Wednesday, 8 September 2010

On Saturday me and Tom went down to Coe Crag.. fairly hungover and managed to do a few routes.
Tom warmed up on Honeycomb Wall (HVS 4c), one i've done before. Not a give away at the grade but easy enough if you take your time.

I decided to take a look at Rough Castles Crack (VS 5a) - a fairly obvious jamming crack line which gets 3 stars in the guidebook. I took my time on it but really enjoyed it, absorbing climbing and solid jams all the way up with bomber protection.

We finished off on Worrisome Wasp (HVS 5a) with Tom on the lead again, really nice route on big steep holds, great fun.

On the way back we decided to try and take a 'short-cut' but got hopelessly lost. The track ran through a forest and span us around in so many directions we lost ourselves. It got dark and we had no map. Typical 'laddish' attitude got us through in the end though and we arrived back at the car around 10pm.. tired and hungry.

The map below gives you some idea (and myself) how wrong we went.. the blue tab is the crag and the end is the car park!


On Sunday a load of us took a trip to Bowden doors. It was mega busy at first, so I just soloed a few lines. Friction was good due to the wind.. I flashed Klondyke Wall (E2 5c) which was almost too easy after all the time i'd given myself to do it.. Me and Oli worked on Don't Let Go (E2 5c) which is much much harder! We had a few pads so working the moves was easy enough. It took a few attempts but eventually we worked the crux moves and Oli did it on a rope with me following him up shortly after. Nice climbing.
After that I took some time out with Leonie and got her back on the leading game with Deception Crack (Vdiff). She led it well after a little encouragement. Reckon after a bit more practice she'll be on VS in no time.

We finished off back home and chilled out. Still moving stuff around the new place but i'm really happy with how its all working out.

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Last weekend was a bit of a wash out. Managed to meet up with my Dad and get some bouldering done. It was warm and wet in Caley meaning the friction was rubbish. We did a few problems but decided to abandon it in the end, good spot to get some easy access bouldering done though.

We drove over to Almscliff and did a few of the boulder problems. There was a decent wind blowing through the crag which kept things from getting too warm. We warmed up on Morrell's wall (V2) and it took me a few goes but got it in the end. Hard work on the grit but very rewarding when it all comes together.

Looking wet so far.. hoping the weekend will dry up a bit so I can get out and do some leads on the classic edges!

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

The weekend that was

Well this weekend was a good one. Despite the poor outlook for the weather on Saturday, I rang Tom up and told him to prepare to head south. After spending the Friday afternoon studying the Met Office pressure charts and rainfall predictions it was looking wet mostly everywhere apart from the North York Moors.

I ended up sleeping in more than the usual plan so arrived at Tom's place about lunchtime, no matter plenty of daylight (gotta love the summer!).
The drive out took around 1hr 15mins.. not quiet as good as Kyloe or Bowden but then it is a new venue for an extra 15 mins of effort!

Wainstones was the chosen crag, having only climbed there once with Derek back in my bumbly days I decided it would make a nice dry venue with hopefully enough wind to keep the sweat off but not get blown off the crag!

Thankfully I was right and our hard walk uphill - taking around 15 mins - was soon rewarded with a cool breeze and warm dry rock! A few people around but hardly busy for such a great venue on probably the only dry crag in miles!

I soloed a few routes, Tom took it easy and did the same, sicking to Diffs and Severe's.
Eventually we decided to stop 'larking about' and did some real climbing. Tom led the enjoyable Sphinx Nose Traverse - a 3 star severe and worth every penny!
I'd already soloed this so went up East Sphinx Direct to add some spice. Bloody hard work! Apparently VS 5a. Rubbish, didn't look protected and the moves are more like 5b! Although once I worked out the sequence it did seem much easier..
After this I had a look on 'North Route' a tricky problem up the main needle. This went fine, just a delicate section at the top, Rockfax gave it E1 but i'd say HVS is probably more on the mark.
Tom decided to jump on Concave Wall which ended up being a bit of a sandbag at HVS! Nice move and the gear is next to your waist.. but it's a hard move for the grade!

I'd had my eye on West Sphinx Direct all day.. it's a stunning line that weaves up the north face of the Sphinx buttress. There are two variations, one which does a tricky mantel move up the first nose then escapes out left on a thin crack then up the arete. The direct tackles the same set of moves but instead of running off to the left, you reach up high to an 'eye' then pull through this to the top moves over on the right side.

I decided to crack on and give it a go. The great thing about this route is that you can always escape off on the E2 if you don't like the look of the direct (which gets E3). Once i'd committed to the moves though I knew I had to finish it direct. It's just such a lovely line. Totally absorbing and although the gear is pretty questionable.. it probably would do the job if you fell from the top.
I spent a good 10 minutes trying to stretch up to the 'eye' before finally committing.. once I pulled up it all came into place, but the top move is no pushover and I had to use everything I could muster to scramble over the top. Great route.

After this Tom finished off on a HS (Ling Buttress) and we walked back down to the car. Great day and really chuffed to get a 3 star E3 on-sight.

On Sunday we had a lazy day and drove up to Harehope Canyon with a few of the usual gang to hang out and do a few routes. Joe was on fire that day and was already polishing off an E2 gridle traverse of the main buttress.
I decided to solo a few routes with Polly and ended up backing off one or two as I was feeling a bit tired. Managed to do my dads 'Andrews Grovelly Grove' as a solo which was nice for a bit of history stomping. Did one or two of the other trickier VS's which are more like boulder problems really.
Finished off on an E1 but found it pretty hard work, think the body had started to give up.

Watched Joe polish off an E3 6B!! Which looked amazing.. if a bit desperate.

Went back with the gang and watched the World Cup at Tom's place with a few pizza's and beers. SKY+ had started to run out of space and as the game was coming to an end it only had about 3 minutes left to go! Just as well it didn't end on penalty's!!