Monday, 21 September 2015

The Horse (H7 6c)

Best Finishing Move Ever?
I've finally managed to climb a decent line outside of the Moors! It's become a bit of an area of worry that I never climb anything outside of the Moors. Can I do it? Is the North York Moors merely a figment of my imagination? Maybe this was me proving to myself that I can climb even without spirit of the Moors - or maybe the spirit of the Moors is here as well?

It's been a really nice past few months in Northumberland. After a little bit of a scout and some beta from Si, I went for a waddle around the rocks behind Sandy Crag. It's a magic place up there, with little hanging valleys and forgotten swamplands. It's just that little bit wilder than anywhere else I know, which makes for a fantastic trip out. I've been warming up for the Sandy Arete by shunting bits and bobs in an undocumented area dubbed 'The Land Of Milk And Honey'. It's a funny crag, as the rock (as with much of the Simonside range) is pretty scrittly and the lines are deceptively hard.

I had a good bash at the central wall, which I linked at roughly H8 7a. The climbing was fantastic and the line perfect. Alas, all the holds ripped off straight after I had linked it. There must have been over 10 holds that ripped - I'm used to the odd one breaking, but that many just makes the whole thing a joke. It's in a stable condition now, but the top is high and I can't even do the move on a shunt - slopey!!! 

So I turned my attentions to The Horse - looked about E4, turned out to be font 7b. There was a similar experience of holds snapping, until the fairly stable position we're in now. Bits and bobs of painful shunting resulted in me having it fairly dialled a few weeks ago.

Fast forward to Saturday Morning 10am.. I'm jogging down from Sandy after a dawn session with no chalk and I bump into Psychedellic Si Litchfield. He's got 1.3 mats and is stoked for The Land Of Milk And Honey. Not having been to the crag for a while, I'm keen to get back and have a ganda at The Horse. It needs a clean, but it's on crimps, so It doesn't take long to get dialled again. The lone pad looks slightly disconcerting - 6 pads would still be bold, but I was excited at the prospect of doing it  and justified that I would probably only fall off the bottom if at all.

Class route - weird! Easy start, then a rancid undercut lank and sloper move to a small crimp. The crux is holding this crimp and then popping into chord of features that pretends to be a hold. You then get into a really nice fiddly, smeary boss climb, culminating in a wild mounting of the top of the prow, thence safety.

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