Friday, 16 September 2011

The End Of The Danby Season- New Route Round Up

Jack Metcalfe On 'The Jungle Drum' (E4 6a**)

I feel it wouldn't be right for me to leave for Innsbruck on Tuesday without a few words of thanks to our most beloved Danby Crag. Sitting in my kitchen with thunder and the rain pattering on the velux windows, it really does feel like the end of the Danby season. It feels like we've had a really personal relationship with this crag, partially because it has been disregarded by so many for so long as a bit of an esoteric back-water and also because we have spent so much time there. We have found it the opposite of how most view it, with it perhaps being the provider of some of the best new routes of England in 2011.

What has been special about our experience is the solitude Me, Dave, Sam, Jack, Nick and Twig have enjoyed at the crag over various days; the varying weather; the cows and the brilliant moves that we have found behind the generally thin (sometimes rather thick) veil of lichen, dirt, dust and snappy rock.
Hypocrisy Of Moose (H8 6c***)

The difficulty of many of the routes has supplied us with real entertainment, a challenge and also training, but in the grand scheme of things it is the great quality of these unclimbed lines that is the lasting memory I have from this whole experience. I hope in time many of these routes will be repeated and this quality realised and indeed the yet unclimbed quality climbing taken advantage of.

I will be away for a year, so the rest of the routes will have to wait and I kind of hope they remain unclimbed! The remaining projects are mainly harder routes of H7 and above- the two main ones being the Arete to the left of Vulcan (which I was upset at not managing to get done) and the 'mono wall', which will be utterly fantastic when it is completed. There's a great day out at this crag at any grade except for E1&E2, so come and explore one of the most generous crags in the North York Moors!
Dave On 'The Polish Diplomat' (E5 6b*)
'The Chocolate Moose' (E4 6b**)
Dave On 'Howl Psyche' (E7 6b**)

The story of Danby over the last couple of years:

The crag originally had nothing above HVS, which instantly raised mine and Dave's suspicions as to whether there was any potential for new routing at the crag. Development began with two massive onsight lead falls off of what were to become 'The Battle For Tripoli' (E6 6a**) and 'The Hypocrisy of Moose' (H8 6c***). This led to a headpointing tactic being deployed and the creation of 'The Otter Wilderness Route' (E5 6b**) and the Hypocrisy Of Moose- Both on a buttress that had not previously been Climbed. This was the first headpointing we had ever done and we soon realised that there was a lot here that was possible that may not have been onsight.
Dave On The Offwidth 'Stalin' (E3 5b**)
'Die By The (Pork) Sword' (H7 6c**)
Dave On An Established Route- 'Roosevelt' (VS 4c**)
The Future of Danby- The Mono Wall (H9 7aish)

We then abandoned the Crag for a year (loosing our way with alpine flirtations, slate climbing and tintwistle death routes), until I returned and rediscovered the endless potential of high quality new routes.

It became almost like a 9-5 job, turning up at the crag every dry day to abseil dozens of unclimbed lines and clean new boulder problems. The easiest routes were quickly headpointed or climbed ground up, whilst knowledge of gear and moves were collected on the harder projects.

We realised that the routes between E3 and E7 we managed were pretty decent, but not as good as the Hypocrisy of Moose, whilst a couple of the really hard things were going to be truly fantastic. Perhaps the limit of comprehension at the moment is the 'Mono Wall', which is only just within that limit. Its climbing is highly dynamic, unprotected and thin- a definite candidate for the first route in 'the new wave' of Moors desperates. Beyond this is the 'Impossible arete', which is a 10 metre square cut arete with multiple outragous layback moves and also totally unprotected; an exciting glipse into the future of moors climbing to be sure.

The unclimbed lines we managed over the last two summers were fairly numerous:

The Otter Wilderness Route (E5 6b**)
The Hypocrisy of Moose (H8 6c***)
The Jungle Drum (E4 6a**)
The Polish Diplomat (E5 6b*)
The Chocolate Moose (E4 6b*)
Howl Psyche (E7 6b**)
The Battle For Tripoli (E6 6a**)
Die By The Sword (H7 6c**)
Stalin (E3 5b**)
Roosevelt Eliminate (HVS 5a)

Vulcan Bloc Arete (font 6b+**)
Marine Band Traverse (font 7a*)
The Effervescent Pheasant (font 7a***)
Palma Ham (font 6c*)

Sam On The Classic Valiant (HVS 5a***)
Gutted to not get this done- The arete left of Vulcan (E7/8 6c)


Dave Warburton said...


Sam Marks said...

Best Post all year, what a way to end the summer!