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Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Highcliffe Nab and Almscliff

After the kind offer of a lift from Jake's dad, we ventures to Highcliffe! This is a crag I've always been interested in but never really had the chance to go to. We took rather the wrong line up to the crag, attempting to clamber directly over the felled trees, falling down numerous holes and falling down the hill. When we got there, the crag looked damp, but still in high spirits, he decided it'd be right!

We messed about on some of the easy but fun lines, of the classic 'Highcliffe Crack' and 'North West Route'.


Then I decided I'd like a go at 'Scarecrow Crack' despite its poor condition and general dampness! The start was tricky, but once in the crack I felt quite comfortable. I placed some good gear, and then moved up to the crack to just below the large ledge. The crack was greasy and somewhat damp, I got my feet on a good nobble, and my hands on a sloping hold, I began to get tired. I thought about going down for a rest, but then slip, and I was off. Shame really and by this time I wasn't really in a fit state go go all the way back up again! :( Jake had a go, but also found the conditions tricky.

After this, thoughts turned back to Pickering Woods and our recent ground breaking ascents.

New aid tool?

By now, it was about time to go. I actually enjoyed the crag though and shall definitely be back! Scarecrow crack and Stargazer await!...


The next day, I was thank full to receive a lift from the parents who were off to Harrogate. I decided to go to Almscliff, despite having no partner to climb with...

Upon arriving at the crag, I saw and heard the busy, blue helmeted youths cluttering the lower crag. However, determined to not let this dent my psyche, I decided this could be a useful asset in case I fell off something...  I started off on the classic 'Matterhorn Arete', only a boulder problem, but high, and well worth it. On my first attempt, I got almost to the top, but as I smeared and reached for the top hold, out came the wail from one of the kids on fluted columns, it put me right off, and so I down climbed, but did it next go.

I over heard one of the instructors mention 'Birdsnest Crack' so I rushed up to 'High Man' before it was massacred. I soloed a few vs' including 'Stomach traverse', 'Birdsnest crack' and 'The nose'. Then I bumbled about on a few boulders, climbing a few cool slabs...

Then, to finish off, I did some enjoyable solos of the routes on 'Low Man' rounding off what turned out to be a pretty good day!

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