I'm at Kay Nest - the most beautiful dale in a pleasant little corner of the Moors. One of the largest pieces of rock around stands here and has been the subject to some occasional interest. Some time in the middle of the last century someone decided to drill a line of bolts up the wall. Judging by the snaking nature of the line, it seemed to be searching for the blankest and steepest way up the wall and presumable made for a long pitch by Moorland standards.
|Notice the toothbrush hair for scale|
So in 2011ish I had my first abseil down, which was followed by a bit of a go circa 2012/3. I managed to do it via a wild dyno and thought it would be roughly E8 7a with the bolts. As such, being interested in producing very bold climbs at the time, I decided against making sustained efforts to working it. It was only in my most recent phase in the back end of last year that I realised the potential for taking the bolts out and soloing it. And that's basically what I did. My hopes of producing a mind-bendingly difficult route were quashed when I found some alright gear low down, but it remains a formidable challenge and still fairly dangerous.
After asking around 30 people to come belay me, I was blessed by the presence of Olli and Jake who I hadn't seen for years, but drove up to make the Moors happen. I'm indebted to them.
The lead went clinically most of the way and as I reached into the crux I felt light and balanced. The sketchy feet stuck and the massive spans went okay. On the crux itself I had a tangible jarring of time. Motions repeated themselves, hung on eternities and reversed in direction. I balanced interminably on the edge of losing my cool with the calm aura around me telling me to stay in. It will take a while to fully interpret the crux experience, but it was positive and I felt like I learnt a lot.