Thursday, 6 September 2012

Dynamo- Park Nab- HVS 7a?

Park Nab was always the nearest popular crag to us in Castleton and I see it as a sort of local venue. It was always the place where I broke through new barriers- the first 'Severe', the first 5c etc.. I worked my way through the short routes and testing problems one by one, but there was always one problem that stared at me and looked totally impossible- that of Dynamo.

It was climbed back in the 1960s by Johnny Adams and was way ahead of its time, offering a '6a/b' move after a 'charge' at the wall. In the 50ish years since it was put up, Park Nab has apparently seen a lot of ground erosion and this wall has therefore become much harder. The old line of the ground can still be seen by the perfect change in types of oxidation on the crag surface. There's now a good few feet of new climbing. This all sounds fairly petty, but the result is that the upper wall can no longer be gained by a 'charge', but an utterly desperate move has to be negotiated. Well we popped up the other night to try a few things, also managing some of the Steve Brown highballs on the left of the crag, and actually managed to get up this.

I wasn't having much luck until Matt Ferrier found some incredibly natural beta that allowed a lot of height to be gained before a throw to a small edge. It had become dark and I had already narrowly missed injuring myself on a rock, but this wall meant a lot, so I went for it. I just about scraped through the move and scarily jumped my way further into the dark.

I think it was likely unclimbed in its current state, which is really cool as it's effectively a new route at Park Nab. I'd like to go back in the light and repeat it to be sure, but judging by the other day it seemed like one of the hardest moves in the moors. It would be really nice if there was an english 7a at Park Nab.


Anonymous said...

Hi Franco

I've did this "HVS" about 20 years ago and it is desperate; the moves you describe are much as I remember. I certainly found it harder than the nearby (unfortunately collapsed) Shere Khan. Also, I suspect the ground is now a lot lower than when Johnny Adams did it; this is true for a lot of short NYM sandbags - for example, you used to be able to see a "tide mark" on Bulge Super-Direct where the ground used to be - about chest height! It would be rather different with a nice grassy landing, instead of the boulders - it was VS in one of the old guides!

Are you off back to Austria?

PS You really ought to go and visit the German or Czech sandstone areas. You will be amazed what people could do in bare feet and without chalk in the 1920's!

Chris Shorter

Franco Cookson said...

Hi Chris, great to hear! I took a tumble off this first go and nearly stoved my head in on a near-by block- and that was with pads!

I am back in manchester this year, but this week I'm in Munich visiting my girlfriend. Me and Dave were talking about a trip to the Czech sandstone, but it's fairly pie in the sky at the moment.

People had (and still have) so much more potential than the average seemed to display, so it's no surprise at all that these small pockets around the world, where people were actually concerned with new thinking and pushing themselves to the extremes, have such desperates. I look forward to getting trounced!