|Dark Star (E7 6c**)|
First up, Tom Randall: "I headed to the North York Moors to see if Franco Cookson is as mad as they say he is and whether he’s talking absolute nonsense about the UK’s best lines being up there. Well... it is pretty flipping good!" He had a day up at High Crag, climbing the 'Australia Crack' project to give 'The Art of Non-conformity" (E7 6c **). He has another harder line wired and is keen to get back apparently..
Another Sheffield-based climber, Mark Rankine, has climbed before in the Moors and has turned his attentions this summer on Danby. He'd mopped up a couple of things, one of which chucked me off a couple of times - Dark Star (E7 6c**). Dark Star comprises 3 boulder problems in a row, with bits and bobs of funny gear. Somewhere just out of reach of boulder mats, it's a real new-age kind of route. He also climbed the beautiful project slab now called 'Ripple' (E5 6c***). These two lines were absolute prizes and are sure to be future esoteric classics.
Mark met up with Matt Ferrier this week to make the second and third ascents of the 2011 route 'Die By The Sword', with a higher runner in the adjacent crack than had been used on the FA, which he reckoned made it E6 6c **, rather than E7 6c **. This kind of makes sense. Above you can see a video of Mark shunting Nick Dixon's testpiece 'Scut di Scun ai' (E6-E8 6b). There are quite a lot of people keen for this, which would be likely the 3rd ascent.
Meanwhile on the coast, James Oakes has been battling with the crack at Stoupe Brow, which he called 'Eyebrow' (tough E6 6b*). That one was a real obvious line that had repelled quite a few inspections. Judging by the video he's going pretty well - that start is hard! Hopefully more will come from Stoupe...