Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Brimham and The Peak

I had a great day over at Brimham the other day for Matthew's birthday. After two of the classic VS's we wandered over to Black chipper. This went with surprising ease, apart from maybe the top out... Then we went over and onsighted Pathos, a good E3 6a which was probably E3 considering how wet the top was and the fact I had to lunge for a bilberry bush... We messed about Acme wall, and then went to onsight Red Tape E2/3 5b/c. Pretty hard to be honest! A good day!

We went to the peak for a couple of days, being optimistic for the weather... As we travelled south the clouds cleared and it looked pretty good! We arrived at Froggatt and i climbed the first pitch of Valkyrie. Matthew led the second pitch in what was worsening weather and we topped out on the fine grit stone pinnacle. The rest of Froggatt was wet, so we wondered over to Curbar. We both led the Bear Hunter, myself having to climb the crux in the rain and dynoing for a wet break to avoid the rounded top out. Then the sun came out and we went and had a go at the Beer Hunter, but it was hard and still a bit wet. We wandered back to Froggatt to find it even wetter so we went to Hathersage to buy smarties.

I noticed a change in the weather, and although now pitch black, it seemed like alright conditions, so we walked up to stanage popular for a couple of routes. We fell off flying buttress direct a few times which was a bit gay, although we couldn't see any of the holds even though we had a head torch... And then I went over and climbed Easter Rib, a fairly bold E1 which was made more exciting by more rain and darkness. We walked down to the car, cooked some bacon and bivvied.

I was well-psyched when I awoke to sunshine in the morning so we drove over to Millstone. But, yet again, the weather became grey so it was decided on Lawrencefield after Jas Wood had mentioned it was a good crag if its a bit wet. We climbed 'Suspence' a brilliant E2 up a bold slab and out over the famous pool, ace! We finished the day off at Millstone, which I thought was pretty impressive, but to be honest just a bit grim and desolate.

Anyway, although we didn't do that much, it was a good trip and I think we made the most of it. But I can't help thinking that I should stop dossing about on this gritstone, stay in the moors, and get over to the lakes. Also, I could do with a camera to record some of my climbing, so if anyone would like to donate/sell me one really cheap, give us a bell...

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

First E3 onsight

E3, a grade that appears to have evaded me for sometime. I feel like Ive improved quite reasonably recently in my climbing but I have not managed a true onsight of the grade. I've tried my hand at head pointing quite a bit recently which I've quite enjoyed, and I'm sure has something to do with my recent betterment. However, it's not what I'm about. Onsight is where it's at.

Thorgill was the crag we were headed. I knew of 'Thor's Axe', a fine but intimidating E3 arete, Dave and Franco's latest addition to the crag.

After a bit of dossing about and generally avoiding the route, I thought 'sod this' and got on it. The gear in the break was quite tricky to place and once it was in place, I tried the long reaches up the arete but they were too much. After a bit of time though, both Matthew and I managed the route onsight, Brilliant! Lets hope this is the way my climbing is going to go...

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Clemitt's Crag - New Routes

Over the last few weeks Matthew and I have been climbing at clemitts crag. We repeated some of the routes on the clean 'Main Buttress' which were good, but after a suggestion from Franco and Dave that we look for some new routes, we saw far more potential on the buttress.

We climbed the existing routes 'Rainy day blues' E1 5b, a good, sustained, but unfortunately short crack climb and also 'Yellow brick road' the 1 * choss classic of the buttress which is quite long and covers some good ground.

Our attention was drawn to a thin unclimbed crack around the corner from 'Yellow Brick Road'. We were keen to actually see where the line would go or if there was a line, and we also needed to alter a tree slightly... Anyway, it looked great. Matthew attempted the line first and managed to flash the climbing, very impressive! Then I had a go, but with numb hands and feet, i couldn't do it! Then, after warming up i managed it. A nice traverse into the crack, which involves some technical climbing to a peg. From the peg, a huge dynamic reach leads out away from the crack which is now too small for fingers, and onto the arete in a great position, to finish boldly up that. 'A Pack of Fibbing Beavers' E3 6a ** we reckon. Cracking!

We then went on to try and onsight a new slab line to the right. But unfortunately we failed to puzzle out the start - what appeared to be a sort of controlled leap/lunge to a sloper, a smear of nothingness to some pockets which may or may not take gear? all above not the best landing... So we failed on this.

Bring on the next weekend though and we were psyched! We opted to give it a top rope and work out all of the climbing. The difficult was actually sustained all of the way up, though thankfully the pockets took good gear, a small hex and a nut. It seemed the first top rope made it easier than to onsight, but after that, it never really seemed to get any more straight forward! Dave also came along and had a top rope on this and an abb down some of the other routes.

We went for the lead, the climbing was utterly brilliant, weird in a places and in some ways, slightly wild! I tied my shoes too tight and ended up with Elvis leg after trying to down climb the top moves after i got a bit mixed up, managed the top section, and then had some sort of pansy on the top out, which isn't actually that hard. Then it was Matthew's turn. He made the first moves and then tried the long reach to the pocket. Ending up off balance, he had to jump off and i pulled him away from the gully of death. If you jump off before the gear and land just right, you should be ok, though if you slip and the starting moves, down the gully of death you may go... Then he did it and that was that. A really great route! 'Cupid and Psyche' E5 6b **.

We went to ravenswick a few days later and ground upped 'Fred' E4 6b, though its probably a bit easier than that. The years old thread also seems to be bomber as well.

A Wednesday training day at school meant we could make another trip back to clemitts. We went to camp hill first, but got utterly freezing in the heavy rain showers and strong winds and all me, rory, jack, joe and matthew could manage was a team ascent of tempest.

So we ran across the moor to a slightly warmer and dryer clemitts in time for the sun to come out. The lads made a good simul solo ascent of capstone chimney as me and matthew tried and failed to climb a blank wall we wanted to do - probably getting distracted by the shouts and boulders flying out of the chimney.

Jack made the fa of 'Dirty Clemont', the reasons for its name illude me... A good line, but could do with a bit of rain i reckon.

Then Matthew and I made the fa of  'The Badgermin' a HardVS 4c adventure route involving bold crawling through a ledge sort of thing to finish up a fine arete. Much much better than the goblin, some crap 2 star gritstone route. No doubt that the crag has more to give. Those 'classic' E2's look good.