Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Rock Bottom - Onsight

There are many routes in the Moors that, despite fairly low grades, offer a decidedly tricky outing. One such route is the Shorter and Redhead route Rock Bottom. It looks like a bit of an eliminate, climbing the surprisingly steep wall a few metres left of Ahab. It was rumoured not to have seen an onsight ascent, and so we got on it.

There were a fair few people at the crag, with a party of well-weathered climbers gently knocking off the classics of the crag, ourselves, the Middlesborough contingent and eventually even Marks and Ferrier putting in an appearance. There was a good atmosphere and after a bit of up and down soloing to have a look at the crux, we went for it.

It turned out to be a great little number. The start is a bit of a dyno, or an awkward reach into a pod, a move that takes a bit of faith to down climb. Here some poorish cams can be placed to protect the crux. We used a boulder mat here, with the idea that if the cams ripped they'd slow you down enough to deposit you gently onto the mat. I think this would work.

The crux move itself is top notch. A really good crimp is taken with the right hand and then an outside edge smear enables a left foot to be placed in the pocket. The sequence was obvious from the ground, but looked really hard. Luckily though it turned out not to be that bad and on lead the whole thing felt very secure.

We'd been in contact with Chris Shorter who reckoned it may well be E5. The crux is certainly 6b and the fall is not ideal without a mat. With a mat though, the whole thing feels a lot fluffier and E4 6b seemed about right. It's a fab route whatever the grade, with some really absorbing climbing. There's certainly this strange genre of mid-extreme 70s and 80s routes that are largely ignored in the moors. As with this one, they often turn out to be really rather good.


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Anonymous said...

Good to hear you young lads are enjoying these old climbs! Did you also do the little bit above the ledge to the moor? Probably worth 6a for that as well and quite bold. I don't remember saying Rock Bottom was worth e5; I think my comment was about Screwed, which you should really do if you haven't yet.

Ps Congratulations on the mono thingy!

Bast wishes


Franco Cookson said...

Now chris. I hope that wasn't a dodgey quote! I'm afraid we didn't do the top. I'm not quite sure why... It was probably really dirty. If it's good though, we'll go back and clean it. Thanks.

Dave Warburton said...

The turf needed digging off. Plus you can walk off...

I remember someone saying it was E3 going on E5 as it possibly hadn't seen an onsight. Great move regardless!