Thursday, 10 April 2014

"The Holy Grail Of Moors Unclimbed Lines"

The Tripstaler, the pronged pronged prong of a valley, the lush wilderness, the jewel of east Billsdale, perhaps the remotest-feeling part of the Moors - this is Tripsdale. There's a weird feel to the area, with a mixture of devilishness and warmth. The valley is mostly sheltered, plastered in sun and there are boulders everywhere. It's a fast 30 minute walk in, which keeps away the boulders, but there is effectively endless possibilities. The home of dreams? Well, there is at least one dream line..

As a person ravaged by goals and with a large list of things to do preying on my mind, it takes something pretty special to crumble my logic and turn me into a blabbering, mindless hedonist. That's what happened today. I didn't mind that it was not much more than a highball boulder problem and that it was going to take a lot more effort than the other H7/8s around. No, the main thing was that the line is perfect - utterly outstanding, the moves are nails and that it's so idyllicly located.

 We put up a new thing up a hanging prow too. 
It campuses a bit and then boldly finishes up an arete (out of shot) 
'Harbinger' (soft E5 6c*)

So, what is this line? It's something that we've known is there for a good few years and other people have looked at from the ground (I'm not sure if anyone's lobbed a rope down, but judging by some of the holds I wouldn't have thought so..). It's a cauterised arete, similar to The Waves Of Inspiration in terms of rock type. There are big holds at the bottom and then no obvious holds above. It starts on easy moves, with a steady 7a path to a good foothold. From here there is magic, pure raw magic. If you were really tall, as in 6ft 5' armspan, then you could bypass this crux, with another few moves of 7a, but (luckily?) for me I'm just a little too short to use that sequence. The result is a zero gravity move. You use a lot of core on it and then you're onto a 6c/7a romp and dyno, which would be a bit spicy.
Harbinger - Kay Nest, North Yorkshire Moors from Dave Warburton on Vimeo.
The main thing that attracts me to this route is the difficulty of the moves. You could probably roll the fall out down the steep hillside, which would hurt, but you'd be so psyched I'm not sure you'd even notice. So it's hard and safe. But, it's right at my limit and uses a lot of muscles that I don't yet have. It should be a real 'project', where I learn something. When you strike that exact point where you can't do a sequence, but you know you will be able to do it next time when fresh, then  that's a really powerful thing that just makes you drop all your other hard-graded route ambitions. That's where I am now, stoved off my box.

O, and the foot is still jiggered, but Moors gods stove us on. 

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