We were feeling the pressure as we only had 48 hours before I emigrated to Austria and Dooge left for Uni. Because of this we nipped over to Stoupe Brow today, despite the poor forecast, in the hope that we might be able to salvage something of the remaining time we had in god's own land. I had only got to bed at half four after a heavy night in Middlesbrough, so I chilled out by belaying Dave on the old scoop project as I tried to stop myself swaying.
Waves Of Inspiration (H7 6c***)
Dave looked smooth whilst refining a few moves and soon got sorted for the lead. I had another play on a top rope, but I'd forgotten how hard it is when you don't know the sequence and was well and truly beaten. A good warm up for my own cauterised rib project though, so I wasn't too upset at my trouncing.
The White Scoop (E7 6b**)
A fair bit of a Runout
As Dave set out on lead I was way more nervous than he was, which is becoming a common theme. He calmly cruised up to and beyond the gear, making the whole thing look very easy, but on toping out we both realised that our perception of the route as something that was alright to fall off of, with just a big fall, was wrong. The pictures show clear enough the enormous run out on the buttress and despite the moderate level of climbing, (about f7b) it becomes a pretty hard overall proposition. Respect to Dooge, that's his third moors death route safely navigated and I'm happy I didn't have to do it! Class feature.
After an impressive second, considering he's only just got back into climbing, Nick then went off to try and climb a new offwidth he'd just cleaned. There seems to be some strange bonding ritual, involving offwidths, between the Warburton brothers and Nick's ascent was a classic and incredibly bold thrutching outing. Dave Managed to second more elegantly and 'The Best Of Both' (E1 5a*) was born. Top effort, unfortunately the pictures were really blurry.
A bit more of a runout...
Next it was my turn. Normally I'm really nervous before leading dangerous things and I suppose I kind of was today, but I was also really inspired by the line and just wanted to be the first person to climb the feature. It's such an amazing wall, a little short I suppose (about 10 metres at a stretch), but the climbing is really superb, with good footholds and long reaches. I left the ground and got up to the big ledge, getting the cam and tricam in (this gear is pretty good collectively) and then paused a few moments to really get in the zone.
Feeling odd after divine intervention
I then set off from the ledge in a daze and totally missed the good crimp you jump up to. Luckily I just slipped onto it, caught it with a digit and delicately caressed it. I then brought my right foot through so I could get an outside edge smear. This part is so cool, as you really are on the edge; anything could just rip off at any moment; but you are also kind of solid at the same time.
I then got the small crimp and lobbed a foot out left. It kept coming, but it all felt so easy and like it wasn't me who was climbing. It's just such a fabulously smooth and exciting wall, with move after move of exquisite desperation and all the time just feeling so floaty. This is really what I've been searching for this summer and I'm glad I've finally found it. Now just to find something a couple of notches harder next year.