Friday, 28 February 2014

The Whiplash Of Difficulty - Piles More To Do

Having passed my car test, I thought I'd celebrate with a trip to the seaside. The cliffs at Goldsborough don't have any recorded climbing on them, but they're a fairly obvious target with the monstrous sweep that cascades down into the ocean. Matt Ferrier was the first of our little group to check them out and took a few snaps. As with many of the sea cliffs in yorkshire, you have quite a bit of variation in rock quality. At the lower end of acceptable you have stuff like this:
It's not as bad as it looks and it is plausible to climb this. The best line climbs up the wall just right of the arete and then after the roof steps up and left. It's fairly difficult climbing and extremely bold. The only gear that I was able to find was by the roof and I think I'd prefer not to have it. A fall is likely to just rip a massive block out, which would result  in a 12 metre groundfall being followed by a large rock. Soloing it also seems insane. The holds are not beyond suspicion and there are moves of certain English 6c, perhaps even 7a.  To be honest, this could be the start of the new wave, but it'll be a while before I start working this I think.

Of far more interest for the medium term is this!
At around 9 metres high and with about 7 lines on it, this is a fantastic find for the moment. I've seen some fabulous sandstone features in my time, but this one has to be the best. It's a single whiplash of style, which provides a load of slab climbing at varying angles. It's obviously been quarried at some point, as there are tiny historic chisel marks. It's so regular that it looks almost like cross-bedding.

 Matt thought that it might lend itself to some delicate E5-style climbing on the small dimples, but somehow this doesn't quite work. I'm not sure why, but somehow all these features are just too rubbish and small to use. The resultant style of climbing is unlike anything else in the Moors. You use almost exclusively natural features for hand holds and then make lots of little foot movements up the indents.
I shunted two lines for about an hour each, one was about H7 7a and the other was harder. The only slightly soft rock was on the left-hand line, which I didn't try, but I don't think you even need to climb on this. The rest of the stone is good, having seen a fair bit of weathering. It takes a while to get the holds in good order, as they need to be free from sand and other bits and bobs.

Style-wise, the two routes are fairly similar. They have very intricate starts that lead into marginally easier climbing, before an utterly desperate final move, which is dynamic in both cases. The easier one steps up high on a rare good crimp, with hands on some shocking gastons and slopers. From here it's an intermediate and then the break with the same hand - I love those 'go again' moves.

I was deliberately going after the hardest-looking bits of walls, which obviously meant high and blank. The harder one is (perhaps predictably) more bonkers. It climbs 2 metres to the right of the top break, which means it has an extra metre of hard climbing. It too is remarkably sustained, but with a markedly harder move at the top. This time it's a sloping crimp and a nothing hold with the left before a jump for a rather small pocket.

With mats all of this wall may well be reasonably safe. It's not bouldering, but it might take the routes into the 'hard and safe(r)' category. Quite keen for this wall at the moment - there seemed to be hard moves all over the place.

1 comment:

Dave Warburton said...

Storked as fuj for this