Friday, 14 September 2012


Now then, I haven't posted in months. I'm not really sure why, but anyway, I now feel like I've really got something to write about! Over the summer I've had brief trips to the peak, the lakes and also Pembroke, experiencing some superb climbing! Of particular note was: running from the rain from the peak, eagle nest ridge direct and tophet wall on great gable and some sunny sea cliffs in Pembroke. However, this is not the main event!

I've climbed lots on the moors this summer. Well, not really, with the weather not that great, it feels though i actually havent been out climbing that often. But with team psyche about, I've actually got a lot done!

I've done a few new routes at thorgill and newton dale including 'spinal crack' E2 5c and 'Another one bites the dust' E4 6a, the free ascent of 'if you're not flying, you're not trying'. Also, myself and Matthew, paired with Franco and Dave, climbed some superb new routes at smugglers terrace. These include 'Sea King' E1 5b and 'Black Beard' HardVS 5b as well as Franco and Dave's superb looking 'psychosis' E5 6b. Jack Hodgson and I also developed a new crag, Duck Crag, south of Oak crag.

Anyway, the happenings so far this year of most personal significance, have been the last few weeks...
Team Psyche is what it's been all about.
First was Highcliffe. I walked up to the crag with only one route in mind, this was Scarecrow Crack. Anyway, I soon climbed this and went on to climb Stargazer E3/4 6a ground up after one fall. Isn't stargazer brilliant though! A classic line on a brilliant buttress. Brilliant, hard and safe climbing, a great fall, and finishing in the most fabulous position high on the arete.
So the day had already far exceeded my expectations. But after a little while, I found myself bouldering out the start of Moonflower Direct E4 6b. I tied in, falling off a few more times. Eventually I was at the break and clipping the wires though. Stepping right I was utterly gripped. By this time the sun was on the tiny hold, but eventually i got to the crucial rock over up onto the break with the gear in it. (not great gear i must admit, but i tried not to look at it) I did it, reaching the good hold and the ledge. I threw down a loop of rope to pull up a few cams, and topped out. Fantastic. I've been buzzing about that route ever since!

The day after Highcliffe we went to Beacon scar, climbing Mongol E2 5c, Yellow Peril E3 6a and Gehenna HVS. On the way back we stopped off at park nab for a brilliant evening soloing. I flashed Dangle 6a? (YESSS) I had oft eyed the line, thinking it impossible, a long reach up to a ridiculous hold, and decided to never actually try it. Anyway, via a hidden hold, it was climbed! Franco then made a wild ascent of Dynamo in the dark!

The next day I had to enrol in sixth form, but this didn't stop me getting out! Jack and I went to the wainstones. Jack began by leading the crag classic, the sphinx nose traverse. Next it was my turn to lead Ali Baba. This route has intimidated me more than any other route on the moors. I look up at it every time I visit the crag, imagining what it would be like to pull up over that top overhanging block and always finding an excuse not to try it. But today was the day! The groove was climbed with relative ease, not really thinking. To be quite honest, I then mucked up threading the chock stone, but after 15 minutes I managed it... The top section is just brilliant, totally different to the bottom, bold, and hard. This route really has quite some significance for me, another step in my moors climbing apprenticeship. After a bit of dossing about, we went over to ravenscar. Jack climbed airlift, whilst I climbed Fever Pitch, yet another Moors classic! Seven moors classics in three days, fair going I'd say!

A great summer, cheers Team Psyche!

The First Half of 2012 - written a few months back

Well then, I haven't posted since march, where i discussed last years climbing and what I hoped to do this year. Anyway, I realised it's June now! So here's a round up of the first half of the year!

After I returned from Scotland, myself and Anthony Jones had a brief attempt at winter climbing on the moors, climbing a grade II up a 50 meter ramp below an old iron working in the upper reaches of Rosedale which made for some exciting climbing. We only had two axes between us and no crampons, so we cut steps all the way. We also has sledges, so we hauled those up aswell, creating an amusing belay at half height.

The following weeks saw numerous trips to Camp Hill, eventually ticking off all of the routes apart from the 'waves within' E4, which still remains! This is quite significant for me, as the crag has always been a sort of testing ground, where I can tell how my climbing is progressing.

Another thing of personal significance was the new route I put up in Newbridge woods... Climbing onsight, I though 'The Last Light' to be about E1 5b or something, but on further thinking, the last move, being above a large possibly dodgy fall, and also actually being a campus(!) the grade could be anywhere from E1 to E3 I reckon.

The Moors Youth Team has seen numerous developments recently, with the unofficial club's numbers growing a fair bit! Jack Hodgson, Anthony Jones and Nathan Jones have all joined the crew and theres been some reasonable crag development recently!

Whats been great for me and Matthew is that we both feel as though over the last couple of months, we've improved and made a bit of a jump in standards. A few trips to ingleby etc. saw us climb a some E1's and 2's. But more recently, we've begun doing a spot of Headpunting... I'm not entirely sure what I think of it yet, but it's certainly seen us improve, and following the advice of a two Moors Mooses, we've been able to headpoint two E4's!

The first of these was Jungle Drum at Danby Crag, perhaps on the easy side of the grade, but it was a good introduction into this type of climbing and certainly a great line.
A few weeks later, Myself, Dave Warburton and Matthew Ferrier went to Round crag. Dave was keen to flash his new route, a link between vamperic obsession and honey arete and so the 'Honey Badger' E5 6a was formed. Me and Matthew then set to work top roping Dave's 'Heal of Approval'. After a few goes we were ready for the solo. The route was quickly dispatched, nice!

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