Tuesday, 13 August 2013

New E5-E7s Flashed at Tranmire

Flashing 'Stuck In The Sky' (E7 6c**)
Hard slabs in the Moors are pretty rare. One of the few places that offers potential for them is Tranmire - a nice crag, with a beautifully-crafted central amphitheatre offering piles of lovely lines between Mod and HVS. What's unusual about the place is the way that pleasant plods are positioned right next to totally blank-looking desperates. It makes for a good venue with a mixed party, which is exactly what we had.

A friend from Sheffield came up for the day and wanted to sample Moors climbing at HVS and below. We had a sunny day for it, which made for a nice time on the classics. In addition to this, a huge amount of new routes got climbed.  Matt Ferrier and Sam Marks were on form, first climbing a new E1 5b* in the central bay, before tackling an oft-eyed arete that went at E3 6a**.  The former is an interesting wall protected by a small thread and cam, demanding a large span, or utterly desperate intricacies.  The latter was a well-protected arete that just seemed to keep going a bit too long. A few falls were had on that.

These all looked like real good fun, but the lads quickly moved onto try a new slab to the left. Sam managed to effectively onsight it, with just a little bit of info on which holds were good (I'd cleaned it). Ferrier got o so close as well, but ended up taking a pretty serious fall down the slab. Unscathed and still keen for another battle! They called it Swift-Tuttle, after the recent meteor activity. I had thought this line would be E6 6a/b, but they seemed happy with the gear.. Interesting one anyway, and substantially harder for the short.
Sam Onsight, On The First Ascent Of  'Swift Tuttle' E5 6b**
Electric Moon (E5 6a*)
In the meantime I had quickly shunted and soloed another bold E5. I should have really tried it ground up, but it had no gear and I wanted to get some other stuff done.  It starts out very pleasantly, before a double layback move leads to some crimps. From here you just move around a bit and get some quite big and negative holds, a high foot and onto the top. Very good climbing, albeit a bit short and serious.
Matt going for the FA of  'Parseids' E3 6a**
Eventually I got on a line I'd cleaned the other day. It makes a tricky move onto a large shelf, before a step up allows some suspect gear to be placed. It's a sideways nut and 00 cam in a less than ideal pocket, but seemed pretty bomber. From here you blast up to a terrible sloping ledge and try and surmount it.  I ended up fully reflexed on a thumb, with my right foot at the same height. The crimp was awful and throwing my left foot up to the same height took everything I had in the sweltering sun. I really thought I was off, but I stuck. I pulled really hard on the awful crimp and managed to just slap into a sidepull undercut. It was all rather balancey, but eventually I managed to pop for a nubbin after this that I knew was alright. There's a big difference between onsight and flash! From here a further sketchy move on a terrible smear gains the top. I think it's about soft E7, depending on how good the gear is. Certainly a very good 6c move to try and onsight, hoping the gear holds...

The day was rounded off by me trying to flash another thing that looked about E7. I backed off. It was solo and revolved around a very large flat undercut, some smeary feet, long reaches and one brilliant two finger nubbin crimp. The wall is quite steep, perhaps overhanging slightly and it feels really exposed. It's one of those lines you almost miss, right in the centre of the amphitheatre, but once you ab down it, it all makes sense. It's actually one of the things in the Moors that is interesting me the most at the moment, just for the quality of the moves. It will have to wait anyway now, I'm officially a Munich resident!

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