Thursday, 1 September 2011

Highcliffe Testpieces And A New E4

Curious Intrigue FA E4 5c*

Dooge's birthday today, so for his birthday treat we went up to highcliffe nab. Excellent place, which is currently being cleaned by locals after the felling of all the trees up there that ruined the north end of the crag.

We started out with a mooch up 'Ping' (E1 5c*), which we both thought was excellent and deserving of more stars. I suggested to Dooge that in a clean state (which it's in after our cleaning) it might actually be HVS 5b, but we were unsure. Dave then got on the route he really had his eye on- Magic In The Air (E7 6b***). He abed down and placed the pre-clipped side runners which reduce the grade to E5 and got up it in impressive style. Dooge is going quite well at the moment. I was trying not to look too much and didn't want a go with side runners attempting to save my attempt for the coveted first onsight solo ascent of the line! I reckon this will have to wait a good few years like... it looks terrifying!
Ping HVS 5b**
After this I abed down a desperate looking slab that was pretty dirty. I cleaned off the dirt and found that it really was desperate- too desperate! My annoyance was interrupted by Dave informing me that the left arete of the wall hadn't been climbed, so I turned my attentions to this. A quick clean and a sequence became apparent. An uneventful solo was actually quite enjoyable and 'The Curious Intrigue' (E4 5c*) was born. No idea about the grade or staring. Often you spend so long abing or shunting something that the moves just seem to appear and the concept of onsight difficulties or quality just fade away; fade to grey... I loved it though, with cool layback, a couple of very high feet and some brilliant smearing. Hopefully it will get repeated before it turns back to nature.

The Day was finished off by trying to put up a line to the right of Desperate Den (E6 6c***) above pads. Den himself is pretty desperate (unsurprisingly), but the attempted line tackles the blanker wall to the right above the memorial inscription to Ian. I think he'd like the idea of his wall being home to a future 7a desperate. All but the last move figured out at the moment, but I will need more skin. It's a real testpiece like, quite eliminate.

1 comment:

David Bulley said...

The Desperate Den wall is quite dodgy with the slight drop below it. I went there when I was in the area but was slightly pissed so didn't do any climbing hehe