Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Hasty Repeats- Ch-Ching (E6/7 6c), Peel Out (E5 6b)

Trying Alum Hinkes As A Wee Nipper
An interesting day up on Hasty Bank today. We started out at Raven's Scar, which is a brill crag. Our objective was the Monty classic Ch-Ching, which ascends the bottom half of the mega arete to the big ledge. From here you can either finish up Stratagem, which is a bit contrived, or just slink off to the right.

It got repeated by Steve Ramsden when he was active a couple of years ago and I think before that Richard Waterton had headpointed it too. Whether Steve's mate Andy Reeve climbed it ground up I can't remember, but it's only seen a handful of repeats in any case, so getting up it was a pretty exciting prospect.

It's routes like this and Esmerelda at Highcliffe (E7/8 6c) that I like to keep for the ground-up/onsight as there aren't many pre-existing routes at this grade about and even fewer people to climb get them done without headpointing. Steve's video of the route offered a bit of beta, so we set to work with pads. We had a big sea of them and Dave took a few fairly nasty falls off- one scraping down the block to the right, which looked really bad. Badly ripped trousers, a few huge gashes ect. It was fairly grim.

 It's the perfect route for a flash as you can see all the holds from a near-by block and this aided me in my flash. Dave had sorted out an energy-saving start to the line and then I managed to onsight through the section he had fallen off by crafty use of a heel. Watching back Steve's video and it appears he did it rather differently. I reckon the line is pretty good. It's a good boulder problem to a flat hold from which you can escape right fairly easily and then another move after this. Without this escape it would be 3 stars for sure and even with it, it's bloody brilliant. I reckon 2 stars.

The grade is tricky. It's not E7 6c for my money. It could be E6, but with pads these days and the general font 7c strength everyone has, it's going to be too soft even at E6 I think? I don't think there's a 6c move on it, or if there is, then the Parochial Dream and all those other highballs we've been doing recently are also 6c. Respect to Monty and Parker for doing it in the style they did (I imagine without pads) but if this ends up at E6, then a lot of other stuff is going to need re-grading.

After this we got beaten off the west face of the Needle. I know Richard and our chum Sam Dewhurst have done this, which mad us wonder whether the large snapped hold mark is from a good snapped hold. We only had a few goes, but it seemed pretty hard. We'll be back. Psycho Syndicate gave us some doubts too. No one seems to know where it goes. We did the start, which is about english 6c, but then up high the holds seem to run out. There are some utterly abysmal mono crimps, but no feet. Did it go left? I know Ingham was good, but I don't think he was that good- felt like it was going to be a very high-ball english 7a move, but it was very green... How odd moors climbing is.

We did manage Peel Out (E5 6b) though, which was grand.  A bit of a dark horse- looking a bit turd, but actually exceptionally fine climbing. It was effectively 2nd go ground up, but i had some goes on this about 3 years ago or something. It felt like it was going to be nails, but a little nifty foot sequence makes it feel rather steady. We wondered whether it was in fact 6a rather than 6b, but I think that was bordering on the realms of daft sand-bagging. A solid highball, or E4 6b without pads I reckon.

I also slayed an old nemesis too. I had tried to solo the unclimbed direct to Chop Yat Ridge some years ago, but found that it was rather committing. Today me and Dave both soloed it onsight, naming it Alum Hinkes. Named of course after the north east's premiere high-altitude mountaineer and watch-salesman. Alas we returned to find that our glorious HVS 5b was in fact already a route. Climbed last September by the formidable duo of Tony Marr and Mike Tooke. O well, you can't have 'em all. 

oo, and nearly forgot. Went to Garfit Quarry after that. It's really good- well worth a trip over from the Wainstones.  The 'E2' is best approached as a highball. We did everything there apart from a hard wall and it was all good stuff.


Anonymous said...

Hi Franco,
Well done on Ch Ching. When I did it only a couple of years ago I combined it with A Different Kind of Blue, ascending the arete in full at E7/8? 6c. I never understood why Steve didn't start up Ch Ching - surely any ascent of the arete should start this way. I think Ch Ching on it's own is worth E6 6c. I didn't use any pads. I happen to know that Nick Clement has also repeated Ch Ching some years ago now. Also while I think about it speaking to Ed Brown he has repeated that E6/7 at Round Crag of Nick Dixon's though apparently the odd hold keeps falling off it.
Psycho Syndicate just goes straight up the wall - there's a poor crimp for your right hand, rock over onto your left foot and pop up for an ok left hand crimp below the top. No hold had come off the West Face last time I looked (fairly recently...).
Hopefully catch up with you and Dave again soon,

Franco Cookson said...

cheers for that. The West face looks really good, I'm excited to get back to that. I'll have to have a look for this crimp on psycho. It badly needs a clean too, so perhaps I'll have to ab down it. The Raven's Scar arete in its entirety sounds mammoth.

Interesting in regard to Scut at Round Crag. It's really rather dangerous that, I don't think you'd last long if you did every deathy E7 in the moors- there's hundreds. Certainly not E6 that though. Very keen to get out with you next week. There's a super-safe right-hand finish to Time Captain that I'm sure you'll love.

Anonymous said...


Ch-Ching was done as a direct start to Stratagem and we thought this warrented E7. If people arn't finishing up Stratagem they haven't done the route.

Psycho Syndicate starts up the obvious diagonal ramp. Get the top of this with yoour right hand (good crimp) step up to a poor undercut with your left hand (it gets better with height). Step your left foot into a swallow pocket and heel hook the ramp with your right. This allows you to stand up for a poor crimp (right hand) below the top and then cross through to one just to the right (leht hand) and then get the top. You may be able to span straight to the good crimp with your right.

Good luck with the new routes.

Martin Parker

Franco Cookson said...
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Franco Cookson said...

Thanks Martin, that's really useful. I'll have to try that! Impressed with the difficulty of that one.

I'm not sure about finishing up Stratagem, it seems really rather contrived to me- especially these days with pads. It could easily become a very popular highball up to the bivy cave though I reckon. It's great to be finally getting on these classics.

Anonymous said...

Hi Franco

Have you managed to get up Stratagem yet?

As the original Peeler Outer, it was interesting to read your comments on Peel Out. I fell the full height of it when a little hold snapped just as I touched the top but wasn't quite holding it. No mats in those days of course. However, my little sister was sleeping in the sun on the boulder below and was a bit surprised when I dropped in! Long time ago - she was out celebrating her 50th birthday yesterday!

Chris Shorter

Dave Warburton said...

Haven't been on it yet! I tried it a couple of years ago, when i didn't climb anywhere near the grade and did poorly.

When i returned to the Moors from a bit of sport climbing early this summer, the weather wasn't conducive to Ravenscar and now I fear any endurance will be long gone. I need to get on it soon, but i'll wait til it cools a little, to prevent hideous overheating!

Enjoyed Peel Out and thoroughly look forward to cleaning and climbing Psycho Syndicate.

Franco Cookson said...
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Franco Cookson said...

Hi Chris,

I've still got my onsight for Stratagem and hope to get on it soon- Trying to capitalise on my current boulder strength at the moment though.

I don't envy you falling off the top of Peel Out without mats. Did you ever go back and finish it off? This whole genre of short solos/highballs are dead interesting. They're really fun above a pile of pads and there's so much more and better climbing than on the boulders- my knees are still hurting like!