Monday, 24 March 2014

Visitors, Repeats And A New Line At Maiden's Bluff

Billet The Kid (E5 6a*) - Second Ascent
I haven't posted for a few days, as I've been on a bit of a mission with development and work. Neil Furniss and Mark Rankine were up from the Peak for a couple of days, so I showed them a snippet of what was on offer. It's always tricky to know where to take people, but they were mainly keen for the coastal cragging and Danby Crag, so that's where we ended up. It's a shame not to take them to the Moorland crags, but I'm sure they'll be back - keen to get out here when the weather isn't very good in Sheffield. The highlight for me was probably hearing them describe the Tormented Sole (E7 6b ***) as 'one of the best lines they've ever been on'. I'm mega-manic about the Smuggler's Terrace now, people are raving about it already and there's still so much more to do. Stoved!

The choice of crag for Saturday was Maiden's Bluff. It's another bag full of potential and they rather effortlessly cruised up a line we put up a week or so ago - Jugendstil. It was interesting to watch them figure it out ground up and they found the sequence fairly swiftly. Troubles with the topout as always, but with a rope hanging, it's no biggy. Everyone toproped everything after this. All the projects got a good shunt and beta, difficulty and quality were all discussed at great length. The basic upshot was - very good climbing all over the wall, with some of it being pretty brick-hard. Highball bouldering or soloing? Well, it depends how you fall - the two main lines left are certainly a notch more dangerous than the two now done.

After this shunting interlude, I decided to solo one of the mid-difficulty things - the second route at the crag. Really wicked slab climbing, which is fairly safe with a lot of pads. The top is a tad pokey, but you just have to hope you stay on and bear down. This whole slab is so cool, you just feel like you're floating on all the moves.
Neil On Ivanhoe (E5 6b**)
Saturday afternoon was spent at Danby. Nothing got led, but people got excited about Die By The Sword after a quick toppers. Both Mark and Neil bouldered out Chocolate Moose, which is now becoming a semi-popular highball at font 6c/+. We laughed at the fall on Howl Psyche and I dabbed some chalk on holds of various things. I think "good lines, with a terrible crag bottom" summed up their thoughts on Danby - you sure have to learn your way around the myriad of caverns. 

So after a night on the lash (for them, I was working), we had a leisurely 8am departure for the coast once more. I was trying to talk them round to exploring Blakey Ridge - nearer and with the possibility of meeting up with Jack and Sam Marks, but the lure of the Terrace gets them all. There was only time to dip in to the climbs there, with ascents of a couple of short aretes and then the 2nd and 3rd ascents of Billet The Kid. They really raved about this line, which was nice to see. We'd given it a lone star, which in hindsight was a little bit stingey, but it was pleasant to watch them romp up it and to re-live the experience. Perhaps it was even better though when they swung a top rope down the Tormented Sole. They looked really rather chuffed that such a feature existed and I'm confident they'll be back to lead it. I had a ganda at the direct through the roof on a top rope. Harder than I thought it was going to be. 7a move through the roof probably. That should be class too.
Corsair - E1 or E4? Who knows?

So, with a bit of ecstasy at the ENORMOUS FUN everyone was having, we thought we'd dodge the evening chills with a bit of a trip to Glaisdale Rigg. This is another new venue, which is hardly a brilliant venue, but it does what it's good at very well - highballing in mid-grades. By now people were getting a little tired, but they both still managed an ascent of Ivanhoe (E5 6b **) - the main wall of the central bay that we put up a couple of weeks ago. It was a pretty good cherry on the top of a splendid weekend I think, lets hope to see them again.

Our biggest video yet is to come - hopefully later on today.  Now just to decide what crag to go to next..

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