Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Camp Hill Project And A New Buttress- Freyr's Nab

The Project Climbs past the wavey wall right and above the fat bit of the lower break.
With rain a-forecast once more, into the safe hand of Camp Hill we bewandered. As a crag we knew exceptionally well, with each crinkled feature intricately explored long ago, we knew the only line left unclimbed is that wall left of Waves Within.

'The Waves' is a classic, put up by Steve Brown and Dave Pall in '79, it tackles the left side of an arch to a sloping blind break. The crux then follows with not much gear before a high rockover. Mine and Dave's objective today was the wall to the left. The expanse is plenty enough for a route, with several poor features between the first two breaks and some slightly larger holds between the 2nd and 3rd breaks.

A relaxed top rope made for a pleasant afternoon, with this style of approach becoming a lazy habit and fairly necessary for maintaining fingertips when climbing all the time. I find starting from the top and looking at all the holds very closely, feeling the positions and seeing how I can get to the hold is vital in not wildly jumping in ignorance and catching something wrong. These little things are what makes a wise activist I reckon...

Anyway.... The route itself is OK. For a brief moment I thought it was going to be really good and also really hard. Unfortunately the first sequence is relatively unnecessary. It's the classic problem with these sort of 'between the cracks' type of routes. There are several possible lines all the way up it. The best would be an almost impossible sequence left of the waves on absolutely minuscule holds. The next best would be an undercut and dyno sequence past a pea-pod, which is hard English 6c and the worst is climbing to the left of that, past a crimp, not so far away from the HVS to the left. The latter would be 6b.

 This starting move is at a height protectable with lots of boulder mats, albeit with a poor landing. This means that the creation of a route with a bit of an eliminate nature is more likely to be accepted. Perhaps there could be a few variations, with the 6c pea-pod one being the more common. The impossible/very hard thing on the right also has the worst fall, so that could be interesting.

We unlocked the central wall with use of a heel toe and a couple of knee bars, before the jump. It's fairly interesting how intricate the sequence became. I think in general our ability to interpret the rock is getting to a new level- it certainly seemed that way up at Roseberry the other day. These little steps and improvements is what is going to make the harder things in the moors possible me thinks- that and incredible amounts of core strength. I'm really looking forward to unleashing this wall on lead, it's going to feel so wild compared to top roping, despite being a little defined.

Once the 2nd (or mid) break is reached it becomes a bit less eliminate, you rock rightwards, pull on a small hold and then layback up a vague and blind flake feature. This is most excellent and English 6b. As a whole the route will end up E5 6c I reckon, with the right-hand thing being E7 7a or something. It's worth doing, especially for locals, but no stars I don't think, despite the super rock and moves.

It then absolutely down-poured, so we went crag hunting. There's been a lot of talk of a buttress on the opposite side of the tabletop hill Danby Crag inhabits for some time. It was most recently mentioned to us by John Price at the CMC meet last Tuesday and we thought it was about time we actually went.

We parked up and found a path, Dave reckoned there was no point taking rock boots, so we just wandered up. At first it looked like Park Nab and we got rather excited, but it then became clear it was a highball venue. What highballs though! We soloed a wall we reckoned to be about HVS 5b on the left, which was fun in wellies and then went about having a look at the other things.  A couple will need rock shoes and probably some pads, in particular an arete that will be a classic for certain- A sort of picturesque and independent Lion King on nicer rock. The rock generally was tip-top and it would be nice to return with a few people to develop the stuff. There are about 5 lines that will be V Diff- VS and a couple of other things.

 It's not a major find, but certainly worth visiting and it's only about 5 mins to walk in. I could see it becoming very popular for an evening solo.

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