Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Gluon - Highcliffe Nab

The FA of Gluon in 1978 (Photo: Tony Marr)
We went up to Highcliffe last night to have a look at Gluon.We were inspired by the photo above from Tony Marr, who reckoned it hadn't had an ascent without that side-runner out left.  It gets E2 5c in the guide with this runner, which implies it's not too tricky and fairly safe. As with much of the Moors however, you can't really rely on these grades and we knew that this blank-looking arete could easily be English 6b and bloody serious! It needed a clean anyway, so I had an ab down to brush the holds. It didn't look easy.

I got on it first and , despite the muggy conditions and marginal midge problems, the sloping sequence went fairly easily. I was nicely warmed up from the Mono Wall in the morning, which makes most things seem quite easy in comparison. Dave also tootled up the initial crux without too much thought, only taking a moment on the final slopier and altogether more serious part of the climb. We both used a rope at the top, as the easy finish is in such a state and we didn't have time to clean it.

Not really sure about the grade - English 6a seemed about right. The E grade depends on boulder mats and how you think a fall would pan out.  Not a bad V3 highball though I'd have thought. The starage would depend on how you climbed it. After the first few moves one can escape into Peeler (an adjacent E2), thus marring the independence of this line, but the moves are top class.

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