Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Barry The Boulder

The best boulder in the Moors without a doubt, Barry is massive. The back arete and wall offer a fine font 7a+ and the neo-classic font 8a requiem. The near left arete is font 8b and the right arete E4. Continuing around the boulder on the right there are some really cool font 7 problems. The main challenge though is, of course, that massive face.

Stoupe Brow has been a bit of a bouldering destination for a while now, but it didn't appear in any guides until 2009. Around this time a lot of the problems were written down and a few routes were climbed on the quarry walls. These routes are pretty cool and mostly follow strong features. Ever since we first ventured into the quarry, there was one challenge that stood out more than all others - that of the face. To finally ab down the thing today, 5 1/2 years later, feels like an accomplishment in itself.

The climbing is great - top fun. The whole thing is very physical and a bit 3D, following a sweeping and fading groove line to a precarious shield of rock. There are very few footholds and it's a technical challenge as a result. Luckily the soft rock to the right doesn't affect this climb, as that would be a real dampener. It's a funny old thing, which feels bold even to shunt and takes a fair bit of setting up.

You could break it down into three main sections. First there is a tricky and sandy boulder problem start that is actually some of the easiest climbing on the route. This leads to a large undercut. From here the technical crux revolves around some very small pockets and aggressive foot stabbing. This is really quite hard and requires a committing pop at a serious height for the big layaway. I could imagine at this point you'd be quite drained of energy and the next sequence is physical and pretty bloody scary! It's also probably the best bit though and after this there is just some necky 6b/c stuff to the top.

What a climb though!

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