ground I reckon a fall from the first hard move would only result in a nasty swing into the wall of the Hypocrisy Of Moose (H8 6c), so not worthy of H8 despite its hard moves. One of the best set of moves I've ever done though, with lots of popping for small crimps, wild foot throws and a big undercut reach to the top.
Celebratory Helmet Conversion.
This route means that the Twin Arete's butress is now home to 33 Egrades and 11 stars! Stage one of the Danby development is complete.

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